The most important issue is Statehood, which affects public policy as it relates to jobs, housing, health care, education, community safety, and economic development. The present delegate has failed miserably in addressing these issues. The treatment of Statehood has been just short of a mockery, burdened with diversionary compromises such as giving others states more democracy while simultaneously limiting our demand for full statehood to a single vote in Congress that can be taken away even easier than the struggle of some to get it. To be ruled by Committee and have a 30-day approval for all laws passed by our Council is an affront to self-governance.
Opponents of statehood for the District of Columbia will give you lots of reasons why statehood is impossible. But those reasons cannot stand the light of day.
Proponents of voting representation in Congress will have little to show for success, and they will have obstructed our progress toward statehood.
- Voting rights in Congress will not advance DC democracy. It will not stop Congress from vetoing our laws, imposing policies we don’t want, or telling us how to spend DC taxpayers’ money. The only solution is STATEHOOD for DC.
- 80% of DC voters voted YES in a 1980 referendum for DC statehood. In a 2002 Washington Post poll, 66% of DC residents supported statehood.
- History shows that representation does not equal democracy. Colonies in Africa held seats in European legislatures, but still suffered exploitation and tyranny before they won independence. Our Founding Fathers & Mothers protested Taxation Without Representation under King George III – but the solution was not voting Rights in Parliament but independence!
- We can win DC statehood without a Constitutional Amendment! In 1846, an Act of Congress removed Alexandria from DC and gave it to Virginia. This proves that an Act of Congress can change DC’s borders and reduce the federal enclave to include only the federal properties (White House, Capitol, Mall, etc.), freeing the rest of DC to become a state. DC voting rights would require a Constitutional Amendment, which is more difficult and unlikely.
- For over 100 years, powerful people in the federal & DC governments have promised DC voting rights in order to distract us from demanding true democracy & self- government.
- When DC becomes a state, it will be the first with an African American majority. Without statehood, DC is Congress’s ‘Plantation’ in which all DC residents, regardless of race, are 2nd class citizens!
The DC Statehood Green Party supports DC STATEHOOD!
REGISTER & VOTE Statehood Green!!!
Paid for by the DC Statehood Green Party, Philip Barlow, Treasurer.
What They Say Is Not Always True
They Say: Congress can give District of Columbia residents voting representation in Congress.
The Truth: Congress lacks constitutional authority to confer voting representation in the Senate and the House. Congressional representation is defined by the Constitution. For the same reason, Congress could not have given District of Columbia residents the right to vote in presidential elections. That required a constitutional amendment, the Twenty-Third Amendment.
They Say: Voting representation in Congress would give the residents of the District of Columbia greater self-government.
The Truth: It would not change the relationship between Congress and the District of Columbia, which is one of congressional oversight. Voting representation in Congress means only that we would have at most three votes in 535 in a national legislative body that would still maintain total control of our budget, our laws and our justice system. The best way to accomplish both self-government and voting representation in Congress is through statehood.
They Say: Granting statehood to the District of Columbia will require the repeal of the Twenty-Third Amendment, which gave D.C. citizens the right to vote in presidential elections.
The Truth: As a matter of constitutional prudence, the Twenty-Third Amendment should be repealed to avoid conferring presidential electoral powers on the Federal District, whose only voters would be the residents of the White House.
They Say: The fact that the federal government has taken over some of the state functions from the District of Columbia government means that DC cannot become a state.
The Truth: As soon as the District of Columbia becomes a state, those state functions taken over by the federal government can simply be returned to the new state.
They Say: Voting representation in Congress is a step toward statehood.
The Truth: Since the thirteen original states founded the country, thirty-seven new states have been created. There is not one case in which voting representation in Congress was a step along the way. Territories have petitioned Congress for statehood thirty-seven times and not one of these petitions was ultimately denied.
They Say: The historical reasons for Congress to retain control over the District of Columbia are still valid today.
The Truth: Initially, the federal government was much weaker than any of the state governments and it needed to establish its independence as a national body. Today, the power of the federal government is well established and is not threatened by any state. When the District of Columbia becomes a state, the federal government will still retain control of a pre-defined federal area.
They Say: The boundaries for the new state and for the new federal enclave have not been agreed upon.
The Truth: In 1986, the DC Statehood Compact Commission and the National Capitol Planning Commission agreed on the boundaries for the State of New Columbia and for the federal enclave. This decision is easily revisited, if that becomes necessary.
For an explanation of the transfer of federal and local authority to the new state, see: Statehood for the District of Columbia: a workplan for completing the transition, prepared for the D.C. Statehood Compact Commission by the National Academy of Public Administration. May, 1990.