So today Eleanor Holmes Norton announced that a House member with an actual vote, Dan Lungren (R-CA) introduced a bill that would give DC one statue in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Wow!!! Bust out the champagne it’s time to celebrate, we might get one statue! So I’m a bit underwhelmed by this. I would have preferred Mr. Lungren to have announced that he’s signing onto H.R. 265, the New Columbia Admission Act as a cosponsor. That would have been big-time news…but instead we might possibily get a statue if Congress puts their other business aside (saving the economy, creating jobs, ending wars, etc.) in order to vote for us poor disenfranchised folks in the District to get a statue.
I hope it’s a least Frederick Douglass so maybe just his presence will be a force for statehood among the other statues (see the DCist article by Martin Austermuhle about what a joke the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities made the voting process for the 2 statues: http://dcist.com/2006/08/lenfant_statue_.php). We deserve a Frederick Douglass statue & a Duke Ellington statue as we voted for nothing less.
So I’d be happy for the statue of Frederick Douglass (& Duke Ellington or I guess L’Enfant) to be standing in Statuary Hall but this bill is yet another slap at the District…I can hear the whispers through the halls of the Capitol now: ‘we won’t give you statehood but we’ll give you Home Rule (with a ton of limits and you all better act right or we’ll mess with your budget); we won’t give you 2 Senators or a voting House member but we’ll give you a non-voting Delgate (who has little to know power but lots of fight); and we know you all pay more federal taxes than 17 other actual states but still you only deserve one statue not two.’
This isn’t a victory…it’s kind of nice and all but it’s nothing to celebrate it’s just another reminder that we have no power at the hands of an all mighty overseer called Congress.
Time to pass H.R. 265… let’s get to work!