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.

Advocates

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

History

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.

Alternatives

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
first=Sewell
last=Chan
work=The Washington Post
page=C01
date=2000-11-05
url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/63411917.html?FMT=ABS
accessdate=2008-08-06
] 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
url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06E0DB173CF93AA25752C0A9679C8B63
work=The New York Times
date=2001-01-19
accessdate=2008-08-06
]

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

References


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