51 for 51 Commends the Historic Passage of D.C. Statehood in the House, Looks Ahead To Campaign For Senate Passage


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Friday June 26, 2020



51 for 51 Commends the Historic Passage of D.C. Statehood in the House, Looks Ahead To Campaign For Senate Passage

A Simple Rule Change Would Allow D.C. Statehood to Pass with 51 Votes in the Senate

WASHINGTON — Today, 51 for 51 commended the historic passage of the Washington D.C. Admission Act, a bill that would make D.C. our nation’s 51st state and give its citizens equal representation in Congress. The vote coincides with 51 for 51’s new campaign “We Can’t Wait,” an urgent call for the Senate to show courage by amending the rules and bypassing the filibuster to advance D.C.’s 51st state with 51 votes.

The House vote is a historic step toward full representation for over 700,000 Americans in D.C., a majority of them Black and Brown, who have been denied a vote in Congress for over 200 years. But it is just the first step. Unfortunately, McConnell and his allies have continuously used arcane procedural hurdles to kill civil rights legislation. The only viable path for D.C. statehood through McConnell’s obstruction is for the Senate to undergo a rules change — bypassing the filibuster — that would allow D.C. to become the 51st state with 51 votes in the Senate. If 51 votes is good enough for McConnell to confirm two Supreme Court Justices, it is good enough to give 700,000 Americans equal representation in Congress.

In response to the passage of D.C. statehood in the House of Representatives, 51 for 51 Campaign Director Stasha Rhodes and 51 for 51 Youth Advocates released the following statements:

“I would like to thank Congresswoman Norton for her tireless efforts over the last two decades to bring us to this point,” said 51 for 51 Campaign Director Stasha Rhodes. “Denying D.C. statehood to over 700,000 residents, the majority of them Black and Brown, is systemic racism. For over 200 years, citizens in the District of Columbia have been locked out of our democracy. We refuse to accept Mitch McConnell’s constant and reckless obstruction. D.C. statehood is one of the most urgent civil rights and racial justice issues of our time—and we know we are on the right side of history.”

“D.C. statehood is a fight for access, a fight for resources, and a fight for equity,” said 51 for 51 Youth Advocate Jamal Holtz. “It’s an injustice that DC residents don’t have access to democracy. Now is the time for people like myself to keep amplifying this struggle and showing that we have been talking about this issue for years, and this is still a problem to this day.”

“D.C. is the seat of our democracy, but as a D.C. resident, I don’t have voting power in the Capitol building just a short walk from home,” said 51 for 51 Youth Advocate Ty Hobson-Powell. “The Senate has ignored the needs of Washingtonians throughout the coronavirus crisis and Trump’s abuses of federal power. We demand justice and recognition as equal participants in our government.”



51 for 51 is a coalition comprised of D.C.–based and national groups committed to equal representation rights for D.C.’s over 700,000 residents. The coalition of 20 progressive groups says American citizens living in the District deserve a voice in Congress and control over their own local laws.

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