We are the citizens of the District. We are each essential to our family, friends, neighborhoods, city, and country. We come from diverse backgrounds and varying belief systems yet all of us are denied equality in American democracy. We are essential to America because our sons and daughters serve in the military, yet we are denied equal representation to vote on issues of war and peace. We are essential to America because we contribute $20 billion dollars a year to the federal budget (more than 18 states) and yet we are denied equal representation to decide how that money is spent. We are essential to America because we are just like you. And yet, despite the fact that we fulfill all obligations of citizenship we are denied full and equal representation in Congress and denied the ability to be the final arbiter of our local affairs.
Today, in solidarity with the Mayor’s decision to declare all District workers ‘essential’ we are wearing shirts that say “I AM ESSENTIAL AND SO IS STATEHOOD” to send a message that all of us, all District citizens, are essential. We are essential to both the promise and success of America and we want to be equal partners in leading it. We wear these shirts to not say that we are better than anyone else but simply to say that we want to be treated equally with everyone else as the 51st state in the union.
Today, we are standing together to say that we are essential to America and we believe our democratic destiny is statehood. And we are asking you, our family and friends in the 50 states, to please join with us to make statehood a reality. We need you to contact Congress to say that today is the day to stand-up for equality. Today is the day citizens of the District are standing up for themselves and its time we all stand with them.
We also want to say that while many District citizens are working today we are saddened that many of us and others across the country are being denied the ability to go to work because Congress cannot do its job. We are standing up in solidarity with those federal workers as well who are being denied the chance to go to work today and earn a living for their families. They are essential to America too and we want them back at work.
We are essential and so is statehood!
Please share your photo with us and we’ll include it in the post. Additionally, if you want a shirt you can order one from CafePress to help spread the statehood message.
Neighbors United for DC Statehood