The Honorable Barack H. Obama,
One year ago I wrote to you requesting that you express support for DC statehood in your 2013 State of the Union address. Sir, as you know, the District of Columbia is comprised of more than 632,000 federal tax paying citizens, yet we are severely marginalized in America’s democracy by our lack of full and equal national representation and our lack of local control over local affairs. Sadly, I am writing to you today to again request that you stand with the 632,000+ federal tax paying citizens of the District of Columbia and speak up for statehood for the residential and commercial portions of the District in your upcoming State of the Union address.
Mr. President, you have witnessed and experienced many injustices throughout your life and have consistently worked to reverse them. As President, you have shown great leadership in working to end workplace discrimination, fighting for equal rights for gay and lesbian service members, and reducing discriminatory practices which prevented many Americans from accessing healthcare. Yet on the subject of the District, our lack of representation, and our unequal treatment, you have remained largely silent like generations of Republican and Democratic Presidents before you.
We – me, my young children, members of your White House staff, your daughters’ teachers and community of support at Sidwell, the wait staff who serve you dinner on your evenings out with your wife, the public works crews who keep the streets clean for your motorcade to pass by, the people who you see when you look out the window of your home – we need you to lead a fight for fairness and equality for the District’s citizens.
As an American I ask, but as a father I implore – please be on the right side of history on this issue and stand up for DC, starting in your 2014 State of the Union. Stand up for DC the way you stood up for and with citizens on the South Side of Chicago. Stand up for DC the way you stood up for women seeking equal pay for equal work. Stand up for DC the way you’ve stood up for all Americans to be able to love and marry who they want. Stand up for DC the way you’ve stood up for the right for all Americans to have access to affordable health care. And stand up for my daughter the way you would stand up for yours.
Let the country know that we are people just like them except for two glaring exceptions. We love our families, we work hard, we pay federal taxes, we raise local taxes to pay for our municipal services, and we send our sons and daughters off to war. Yet we have no representation in Congress and are dependent on Congress to approve our use of our local budgets, in a relationship that very much resembles a colony’s subjugation to its master. Sir, we want to be treated fairly and we need your voice and deliberate action starting today.
Brookland, Ward 5