Next week, HR51, the Washington DC Admission Act,will once more come to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. Passing HR51 in the U.S. House is the first step to ensuring that DC residents are no longer disenfranchised and can finally claim their most basic right in our democracy.
Contact your Representative today and tell them to vote YES on this historic legislation!
DC boasts a population of over 700,000 residents, more than that of Wyoming and Vermont, yet they still are without voting members in Congress. This lack of representation denies thousands of Americans a voice in their government. DC residents are uniquely denied the right of true self-government, as their budget, locally passed laws, and citizen-backed initiatives are undermined by the federal government.
Since the 1980s, Congress has continuously used DC as a pawn in their political games, by banning the use of District funds to promote clean needle exchange, blocking the reproductive health choices of women in the District, and weakening DC’s gun violence prevention laws. Most recently, the District of Columbia did not have adequate power to protect and defend its residents during the horrific January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, when it lacked the ability to mobilize the National Guard. Even more than this, DC statehood is a civil rights issue. If DC is granted statehood, it will be just the second state with a majority-minority populace. A necessary step to dismantle systemic racism would be to grant DC statehood.
Residents in DC deserve full representation in Congress. Contact your Representative today and ask them to vote YES on HR51.
The League of Women Voters has always fought to expand access to the ballot box and protect the voting rights of all Americans. Full statehood and representation for DC are a prime part of that mission. DC deserves to become the country’s 51st state, and Congress must pass HR51.