On Tuesday, October 18, the DC Council amended and approved a final constitution prior to the vote on statehood scheduled for November 8th (with early voting starting on Oct. 22nd). Thanks to Councilmembers Grosso, McDuffie, Allen, Silverman, White, Nadeau, Alexander, and May the constitution now mandates that a constitutional convention of elected delegates takes place within 2 years after our admission as the 51st state. This is a huge pro-democracy step forward and we all should send our thanks to the aforementioned Councilmembers as this ensures that our new state government will be crafted by elected citizen delegates from across the new state!
Please vote YES and encourage others to vote YES for statehood on Nov. 8 (early voting starts Oct. 22) as well. Talk to friends, neighbors, and coworkers directly about it, promote it on social media, and post on neighborhood listserves. We need to have this referendum receive overwhelming support so that the nation and our “friends” in Congress can see that the people of DC clearly want to be granted statehood.
This vote alone will not make us a state therefore we have a lot of work before us to make the dream of statehood a reality. As such on November 2nd from 7-9pm at Brookland Pint we’ll be having a Fall planning meeting to discuss what to do in the week leading up to Election Day and what to do in the remaining months of the 114th Congress after the vote (including our Op-Ed Writer’s Project for DC Statehood).
Please email us at unitedforstatehood at gmail dot com if you’ll be joining us on Nov. 2 and please tell your friends and neighbors to Vote YES for Statehood on November 8th. You can get a yard sign for the referendum here: http://www.statehoodyes.com/
One of the most cost effective and far reaching ways to spread the word about statehood is to get op-eds published about moral, legal, and constitutional case for D.C. statehood. Over the last several years we’ve done a good job of getting op-eds published in papers around the country but there is more to do. After the referendum on statehood this November our hope is to have allies across the country send in Op-Eds to their local papers asking their members of Congress to stand with the people of DC and support statehood. We need volunteers to start drafting their own Op-Eds and recruiting friends and family in Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, and any other you so choose to take part in this effort.
The best time to submit Op-Eds will be after November’s vote on the referendum for statehood that way, provided it passes, the case for statehood will be reinforced by a positive vote for it by the people of D.C. Our goal with these Op-Eds are two-fold: 1) to raise awareness about the statehood cause in the 50 states and 2) to build our list of cosponsors on both the House (HR 317) & Senate (S 1688) statehood bills.
Below are a couple of Op-Eds that we’ve gotten published in papers around the country over the last few years but it has been hard as most papers prefer local people writing their Op-Eds not folks from DC like me.
Please let us know if you are willing to draft an Op-Ed for a particular state and newspaper and/or if you can convince a friend or family member in one of those states to submit it for us. Send us an email at unitedforstatehood at gmail dot com and we can send you fact sheets and talking points to help build an effective and powerful Op-Ed.
As August draws to a close we need to start preparing for an action packed month of September and the rest of the fall as there’s lots happening on the statehood front. As always the you can help us build cosponsors on the statehood bill in the Senate by contacting the offices listed here
but there’s so much more that we need your help on. Here are some upcoming events where we need you to help us spread the good word on statehood, recruit new people to the movement, and to help make our proposed draft constitution better:
- H St. Festival: On September 17, from 11-5pm we’ll be tabling at H St. Festival. Once again this year the organizers have donated a table and tent to us because they like our group and love our cause. This is a fantastic event to recruit new people to our movement so that we can continue to build the grassroots movement for statehood. At our table we’ll once again be doing temporary tattoos, handing out bumper stickers, recruiting volunteers, and maybe even selling a few t-shirts. It’s a great event and if you lend an hour or two to the cause we’d love to have you with us. Please fill out this calendar if you can help us for an hour or two from 11am-5pm: http://doodle.com/poll/5idf7eeh3adygatb
- Constitution Hearings: The DC Council Committee of the Whole will be holding two hearings on the statehood constitution. This is the time to voice your opinion about the process followed thus far in developing a constitution and on the substance of the draft constitution that we’ll be voting on this Nov. 8th. The first hearing will be on September 27th at 11am (http://dccouncil.us/events/cow-public-hearing5) and the second hearing will be October 6th at 6:30pm (http://dccouncil.us/events/cow-public-hearing6). Please go to the aforementioned links to sign-up to testify for either hearing. Your voice is needed in this important process!
- Rhode Island Ave. Fest: On October 1, we might (provided people sign-up) once again table at Rhode Island Ave Fest to continue our efforts to recruit new members and expand the movement. If you’re interested in helping table this event, similar to H St. Fest, we’d love to have you. Please fill out this Doodle calendar if you can help from 10am-4pm on October 1, 2016: http://doodle.com/poll/uzd88wtm94ashdax
- Op-Ed Writers Project: One of the most cost effective and far reaching ways to spread the word about statehood is to get op-eds published about the cause. Over the last several years we’ve done a good job of getting op-eds published in papers around the country but there is more to do. After the referendum on statehood this November our hope is to have allies across the country send in Op-Eds to their local papers asking their members of Congress to stand with the people of DC and support statehood. We need to start now recruiting people who have friends and family in the following states (Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico, and any other you so choose) to start drafting op-eds and recruiting allies in those states to send them in. Please let me know if there’s a state you’d like to work with a friend or family from to draft an Op-Ed for calling on their members of Congress to support statehood for the people of DC.
We hope to see you at H St. Fest, at the Council Hearings, at RIA Fest, or somewhere else. There’s a lot still to do and we look forward to doing it with you.
Keep well, stay active, and we will prevail!
Over the last several weeks there’s been a lot of actions related to D.C. statehood, the movement is heating up! The Republican Party shamefully included extremely offensive anti-statehood language in its platform despite the best efforts of the DC GOP to remove the language. The Democratic Party for the first time in over a decade now has pro-statehood language in its Party Platform joining the Green Party with that distinction. And while the Libertarian Party does not have an official stance on statehood its Presidential candidate does support statehood for the people of DC!
Support in party platforms or from Presidential candidates alone will not get us statehood therefore we still have a lot of work to do to build support for this cause across the country & specifically in Congress. There are 15 Senators I believe we should pressure right now to formally cosponsor the statehood bill. The Senate is currently on recess which makes this is a perfect time to reach out to staff as they have more availability to research issues and to draft cosponsor memos. Let’s voice our opinion that their bosses should cosponsor S. 1688, the New Columbia Admission Act.
Emails should be short direct and make sure the explicitly ask that their boss “cosponsor the D.C. statehood bill” as it is the only bill before Congress that will make the citizens of the District full and equal U.S. citizens. Since the below list targets Democrats (and one Independent who caucuses with the Dems) you can mention additionally that 1) Secretary Clinton has voiced strong support for DC Statehood in an Op-Ed in the Informer Newspaper; 2) the Party Platform endorses it; and 3) there have been 26 bills or amendments targeting DC’s local laws just in the 114th Congress demonstrating the undemocratic attempted intrusions into our affairs because we are not a state. Please send emails as soon as possible to the following offices so that the cosponsor list will grow when the Senate comes back into session in September and please ask family & friends in these Senators states to do the same.
Together we can make statehood a reality but we have to work for it!
Eleanor Holmes Norton stated our case for D.C. statehood before the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Her words are not just a statement of fact but a call to actions for District citizens and our family and friends across the nation to embrace and own this cause. Please watch this video and then let us know how you’d like to help the cause.
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