A few months ago I wrote letters to members of Congress from Virginia and Maryland asking them to sign on as co-sponsors to H.R. 265 (the New Columbia Admission Act) or to introduce the accompanying version in the Senate. Thus far only one of the eight members of Congress have responded to me and that response left me disappointed.
Senator Mark Warner is a nice guy, heart seems to be in the right place, and has a good head on his shoulders but apparently he either needs a geography or civics lesson. In his form letter response (at this point I know I’m really picking on an intern in the office) he referred me and my “fellow Virginians.” What? I’m from DC, I live in DC, and I specifically asked him to sponsor the Senate version of H.R. 265 since we don’t have any Senators. Doesn’t he know we are a different geographical and political entity than the Commonwealth. I bet if we put a commuter tax on him every time he crossed the Potomac he’d know he’s not in Virginia anymore.
Later he says he’s “honored to serve Virginia as my U.S. Senator.” What? Didn’t Virginia take back its land from the District in the 1840s or 1850s? And if he were my Senator wouldn’t that mean I would have had the chance to vote for or against him.
I know some poor intern had to reply to my letter and considering it’s the only response of the eight folks I contacted I guess I should be a bit thankful but I’m not. I’m bitter. The issue of statehood is not important to members of Congress because we, the citizens of the District of Columbia, have not made it important to them. We have not disturbed their level of comfort or affected their reelection campaigns. All of us in the District need to make noise here and in the 50 states so that members of Congress take our cause and plight seriously because they are the ones who will vote one day to add us to the Union as the 51st State.
Let’s make some noise and maybe host a geo-political boundary teach-in at Mark Warner’s office. It seems like he and his staff could use some help.
Read his letter here: MWarner Response