Over 100 Michigan and National Groups Press Sen. Peters to Move D.C. Statehood Bill to Senate Markup
Michigan LCV Education Fund, ACLU Michigan, Women’s March Ann Arbor, Among Groups Joining 51 for 51 in Sending Letter to Sen. Peters Supporting Washington, D.C. Admissions Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, 51 for 51 and over 100 Michigan-based and national advocacy groups released a letter calling on Senator Gary Peters, the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to hold a Senate markup and pass the bill to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state. Sen. Peters could make history following this call, since a statehood bill has never received a Senate markup before.
51 for 51, the nation’s leading D.C. statehood group, was joined by prominent Michigan groups including Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, ACLU of Michigan, Bend the Arc Social Action: Greater Ann Arbor, Detroit Action, Statewide Indivisible Michigan, The Alliance for the Great Lakes, Women of Michigan Action Network, and Women’s March Ann Arbor in sending this letter. Original signatories of the letter include DC Vote, Neighbors United for DC Statehood, Indivisible, Stand Up America, Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO, and The ACLU of the District of Columbia.
“We cannot sit idly by while 700,000 of our fellow Americans lack a vote in Congress — we must use our privilege of representation as residents of Michigan to call for D.C. statehood and democracy for all,” said Bentley Johnson, Federal Government Affairs Director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “The fights for D.C. statehood and environmental justice are deeply interconnected. Low-income and Black communities have historically suffered the consequences of environmental racism, and D.C., as a majority Black and Brown community, has faced this for generations while being denied foundational representation in Congress. As Michiganders, we thank Senator Peters for holding a hearing on this issue and now urge him to hold a markup and pass D.C. statehood to correct this injustice and continue being a champion for voting rights and the health of our planet.
“We’re calling on Sen. Peters now, as organizers across the country are demanding federal voting rights protections and an end to the Jim Crow filibuster, because D.C. statehood is a key part of this conversation,” said Jamal Holtz, Lead Organizer of 51 for 51. “D.C. statehood is a voting rights issue and a racial justice issue: the 700,000 residents of D.C. are mostly Black and Brown and D.C. would be the first state with a plurality of Black residents. Chairman Peters has the opportunity to make history by bringing a D.C. statehood bill out of committee and on the path to reality. We have faith that he will work with his committee and his caucus to protect our democracy and help make D.C. the 51st state.”
Earlier this year, Senator Peters held a Senate hearing on D.C. statehood after 51 for 51 led 100 groups in calling for this next step. The Washington, D.C. Admissions Act passed in the House earlier this year for the second time ever, and now has a record number of 46 Senators supporting the bill — now a markup is the next step before a full Senate floor vote.
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About 51 for 51:
51 for 51 is a coalition of D.C.-based and national groups committed to equal representation for the over 700,000 D.C. residents who remain locked out of our democracy. The coalition of 20 progressive groups believe American citizens living in the District deserve a voice in Congress and control over their own local laws. Already, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Senators Warren, Markey, Gillibrand and Hickenlooper have endorsed 51 for 51’s proposed path to statehood.