One of our group members, Joan Shipps, recently suggested that we all adopt a commitment to doing “one thing a month for statehood.” On Friday, November 22nd, my one thing will be to go up to the Hill to advocate for the statehood bill. Over the last week I’ve reached out to several offices and was able to schedule seven meetings with House offices from 12-4pm. I’ll be meeting with three Republican offices and four Democratic offices trying to educate staff about the statehood bill and to seek the support of their bosses to be cosponsors on the bill. It’s a small effort but it’s meaningful and it’s what we need to do more of to make statehood a reality.
Over the last year, our group has met with 55 Senate offices and by Friday afternoon over 50 House offices. Combined with the efforts of Shadow Representative Nate Bennett-Fleming, his interns, and the DC Statehood Coalition we’ve now met with almost half the House and over half the Senate. Not bad for unpaid workers and unfunded groups, but it’s not enough. We need more people speaking up in support of statehood from the District and from the 50 states. Over the last few years we’ve learned that one meeting usually isn’t enough. These offices need to be reminded why statehood is important and they need to be contacted by more people about it.
All of the offices we’ve met with and those that we haven’t need to hear from District citizens. We need to be polite (for the most part) and persistent letting offices know that we want their support on the statehood bill. We as citizens also need to reach out to our friends and family in the states and ask them to contact their representatives on our behalf. We need a 50 state movement to create the 51st state. The statehood movement can do great things with limited resources but we all need to participate, we all need to volunteer, we all need to do at least one thing a month to advance the cause.
If you’re interested in doing something today all you have to do is write a brief email to add your voice to those of your neighbors in support of DC statehood. Take a look at the folks in the House and the Senate who we believe could use a follow-up email or phone call and let them know that you want their boss to support the New Columbia Admission Act (H.R. 292 in the House and S. 132 in the Senate).
House Contact List: House113th_ContactInfo
Senate Contact List: Senate_Priority_Outreach
We all should be doing at least one thing a month for statehood so we might as well start now.