March for Equality, Take a Stand for Statehood

There are many good components in Councilmember Vincent Orange’s resolution to promote the statehood cause through a multi-media campaign and a petition drive. The name (D.C. Statehood Or Else) should be tabled and but the basic premise should be preserved, nurtured, and developed into something meaningful, impactful, and inspiring. Instead of a multi-media campaign for a petition drive let’s have a similar campaign for a march, rally, and storming of the Capitol for D.C. statehood on April 15, 2016 (peaceably & non-violently of course).

In April 2016, the nation will be in the middle of presidential primary campaigns and as usual both D.C. Emancipation Day and Tax Day will be back to back on the 15th and 16th. With all three events occurring we in the District should use the 15th of April to hold a large march, rally, and advocacy event on the Hill to push for action on the statehood bill in the House and the Senate (yes, I know who controls Congress & I know they care not a lick about us). While delivering petitions would be significant what if we flooded the Halls of Congress with tens of thousands of District residents peaceably demanding action on the statehood bills before Congress. We could potentially shut the House and Senate office buildings down by simply having too many District residents showing up to seek equality in American democracy. Have the House or Senate office buildings ever been shut down for having too many people advocating for a cause, if not, why not us?

The day could begin with a pre-march rally in Freedom Plaza to both educate the audience on the significance of D.C. Emancipation Day and importance of the statehood struggle as a signature piece in creating a more democratic and thus more perfect union. The rally would focus on honoring our past and reaffirming our push for the future. From Freedom Plaza we would march down Pennsylvania Ave. holding our 1040 tax forms in our hands showing the nation that we pay taxes too ($1.7 billion in federal income taxes & $25 billion in contributions to gross federal revenue) yet we lack representation like those in the 50 states. A rally at the steps of the Capitol which would be get people excited and prepared to walk the Hall of Congress. Participants would then break-up and flood the House and Senate office buildings with statehood supporters still holding our 1040s showing offices we pay our taxes thus it’s time to guarantee us representation. We would go to each office of those not openly supporting statehood and make the case for why they should pledge their support for the statehood bills and go to the offices of open supporters to offer our thanks. A select group would head to the offices of House and Senate leaders to demand that action be taken on the statehood bills.

In the midst of a presidential campaign if we should aim organize 100,000 people (1/6 of the District’s population) for this rally, march, and storming of the Hill we could make national news. We could show the nation that the District cares about statehood. We could show the nation that we can peaceably and legally shut down the Capitol if we so choose until their representatives take the initiative to make us whole and equal citizens as the 51st state in the union. We could do the most America thing of all during the heart of a presidential campaign, on tax day, and in honor of D.C. Emancipation Day: we could peaceably but forcefully exercise our right to petition our government to treat us fairly and equally.

President Lincoln chose to free enslaved African-Americans in the District of Columbia before freeing those in other states because he realized there was something unholy, unjust, and un-American going on in the neighborhoods that surrounded the White House and the Capitol. During a presidential campaign with Tax Day and D.C. Emancipation Day being back to back it’s time that District residents stand up for ourselves, march for ourselves, and advocate for ourselves to let the nation know that something unholy, unjust, and un-America is still imposed on the people of the District of Columbia and only statehood can set us free.

I’m ready to rally, march, and advocate for D.C. statehood on April 15th, 2016, how about you?

Josh Burch
Brookland

unitedforstatehood@gmail.com

A future post will delve into how we get 100,000 people to join this event. It can be done. If we want to be a state it must be done.

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What Can You Do for D.C. Statehood?

Here are a few suggestions for how each and every one of us can participate in the statehood movement:

  1. Host a meet and greet at your house. Invite friends and family over for a discussion on statehood – Neighbors United for DC Statehood would be happy to attend and facilitate. It’s a great way to learn about the cause and ask questions in a comfortable and informal setting. Email us to schedule: unitedforstatehood@gmail.com
  2. Invite someone familiar with D.C. history and the statehood cause to your place of worship, school, or civic group to discuss D.C. democratic history and the push for statehood. Have the group pass a resolution in support of D.C. Statehood. Here is a sample: DCStatehoodResolution Every single ANC & Civic/Citizen Association should pass these resolutions!
  3. Write, call, or visit members of Congress and ask that they support the statehood bill. To start with email these priority Senators: Potential Senate Cosponsors
  4. Ask your friends and relatives in the 50 states to lobby THEIR members of Congress to support statehood.
  5. Write an Op-Ed to a newspaper where you have friends or family around the country to help raise awareness about the statehood cause.

Josh Burch

Brookland, DC

There are lots of other ways to be engaged in the statehood cause and we encourage you to find something you want to do for the cause and do it well. We all play a role in making statehood a reality so let’s get to work!

