Statehood Advocacy Day – April 16th, 2014

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States of Corruption

Over the last couple of days elected officials in California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have either been subjects of law enforcement raids or formal charges related to corruption brought against them. We in the District know a thing or two about corruption but what makes us different is that our detractors use it as justification for us to be denied equal civil and political rights in America. I’ve never bought the argument that “we’re too corrupt to be a state” because when you look at the states most of them have present day or histories of corruption.

The only path toward statehood is through Congress, an institution that knows both corruption and hypocrisy. And while Congress has not passed many bills this year or last they do spend a lot of time on ceremonial resolutions. If the District’s Delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, wanted to have some fun and make a point at the same time I suggest she craft and offer a ceremonial resolution supporting and defending the rights to self-government, the right to national congressional representation, and the right of the people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island (and other states should be on this resolution too, Virginia) to be treated equally with their neighbors in the rest of the country despite corruption in their state.

I’m no lawyer but I know how to use ‘the Google’ and I served as both a Senate Page and intern while in high school so clearly I’m almost qualified to craft relatively meaningless ceremonial congressional resolutions. I’ll leave it up to our Delegate and her staff to craft a real whopper of an irony laced resolution but here’s my first draft:

A Sense of the Congress Resolution in support of democracy for states that have corrupt elected official.

Whereas, corruption by elected officials in the United States shall be handled by the legal system and/or the ballot box;

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island deserve to keep their representatives in Congress because national representation is a right all Americans deserve;

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island shall not be required to send their state budgets to Congress for approval;

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island shall continue to be free and clear of having a meddlesome Congress impose laws solely focused on those states (especially on issues like abortion, gun rights, or needle exchanges);

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island shall continue to enjoy the right of being able to determine the maximum height of buildings within their borders;

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island shall not have to have their state and local laws subjected to a congressional review period;

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island shall continue to have their Senators vote to confirm or disapprove of federal appointees including judges to all federal courts in the land;

Whereas, the good people of California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island shall be able to keep their state and local government operations open even if a reckless Congress can’t do its job and pass a budget;

Whereas, California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island are not the only states with corruption so let’s not start getting on our own congressional high horse lest someone hold a mirror up to us or our own states;

Therefore, be it resolved that only the perpetrators of crimes in the states shall be punished and in no way shape or form shall the corrupt practices of public officials in the states infringe upon the fundamental democratic rights of citizens in those states because all Americans are created and shall be treated equally.

It’s just an suggestion so feel free to ignore me, most do.

Josh Burch
Brookland, DC

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DC Statehood Benefit Concert – March 29th at 6:30pm

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Statehood Meeting – Sat. March 8th at 3pm

Join us this Saturday, March 8th, for our monthly statehood meeting at a private residence in Brookland. Please RSVP to unitedforstatehood@gmail.com so we can give you the exact address and have an accurate head count as a courtesy to our hosts. The meeting will start at 3pm and we’ll cover a range of topics which will include but not be limited to:

  • Legislative Update: House & Senate progress over the last month
  • Planning for our April 16th Lobby Day
  • Update & Coordination for Statehood Concert (late March)
  • Community Outreach & Education
  • Other items you so desire to be included in the meeting…

We hope you’ll join us. These meetings are for any and everybody who wants to contribute positively toward the statehood effort or simply for those who want to learn more.

 

Oh, and as a reminder, our group is non-partisan and open to all. We are all equal partners in this movement. We are in this together.

 

Neighbors United for DC Statehood

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DC Statehood As Easy as 1, 2, 3

A few weeks back we hosted the DC Statehood Snow Day Triathlon and participants complained that the rigor of the triathlon was just too darn hard. So this snow day we’re toning it down a bit with a few things that a can be done over the course of the day through brief emails or tweets. Yep, you can lend your voice to the cause with as little or as much as 140 characters and if you think it won’t work just see what happened when we asked Senator Cory Booker about DC statehood.

Below are three easy steps to contribute toward pushing for statehood but first some background information: Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the statehood bill (S. 132, the New Columbia Admission Act) early in 2013 and has committed to holding a hearing on the bill but has not set a schedule for it. Presently, the bill only has 10 cosponsors and we need to build support throughout the Senate to help build pressure for a hearing and to help build a coalition to push the bill toward passage. This won’t happen if we don’t speak up for ourselves so here are a few easy ways to lend your voice to this cause. So here’s what to do:

1.       Old Friends: There are currently eight US Senators (Brown, Cantwell, Leahy, Rockefeller, Wyden, Markey, Menendez, & Schumer) who have supported DC statehood on the record previously back in 1993 but are not presently cosponsors of S. 132 (DC statehood bill). Either thru emailing their staff or sending a tweet to their official accounts ask them to cosponsor S. 132 & show their support for DC statehood. We need to show support for DC statehood and we need to start building momentum for the bill and one way to do that is by increasing the number of cosponsors on the bill. Here’s their contact information: StatehoodOldFriends

2.       First Step, A Hearing: Senator Carper committed to hold a hearing on the statehood bill last year and we should make sure to remind him, politely, that we look forward to having that hearing…and soon! Use Twitter or Email to remind Senator Carper that we expect & we look forward to the hearing this year.

3.       Reach One, Teach One: The statehood cause seems to be more popular, albeit not popular enough, among Democrats. It’s highly unlikely that statehood will become a reality without Republican support so pick one of the following Republican Senators (whom I’ve deemed our best hope for bipartisanship) and send their staff an email encouraging them to support the statehood bill. Here’s who & how to contact them: GrandOldPartiers

And as a bonus, at 1:30pm you can join Senator Angus King (I-ME) for an Q & A on his Facebook page and be sure to ask him if he thinks the 646,000 tax paying citizens in the District deserve to be treated equally as the 51st state.

It’s only one day and only a few moments of work to complete the above tasks but if we all do it, if all 646,000 of us called or email Senator Leahy’s office about DC statehood surely he’d feel compelled to once again cosponsor the statehood bill. We all must own this movement and we all must contribute in order to make statehood a reality for your family & mine.

Stay warm, stay safe, and stay active,

Josh Burch

Brookland, DC

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