DC Trivia #2 & Statehood in the Senate


DC Trivia Night #2
I’m excited to announce that we’ll host our 2nd DC Trivia Night at Steel Plate in Brookland from 8-10pm on December 9, 2015. All are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate. Like last time we’ll have guest MCs including Councilmembers David Grosso and Kenyan McDuffie, and Congresswoman Norton who will each ask questions for a couple of the rounds. This is a fun way to learn about DC’s rich history and culture and I hope you will be able to join us. Here’s the Facebook Event Page for it and please share it with your friends, family, and neighbors.
While your attendance is most important we need assistance with a few other things too that evening:
  1. We need 2-3 volunteers to help collect score sheets & help with tabulating scores in-between rounds.
  2. We would like a couple of sponsors to provide prizes for winning teams. It’d be great if a local business could help us with prizes for the 1st-4th place teams. Prizes can be either as simple as paying for a round of drinks or something else. It’s a great way to support a good cause and get your name out there! I’m willing to help with suggestions.
Senate Cosponsors
We’re making progress on the statehood front in Congress with 127 Cosponsors in the House & 18 in the Senate but we have a lot of work to do. Recently, I was on the Hill meeting with Senate offices again and had one office commit to cosponsoring the bill (though not officially on it yet) but there are still others who I believe will get on the bill with just a bit more pressure from us and their constituents. Every staffer I met with said these emails count as they use them to make the case that people are asking for Senators to support statehood. Thus if you have friends and family in Minnesota, Connecticut, Oregon, Michigan, and New Mexico please let me know and I’ll give you a brief summary as to why each Senator should join the bill that you can share with others. Or feel free to email them directly:
As Frederick Douglass said “power concedes nothing without a demand” so let’s demand equality via statehood from the above listed Senators and keep building support for our cause.
Keep well and see you on December 9th at Steel Plate!
Brookland, DC
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Continuing Revolution

Keeping the government open is a good thing and good government doing so while also denying citizens of the nation’s capital the right to vote in Congress and the right to control our own local laws and budget is anti-democratic. The continuing resolution (CR) will keep the federal government open into December but it also continues to impose policy riders on the District covering an array of issues including our right to spend money on reproductive health services for low income women and the right to spend funds related to Initiative 71.

While we are continuously shut out of Congress and denied final say on our own affairs that does not mean we should stay silent. Statehood is the only legislative path forward that will permanently grant us full and equal congressional representation and free us from congressional meddling in our local laws and budget.

We need to let staff/offices know now that this budget has anti-democratic components to it focused squarely and solely on the 658,000 citizens of the District of Columbia who contribute more in federal revenues than 21 states and we are none to happy about it.

Please send an email to the staff/offices listed below and let them know it’s time they support democracy for ALL Americans and add their name as cosponsors to the D.C. statehood bill, S. 1688:

Name State Staff Lead Email
Blumenthal, Richard CT Don Bell don_bell@blumenthal.senate.gov
Cantwell, Maria WA Pete Modaff pete_modaff@cantwell.senate.gov
Heinrich, Martin NM Jude McCartin jude_mccartin@heinrich.senate.gov
Hirono, Mazie HI Coti Haia coti_haia@hirono.senate.gov
Kaine, Tim VA Mary Naylor mary_naylor@kaine.senate.gov
King, Angus ME Chad Metzler chad_metzler@king.senate.gov
Kirk, Mark IL Greg Tosi greg_tosi@kirk.senate.gov
Klobuchar, Amy MN Travis Talvitie travis_talvitie@klobuchar.senate.gov
Merkley, Jeff OR Jeremiah Baumann jeremiah_baumann@merkley.senate.gov
Murphy, Chris CT David Bonine david_bonine@murphy.senate.gov
Peters, Gary MI David Weinberg david_weinberg@peters.senate.gov
Portman, Rob OH Pam Thiessen pam_thiessen@portman.senate.gov
Schatz, Brian HI Dale Hahn dale_hahn@schatz.senate.gov
Stabenow, Debbie MI Emily Carwell emily_carwell@stabenow.senate.gov
Udall, Tom NM Andrew Wallace andrew_wallace@tomudall.senate.gov
Warner, Mark VA Elizabeth Falcone elizabeth_falcone@warner.senate.gov
Whitehouse, Sheldon RI Lara Quint lara_quint@judiciary-dem.senate.gov
Wyden, Ron OR Sarah Bittleman sarah_bittleman@wyden.senate.gov



Brookland, DC

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Fall Forward for D.C. Statehood

We will be tabling a couple of community events in the coming weeks (H St. Fest on 9/19 and RIA Fest on 10/3) to help educate others about the statehood cause and to recruit new people to the movement. We need people to help table these events. And yes, tabling is fun, no really, it is! It’s a great chance to talk with people about what we are doing and they can share with us what they think we should be doing. In addition to sharing information we’ll have some D.C. statehood temporary tattoos for folks, bumper stickers, and other goodies. We hope you can join us to table for an hour or two. It’s always great to have a few folks there at once.

To sign up to table please fill out this Doodle calendar: http://doodle.com/bakdm9ubvrpggzk2

And lastly, we will be renewing our push to add cosponsors to the statehood bill in the Senate this fall and could use your voice and that of your family and friends in this effort. In particular, we’re focusing on roughly 20 Senators (Senators_Fall2015) with the goal of adding cosponsors to the current bill knowing that this Senate won’t take up the statehood bill but we’ll be widening our support come next Congress. As such we need to know who is willing to help send emails, draft op-eds, make a call, or some other action to keep this on the radars of Senators. Please fill out this spreadsheet so we know who can help with which states:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aWo5A5sWYvDcvxGaBrss5jbbfmEy42EJ-eJIgV_1bMM/edit?usp=sharing

We hope to see, speak with, and learn from you at H St. Festival or RIA Fest!


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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


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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