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And the winners are…

People across the District embraced the D.C. Flag Day photo contest with great vigor and for that we are heartened, inspired, and grateful. We received an overwhelming number of submissions from across the District that showed people’s pride in the District and allegiance to the cause that would make us full and equal citizens: statehood. Photos submissions were evaluated by a team of untrained professionals who have big hearts, sound minds, and a commitment to the statehood cause. The unlicensed, unregistered, and barely qualified accounting firm of Burch & Associates tallied the scores of the judges to verify the below DC Flag Day 2015 Award Winners:

Best Citizen Statehood Shot: @SMC_DC

Best Council Statehood Shot: Anita Bonds

Best Citizen Group Shot: Capital Rowing Club

Best Council Group Shot: Laruby May’s

Best Council Shot for Artistic Expression: David Grosso who took photos of fantastic DC Flag artwork all over the city.

Best Citizen Shot for Artistic Expression: Lyndsey Medsker

Best Ward (most photo submissions): Ward 6

Grand Champion: Anita Bonds & Staff

There were so many fantastic shots that judging was extremely hard and there are a few photos that we had to post below in our newly created “Honorable Mention for Kick-Ass Photo” Section.

DCWATER

DC VOTE

ACLU-NCA

Jason Kopp

Andy Le

Mr. Henry’s

This was a lot of fun this year and it was great to see such positive energy and civic pride. Our challenge remains however to turn this civic pride and energy into a sustained and powerful movement for statehood. Our goal is to one day celebrate Flag Day by hoisting a 51 star U.S. flag that includes the District of Columbia as a full in equal member as one of the United States of America.

Email us if you want to join the statehood movement, there’s something for everyone to do! unitedforstatehood@gmail.com

Josh Burch

Neighbors United for DC Statehood

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Flag Day 2015 – We Deserve Statehood

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On Flag Day Americans around the country celebrate the American flag while we in the District are celebrating our flag, the District flag. The American flag has 50 stars for the 50 states in the union but nothing for the District of Columbia or its citizens. The American flag like American democracy leaves us out despite the fact that we fulfill all obligations of citizenship. Thus we raise our own flag, the District flag, high and proud because it’s ours. We hold it up with our families, tattoo it on our bodies, wear it on clothes, use it as business logos and many other ways to help us show that the flag in a unifying symbol for those of us who live in and love the District of Columbia. The District flag gives us a sense place, pride, and wholeness that the American flag does not and will not until it adds a 51st star for those of us who live in the shadows of the Capitol and thus the shadows of democracy.

District citizens are seeking statehood which mirrors what our founders sought: a fair voice and a fair vote in the governing of the people, place, and country that we love. The push for statehood is about seeking equal treatment with our family members, friends, and neighbors in the 50 states.

And so on Flag Day as with every day our message to our brothers and sisters across the country is simple:

We are just like you.

We live. We work. We struggle. We laugh. We love!

We believe in fairness. We believe in equality. We believe in our country.

We believe in statehood.

We Deserve Statehood.

 

Neighbors United for DC Statehood

To help the statehood cause please email us at unitedforstatehood@gmail.com

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DC Flag Day Photo Contest!!!

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Neighbors United for D.C. Statehood will be hosting a photo contest to celebrate our pride in the District through celebrating our flag while also raising awareness about our desire to have our star added to the U.S. flag as the 51st state in the union. From June 8-13th residents from around the District will be encouraged to take photos with the flag to highlight civic pride and express desire control over our own affairs and equal representation in Congress through statehood.

On Flag Day, June 14th, the photos taken will be posted on a webpage similar to years past and then through email, Twitter, Facebook, and other venues will be shared with friends and neighbors around the country to highlight civic pride and raise awareness about the struggle for statehood.

This year members of the D.C. Council will be encouraging constituents to take DC Flag photos. Councilmembers and community members who take the best photos will be recognized with a snazzy certificate of recognition. Photos should be personal and District-centric as these photos are intended to convey our story, a personal story, about our yearning for equal status to the larger American audience.

Please join this effort and take a photo with the D.C. flag at your home, at a school, at a special place in your neighborhood, or think outside the box and send us something we’d never expect. Creativity is encouraged over conformity!

Awards will be given for the following categories:

  • Best Ward- Given to the CM with the highest volume of individual tweets with their Wards hashtag (#Ward1, #Ward7, etc.)
  • Best Group Shot- Given to the CM and/or community group who submits the best group photo
  • Artistic Expression- Given to the CM and/or community group who submits the best artistic photo
  • Best Statehood Shot- Given to the CM and/or community group/member who submits the best shot symbolic of the fight for statehood.

How to submit photos

  1. Email photos to unitedforstatehood@gmail.com and let us know what Ward you are in or which CM encouraged you to participate. And any details about the group/people that took the photos (names, etc). The more information the better. By emailing us you give us permission to post the photo publicly.
  2. Twitter: Post the photo on Twitter with the #DCFlagDay and #DCStatehood hashtags so we can find them. If posting to support a specific CM post their twitter account in the tweet too (ie. @kenyanmcduffie)

Judging and winners

Neighbors United for DC Statehood will judge submissions and the winners will be announced on Monday, June 15th. All winners will receive a plaque and the CM who gets the most constituents to tag them in emails/tweets will receive the esteemed D.C. Flag Day trophy.

This contest should be a fun and interactive way to highlight civic pride and let the country know what we want and deserve: statehood.

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