On Thursday, September 19th, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing on the Washington, DC Admission Act (H.R. 51)—the first hearing on DC statehood in more than a quarter-century.
More than 700,000 residents live in DC, which is more than the population of Wyoming and Vermont, yet its residents still lack voting members in the U.S. House and Senate. Without these voting members, residents of DC are denied a voice in Congress to defend them from attacks on their own locally passed laws and citizen backed initiatives.
The introduction of H.R. 51 is a historic opportunity to ensure that DC residents are no longer disenfranchised. The legislation would preserve the “federal district” of DC—with its monuments, Capitol building, White House, and the National Mall—while ensuring that the residents and businesses outside of those areas are able to thrive in their communities under home rule.
This is not a partisan issue; it is a human rights and civil rights issue. The people of Washington, DC, deserve the same rights as Americans living in the 50 states. Residents in DC deserve full representation in Congress.
Take action by signing our petition to support DC statehood today!
People Powered Fair Maps
This month we unveiled People Powered Fair Maps™, a coordinated effort across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to create fair and transparent district maps nationwide.
In June 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina and companion cases that there is no fair test to determine when partisan gerrymandering has gone too far.
When the Supreme Court ruled that federal courts could not play a role in policing partisan gerrymandering, it presented an opportunity for us to lead a national conversation about other fixes to this flaw in our democracy.
As a long-time leader on redistricting, the League has played a major role in establishing nonpartisan redistricting commissions and effectively challenging the enforcement of an equitable process for district map creation. This campaign is a powerful collaboration between more than 750 Leagues at national, state, and local levels, aimed at ensuring democracy works for us all in 2021 and beyond.
Voter registration surges should be celebrated, not penalized
This month, in a victory for Tennessee voters, a federal district court judge granted the League of Women Voters of Tennessee a preliminary injunction in their case League of Women Voters of Tennessee v. Hargett. The case challenged a recently passed Tennessee law that leveled civil fines and criminal penalties on organizations that register voters.
Because of the injunction, the law’s damaging penalties will not be in place during a crucial time for voter registration, as the Tennessee registration deadline is October 7.
Voters deserve every possible opportunity to get registered or update their registration. We’re thankful the court recognized that voter registration organizations play a critical role in empowering voters, and therefore shouldn’t be punished for their efforts.