ACLU Endorses Statehood for the District of Columbia

May 30, 2019 12:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of the District of Columbia today announced its official endorsement of H.R. 51 and S. 631, the Washington D.C. Admission Act, which would grant full voting representation, self-government, and equal civic participation for D.C.

“Washington D.C. is one of the last colonies of the United States in the very seat of our federal government. It is deeply ironic that the people who reside in our nation’s capital, a symbol of American freedom and democracy throughout the world, lack full representation and self-government,” said Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia. “These rights are the foundation of our democracy. We hope all Americans will recognize this decades-old injustice and urge their members of Congress to support D.C. statehood.”

H.R. 51 and S. 631 were introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), respectively. They grant statehood to the District of Columbia as the 51st state, providing District residents with congressional representation of two senators and one member of the House of Representatives. The legislation would also transform the office of the mayor to the office of the governor, and the D.C. Council would become the new legislative assembly. The new state would be called the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.

“It is unimaginable that in 2019, the 700,000 residents of the nation’s capital are denied the full rights of citizenship,” said Sonia Gill, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Continuing to deny statehood and voting representation in Congress disenfranchises, by design, the tax-paying American citizens of the District of Columbia. We can no longer abide the denial of D.C’s rights in our representative democracy — the residents of the District deserve nothing less.”

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