Our group has been active since June 2011, and we’ve accomplished many good things on the statehood front but our August 2013, meeting had to be one of my favorites because we spent the entire time actively working on discreet statehood focused tasks as a group. Most of our meetings are about planning work for the month ahead but our August meeting focused on all of us working together on common projects. The communal spirit of purpose was energizing and inspiring. Neighbors United for DC Statehood members worked on two key areas that will raise awareness for the statehood cause and help to build congressional support for the statehood bill.
· August 24th Statehood Rally Preparation: Group members helped prepare signs for the Statehood Rally which will be a component of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Posters were developed to highlight our model, that the statehood movement should have its roots and its leadership come from the people and the neighborhoods that make up the District of Columbia. Statehood is not an abstract political theory discussion, for those of us that live here it is something that determines whether 633,000 tax paying American citizens deserve to be treated equally with our neighbors in the 50 states. We encourage all District citizens to take part in the statehood rally on August 24th, 2013 and come with your own pro-statehood poster highlighting the neighborhood you live in.
· Contacting Key Senate Offices: Over the last year our group has met with 49 Senate offices to educate them on the statehood bill and to seek their support for the bill, preferably as a cosponsor. Presently there are 10 Senators in addition to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) cosponsoring the bill and our group members spent the meeting reaching out to other Senate offices asking them to cosponsor the bill and asking our friends and families around the country to contact their Senators as well. Our current Senate advocacy effort is presently broken-up into three groups: 1) Senators on the Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee who have oversight over the District and who might hold hearings on the New Columbia Admission Act this year; 2) Senators who have a record of supporting the bill previously in 1993 either as cosponsors in the Senate or having cosponsored or voted for the bill when in the House at that time; and 3) following up with several offices who were quite receptive to the bill and the issue but have yet to make a public commitment to the cause of statehood. Here are the Senators & their staff members who we are presently focusing on: Senate_Priority_Outreach
Group members made a lot of progress over a two hour period but we need YOU to join the effort too! We need YOU to participate in the statehood rally on August 24th, we need YOU to contact Senate offices to add more voices to the chorus of District citizens who are saying ‘we deserve statehood,’ and we need YOU to ask your friends and neighbors in the 50 states to contact their Senators and ask them to support the statehood bill (S. 132, the New Columbia Admission Act) as well.
The push for statehood must be led by the 633,000 of us who fulfill all the obligations of citizenship yet are denied its most basic right simply because we live in the shadows of the US Capitol. It’s time that we all engage in making right this blight on American democracy and the only way we’ll succeed is if we’re all engaged, if we’re all working together, and we all ask our friends and families in the 50 states to be our advocates too.
Are equality & democracy too much to ask for citizens of the United States of America?
To join our effort contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org