D.C. statehood movement

D.C. statehood movement

The D.C. statehood movement is a political movement that advocates making the District of Columbia a U.S. state. Statehood would give the citizens of Washington, D.C. full representation in the United States Congress and full control over their own local affairs.

Full statehood for D.C. could arguably be achieved by an act of Congress by exercising the powers granted by , although there is some debate about whether the consent of Maryland would be required.


The statehood agenda represents one end of a spectrum, the other being the status quo before 1974 (when D.C. gained limited home rule and an elected mayor and city council). In the District, the D.C. Statehood Green Party (formed as the D.C. Statehood Party in 1971 by Julius Hobson) and Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition (often referred to simply as Stand UP!), founded in 1997, have been the primary institutional advocates for statehood, though many members of other political parties also support statehood. Fact|date=August 2007


Some aspects of the D.C. statehood agenda were achieved with the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, passed in 1973. Still more were encompassed in the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment, which passed Congress in 1978 but failed to be ratified by a sufficient number of states to become an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The deadline for ratification of the D.C. Voting Rights Amendment passed on August 22, 1985.

Two years later, in 1980, local citizens passed an initiative calling for a constitutional convention for a new state. In 1982, voters ratified the constitution [ [http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=DCC-1000 Constitution of the State of New Columbia] (ratified 1982). Westlaw.] of the state. Since that time, legislation to enact this proposed state constitution has routinely been introduced in Congress, but has never been passed.

"New Columbia" is the name of the proposed U.S. state that would be created by the admission of Washington, D.C. into the United States as the 51st state according to legislation offered starting in the 98th Congress in 1983 and routinely re-introduced in succeeding Congresses. The Congressional legislation was triggered by the provisional D.C. Statehood constitution that Washington, D.C. voters adopted in November 1982.

The campaign for statehood stalled after the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment failed in 1985 because it did not receive the required ratification by the legislatures of at least 38 of the 50 states within the required seven years of the amendment's submission by the 95th Congress. In 1987, another constitution [ [http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=DCC-1000 Constitution for the State of New Columbia] (enacted 1987). Westlaw.] was drafted, which again referred to the proposed state as New Columbia. The last serious debate on the issue in Congress took place in November 1993, when D.C. statehood was defeated in the House of Representatives by a vote of 277 to 153.

Although the proposal for statehood, via either legislation or constitutional amendment, has yet to be approved by Congress—typically receiving little attention each term that it is presented—the name "New Columbia" is a part of the statehood movement in the District of Columbia.


Many alternatives to outright statehood have been proposed. It is possible that the state of Maryland could take back the land it ceded for the District, as Virginia took back the land it ceded in 1847 (present-day Arlington County and part of Alexandria). Such an action would require an act of Congress and approval from the State of Maryland. This would make residents of the District residents of a State without granting the District statehood "per se".

Other suggestions include allowing voting rights in the House of Representatives, but not in the Senate, to reflect what some view as the uniquely non-state status of the District. This proposal for a District of Columbia vote in the House of Representatives has been passed in the House, but has yet to be put to a vote on the floor of the Senate. This proposal has been cited for constitutional problems because the Constitution dictates that representation must come "from the several states," and since the District of Columbia is not a state the bill would be disputed in court.

License plates

In November 2000, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing license plates bearing the slogan "Taxation without representation".cite news
title=Message Gets Rolling; D.C. Government Enlists Residents' Vehicles In Campaign for Congressional Representation
work=The Washington Post
] Former President Bill Clinton had these plates placed on the presidential limousines during the last few months of his administration. However, President George W. Bush, in one of his first official acts as president, had the tags removed. [cite news
title=Transition in Washington; Political License Plate Is Out, Bush Says
work=The New York Times

See also

* Washington, D.C.
* District of Columbia voting rights
* District of Columbia home rule
* District of Columbia vote in the United States House of Representatives


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • District of Columbia statehood movement — The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry has designed this 51 star national flag for use in the event that a state is admitted as the fifty first state. The District of Columbia statehood movement is a political movement that advocates making the… …   Wikipedia

  • Alaska Statehood Act — The Alaska Statehood Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 7, 1958, allowing Alaska to become the 49th U.S. state on January 3, 1959. History: The Road to Statehood Alaska s struggle for statehood was a long and difficult one.… …   Wikipedia

  • D.C. Statehood Green Party — Part of a series on Green politics …   Wikipedia

  • Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement — encompasses criticism of the doctrines, practices, and histories of the denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement, including the largest denomination, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS Church). The movement has been the… …   Wikipedia

  • Srikrishna committee's involvement in the Telangana movement — Srikrishna committee on Telangana or Committee for consultations on the situation in Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP) is a committee headed by former chief justice B. N. Srikrishna to look into the demand for separate statehood for Telangana or keep the… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish resistance movement — was the resistance movement in Poland. Although the majority of the szlachta was reconciled to the end of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, the possibility of Polish independence was kept alive by events within and without Poland… …   Wikipedia

  • Quebec sovereignty movement — The Quebec sovereignty movement ( fr. Mouvement souverainiste du Québec) is a political movement aimed at either attaining independent statehood (sovereignty) or some degree of greater political autonomy [… …   Wikipedia

  • Illyrian movement — Danica Ilirska, Ljudevit Gaj s newspaper. The Illyrian movement (Croatian: Ilirski pokret, Slovene: Ilirsko gibanje), also Croatian national revival (Hrvatski narodni preporod), was a cultural and political campaign with roots in the early modern …   Wikipedia

  • Russian Liberation Movement — (Русское Освободительное Движение) is a term used to describe Russians during World War II who tried to create an anti communist armed force which would topple the regime of Joseph Stalin. Such a movement included not only Russians but peoples of …   Wikipedia

  • English-only movement — English only movement, also known as Official English movement, refers to a political movement for the use only of the English language in official government operations through the establishing of English as the only official language in the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.