Norton Announces Major District Businesses, Employers Are Backing D.C. Statehood
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two days before the historic House hearing on statehood for the District of Columbia, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that several major businesses and employers have endorsed the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51). The businesses include some of the key employers and employer organizations in the District, such as the Federal City Council, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the D.C. Hospital Association, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, the District of Columbia Building Industry Association, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, and the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. Norton will place in the record at Thursday’s hearing endorsements not only from the business community, but from many national and local organizations.
“Beyond the veterans and residents living in the District who have fought for D.C. statehood for some time, our thriving business community understands well the benefits of statehood,” Norton said. “These endorsements could not be clearer: there is a clear economic case for statehood in allowing our economy to grow and to attract new employers and revenue.”
In their statement, the businesses write: “There is a clear economic and business case for statehood. It would allow the region to better represent its large federal workforce and secure critically important funding for transportation systems like Metro. A voting DC Congressional delegation would have more input on Congressional legislation that impacts the local economy and the city’s large tracts of federally owned land. Statehood would also make the city a more attractive place to live and do business.”
The full text of the letter is below.
The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton
2136 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congresswoman Norton,
On behalf of the DC business and major employer community, we are writing to express our support and endorsement of the DC statehood bill entitled “Washington, DC Admission Act” (H.R. 51/S. 631). While the democratic virtues of representation for DC are self-evident, we also believe DC statehood would have a powerful and positive impact on the DC economy. Statehood could make the District of Columbia a more attractive home for businesses and residents. DC-based owners and employees of local businesses have no voting representation in Congress, which means they have no say on legislation that affects the local business climate. This is in contrast to businesses headquartered anywhere else in the country.
The entire regional economy would benefit as well. A Washington, DC metro area Congressional delegation with two additional Senators and one additional Representative would mean a stronger bargaining position for the region. This stronger position is critical for securing federal funding for regional transportation systems like Metro and other infrastructure. It will also help protect the region’s federal workforce and contractors, who contribute so much to our regional economy. And as regions become increasingly important in the global economy, a stronger capital region would contribute to making the United States a stronger country.
As a state, the District of Columbia would have a more balanced and constructive partnership with the federal government, which controls a huge portion of its land. Western states have a similarly large federal presence, and Congressional representation allows them to have a robust dialogue about stewardship for that land. With a voting DC Congressional representative, federal land in the nation’s capital could be improved to the entire country’s benefit. DC could work more quickly and productively with, for example, the National Park Service and the General Services Administration.
The bottom line is that there is a clear economic and business case for DC statehood.
Anthony Williams, CEO & Executive Director
Federal City Council
Jacqueline D. Bowens, President & CEO
DC Hospital Association
John C. Cavanaugh, PhD, President & CEO
Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
Kathy E. Hollinger, President & CEO
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
Peggy Jeffers, Executive Vice President
Apartment & Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
Lisa María Mallory, CEO
District of Columbia Building Industry Association
Jack McDougle, CEO
Greater Washington Board of Trade
Vincent Orange, President & CEO
DC Chamber of Commerce