Tonight, the president gave a good speech about job creation but here in DC we want, need, and deserve a few new jobs. If the president pushed the DC Statehood Bill toward passage we’d have 2 new US Senators and a whole bunch of staff to go with it. Yep, instantaneously we’d have about 50 new DC (New Columbian) jobs. Small change in restoring the overall economy but it would be a great step forward in this country’s core belief in representative government.
If DC achieved statehood and became New Columbia we would finally have total control over our local economy and our ability to create jobs. We could get rid of the Height Act or amend it so that we could build taller buildings and bring in more employers and tax payers. Even in a bad economy buildings are going up all over DC but by amending the Height Act we could build taller and thus increase both the available housing stock for upper, middle, and low-income residents. One of the reasons developers do have trouble meeting “affordability” criteria is because of the height restrictions that limit the numbers of available full market housing units. If we could build higher we could have more ability to have mixed income housing units and more space for businesses to set up shop. As a state we could implement affordability requirements that stick and don’t need Congressional approval prior to implementing.
Statehood won’t save the nation’s poor economy but it would give us here in the District control over our land and over our economy. Congress has never been a benevolent overseer, Congress is and has been our colonial master and that system of political and economic injustice needs to end. If President Obama believes in creating jobs and believes in representative democracy he should push for congressional passage of H.R. 265 the bill that would grant DC Statehood as the 51st state, New Columbia.