The District has had a long-time friend in State Representative Cindy Rosenwald who has sponsored a bill in the New Hampshire House supporting DC Statehood. Now, in Florida, we have a friend in Rep. Alan Williams who recently sponsored a similar bill in support of DC Statehood. It’s great to have friends like these in New Hampshire and Florida but we need more friends in state houses but more importantly in our own backyard (aka. the Halls of Congress).
I applaud the Mayor and Council members for wanting to go to New Hampshire to testify on behalf of this bill, yet I wonder if they all need to go and if its money well spent. In the Statehood process none of the 50 state houses has a say on whether or not we become a state. Admitting a state into the Union only needs to pass both Houses of Congress by a simple majority vote and then the President signs the bill that admits the State (New Columbia). Back in the 1970s and 1980s there was a constitutional amendment which would have granted us full representation in the US Congress but not local budget autonomy that passed Congress with 2/3 votes in both Houses but failed in getting ratified by 3/4 of the states. A constitutional amendment is a different process than admitting a state into the Union.
So while I think it’s great that a delegation is going to New Hampshire because we need to speak up for our rights across the country, does the delegation need to be so big, when in fact their services could be used elsewhere? I wonder how many times members of the delegation have tried to meet with members of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation? I don’t mean to be a hater on the delegation but how many times have members of the delegation tried to meet with New Hampshire’s House delegation (Charlie Bass & Frank Guinta) and asked them to sign onto H.R. 265? How many times have members of the delegation met with New Hampshire’s Senate delegation (Kelly Ayotte & Jeanne Shaheen) and asked them to become sponsors of the non-existent Senate companion bill to H.R. 265.
We have limited resources and we need to be smart with them. Congress is at our door step and the delegation along with the other 617,000 of us need to knock on the doors of Congress and say: Pass the New Columbia Admission Act Now!!! We can do this and save on airfare at the same time…
I commend the members of the delegation for wanting to speak up and speak out for DC Statehood in New Hampshire but they can do it from DC too, they can do it in DC too. I’m not saying folks shouldn’t go to the various states but we need to be wise, thoughtful, and calculating with how we spend our time, money, and resources. Members of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association’s DC Statehood Committee met this past weekend and we decided to send Cindy Rosenwald a ‘Thank You’ card for sponsoring the bill: $2.19 for the card and 40-some cents for the stamp. A thank you that was well deserved and money well spent. I hope more District citizens send ‘thank you’ cards to Cindy Rosenwald in New Hampshire and Alan Williams in Florida because I think a heartfelt appreciation goes a long ways…I hope I have to buy 48 more ‘thank you’ cards in the coming weeks and months.
But more importantly there are 535 doors on Capitol Hill that we need to knock on in order to demand the democracy we deserve. The American democratic experiment is not yet finished but there are 617,000 of us who seek to end the colonial status our forefathers fought against in order to found a more perfect union.