Over two years ago we started our group, Neighbors United for DC Statehood, out of a belief that the statehood movement lacked two key elements: 1) the active and sustained involvement of District citizens at a grassroots level and 2) an active and constant presence on the Hill so that members of Congress and their staff know that statehood is the ultimate goal of the citizens of the District. While I can’t say we’ve fulfilled or achieved our goals (we always can do better) I am happy to report that earlier today we achieved a significant, albeit purely symbolic, milestone. Earlier today we met with Senator Robert Menendez’s staff making it the 50th Senate office we’ve met with since November 2012 (and 29th House office as well this year).
Since last fall we’ve been emailing and calling offices to meet with whomever we can to educate them on the dynamics of statehood, the constitutionality of it, and to answer questions they might have about it. We’re an all-volunteer group. We don’t seek funds, we don’t take funds, and our lobbying efforts are done when our members take time off of work to go up to the Hill. With our 50th Senate meeting under our belt we can now say that half the US Senate has been briefed by everyday District citizens about why we believe statehood is the right path forward and why we should have their support in that effort.
In addition to our work, the Shadow U.S. Representative Nate Bennett-Fleming, his interns, and Elinor Hart of the DC Statehood Coalition have been doing a great job on the House side as well. They’ve met with lots of offices and the House bill, HR 292, now has 53 cosponsors which are the most on the bill since 1993. An active and engaged citizenry combined with thoughtful and hardworking political leadership can achieve progress and ultimately success in the statehood movement. Our work coupled with the work of our compatriots focusing on the House side is demonstrating that what we’ve started is a good thing, but that we still have a lot of work to do.
Today, we achieved a symbolic milestone and we fully realize that the hard work is still in front of us thus we need help. We need reinforcements. We need you to join our work. We need more District citizens & our neighbors in the 50 states to engage with us to reach the other 50 and to follow-up with those offices (Senate_Priority_Outreach.pdf) who have yet to publicly express their support for the bill. We have a strong crew in our group but we need more people from all 8 Wards and the fifty states joining with us and acting, not just talking, for statehood. We need you to join the cause so that as a united District we’ll become part of the United States.
Onward to the next 50 Senators and onward to statehood!
To join our efforts email us at firstname.lastname@example.org