51 for 51 Joins Forces with Color Of Change to Fight for D.C. Statehood

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Thursday, July 9, 2020



51 for 51 Joins Forces with Color Of Change to Fight for D.C. Statehood

Racial Justice and Democracy Reform are at the Heart of the Statehood Movement

WASHINGTON — Today, 51 for 51 announced its partnership with Color Of Change to fight for D.C. statehood with 51 votes in the Senate. Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization with over 1.7 million members, is on the frontlines in the fight against systemic racism and police brutality. Alongside a coalition of partners, Color Of Change and 51 for 51 will work together to emphasize the racial justice case for D.C. statehood.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Color Of Change in the fight for D.C. statehood and against systemic racism,” said 51 for 51 Campaign Director Stasha Rhodes. “The reason that Washington D.C.’s 700,000 residents are not fully represented in our democracy is racism. The statehood movement is at a critical inflection point — legislation just passed in the House and people outside of the District are beginning to understand statehood as a fundamental civil rights issue. Partnering with Color Of Change will allow us to push the movement for equal representation forward in powerful ways. Together we will make D.C. the 51st state with a simple majority in the Senate and take a big step towards a more just democracy.”

“Color Of Change is proud to partner with 51 for 51 in the fight for a real, politically viable path to D.C. statehood and full representation for 700,000 mostly Black and Brown Washingtonians,” said Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson. “As illustrated by Trump’s unwarranted deployment of federal troops to violently abuse protesters outside the White House, when D.C. residents are wrongfully excluded from the rights and protections of statehood, local residents and our country as a whole suffer.”

The House passage of D.C. statehood was 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 bypassing the filibuster with a simple rule change that would allow D.C. to become the 51st state with 51 votes in the Senate.

Over the past week, McConnell and his Senate allies vowed to block any D.C. statehood efforts, making thinly veiled racist attacks on the residents of D.C. McConnell called our movement “war on the rulebook itself” and he’s right. The rules were written to exclude Black and Brown people, and after 200 years, 51 for 51 and Color of Change, along with other coalition partners including, Stand Up America, Brady United Against Gun Violence, The American Federation of Teachers, Town Hall Project, Next Gen America, Democracy for America and others, are building momentum for overdue structural change.


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.

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

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