New D.C. Statehood Campaign Targets 2020 Presidential Candidates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
New D.C. Statehood Campaign Targets 2020 Presidential Candidates; Demands Simple Majority of 51 Congressional Votes for Washington D.C. Statehood
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tuesday, a non-partisan coalition comprised of more than 15 DC-based and national grassroots groups committed to equal representation rights for the nearly 700,000 tax-paying D.C. residents announced their plans to bring the issue of Washington D.C. statehood to the presidential campaign trail.
The new campaign, 51 for 51, looks to get presidential candidates on record with a promise to make statehood happen, demanding any bill advancing statehood move forward in the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes — the same number that can advance a Supreme Court nominee to a lifetime appointment.
Washington, D.C. residents pay the highest taxes per capita compared to the residents of any other state, yet residents still do not have voting representation in Congress. Additionally, D.C. residents overwhelmingly face interference from Congress on issues ranging from local budgets and marijuana regulation to restrictive abortion laws and gun violence prevention.
Two presidential candidates have already endorsed 51 for 51 this week, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Washington Governor Jay Inslee — voicing public support for also changing the filibuster rule.
As part of the 51 for 51 coalition efforts, natives of the district will be traveling to early primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to make sure the issue is front and center for presidential candidates.
The more than $600k campaign will help raise public awareness about the inequalities D.C. residents face, by making their presence known at 2020 campaign events and debates, in addition to traditional grassroots advertising and doorknocking.
This past March, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, which looks to enfranchise residents currently living in the District of Columbia and make Washington, D.C. the country’s 51st state. All seven U.S. senators who have officially announced their president candidacy have co-sponsored a statehood bill.
“America’s history of denying full civil and political rights to large segments of society is shameful, including how it still treats the people of D.C. The people of D.C. fulfill all obligations of citizenship yet are still denied their most fundamental rights: the right to equal congressional representation and autonomy over our own affairs,” Josh Burch, Founder of Neighbors United for DC Statehood.
“The seven-hundred thousand people who call Washington, D.C. home are Americans, just like everyone else. Yet for more than 200 years, we have lived under the original form of voter suppression. It’s time to ensure full and equal representation for everyone through D.C. statehood,” Bo Shuff, Executive Director of DC Vote.
“It’s now time to move the D.C. cannabis economy into a regulated marketplace,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “Congress is actively preventing the will of the voters to enact thoughtful regulations which would restrict access by minors, ensure product quality and consumer safety, and improve community-police relations. Statehood for D.C. would end this interference and allow the district to move forward as others states have done so successfully.”
51 for 51 is a coalition comprised of DC-based and national groups committed to equal representation rights for D.C.’s over 700,000 residents.