WASHINGTON– Taxation with representation was the message at the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday morning when the D.C. City Council joined with Mayor Vincent Gray to announce a new push for statehood for the district.
Under the new plan, the district will reach out to local and state governments in order to become the 51st state, called New Columbia. The new plan uses a new logo and attitude. “We’re going to have a much more aggressive approach, and not be on the defensive on why statehood is important. We’re going to be on the offensive,” said Councilman Michael Brown, one of the organizers of the event.
The issue ignites passions from residents and politicians. “We want the same freedom that when we stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance, and we say liberty and justice for all, liberty and justice includes people who live in the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Vincent Gray.
“We’re going to get everything we can get for the city on our way to statehood, and there is nothing but unity on this platform,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s non-voting representative who has been fighting this issue in the House of Representatives for two decades.
Opponents believe making D.C. a state is unconstitutional because it was not what the Founding Fathers intended. Advocates counter that the issue is also for human rights, and say that the voting rights of D.C. residents have been trampled on for more than 200 years.