This opinion was originally published in The Washington Post.
It did not take long for the 118th Congress to start abusing its power over the more than 700,000 people who call D.C. home. Members of Congress can do that because D.C. is a modern-day colony. Less than two months into this session, two disapproval resolutions of two D.C. laws passed by D.C.’s elected officials were scheduled for House votes. Again, U.S. citizens with no vote in Congress must sit and watch while months of careful consideration of local issues that concluded with the passage of these laws is totally disregarded by members of Congress who don’t live in D.C. and, most importantly, don’t answer to D.C. voters.
Instead, members of Congress answer to their constituents in the 50 states. Is this what their constituents want them to be doing, spending time nullifying local D.C. laws and stripping citizens of their right to self-determination? Surely, Congress has better things to do with its time and energy than to throw D.C.’s Home Rule democratic processes out the window just because it can.
It’s time for D.C. residents to be enfranchised into our democracy by becoming the 51st state of our union.
Anne Anderson, Washington
The writer is chair of the League of Women Voters of Washington D.C.’s Committee for Full Rights for D.C. Citizens.
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A day-long conference bringing together experts, activists and organizations to create a snapshot of the current state of the movement for DC Statehood, and to envision and plan for next steps.
The conference is free, but registration for in-person or virtual is required. Continental breakfast and box lunch are provided.
The League joined coalition partners calling for passage of H.R.51, the Washington DC Admission Act. This legislation passed the U.S. House on June 26, 2020.
On Thursday, September 19th, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee will hold the first hearing on DC statehood in more than a quarter-century.