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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton Announces Resolution Honoring D.C. Servicemembers on Memorial Day, Calls for D.C. Statehood

May 24, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she has introduced a resolution honoring District of Columbia servicemembers in recognition of Memorial Day.  Her resolution recognizes the sacrifices D.C. servicemembers have made in every war since the Revolutionary War, all without full and equal rights that only statehood for the District can afford.

“On Memorial Day, D.C. residents give special honor to residents who hold a unique place in our country’s history,” Norton said.  “It is especially timely to recognize the service of members of the military from the District of Columbia who serve or have served defending the principles of democracy, all without equal democracy and full representation in Congress.  It is past due to make the District of Columbia the 51st state.”

Norton’s D.C. statehood bill has a record number of cosponsors in the House (204) and Senate (32).  The Senate version was introduced by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). 

Just five months into the new Congress, Norton has built historic support for her D.C. statehood bill.  In March, the House passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which contained extensive findings supporting D.C. statehood and marked the first time in American history either chamber of Congress has endorsed D.C. statehood; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) strongly endorsed D.C. statehood upon introduction of Norton’s D.C. statehood bill; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a sweeping proposal to combat voter disenfranchisement, including restoring the Voting Rights Act, establishing national, automatic voter registration laws, and supporting D.C. statehood; and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the committee will hold a hearing and markup on the statehood bill this year, the first House hearing or markup on a D.C. statehood bill since 1993. 

The bill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, People for the American Way, Common Cause, Demand Justice, Indivisible, Public Citizen, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, Americans for Democratic Action, the Sierra Club, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Demos, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Demand Progress, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), Stand Up America, the Democratic Coalition, Human Rights Campaign, United Food and Commercial Workers, and DC Vote.

Norton’s full resolution honoring D.C. servicemembers follows:

Recognizing on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, the denial of full participation in their government through statehood by active duty servicemembers, National Guard members, reservists, veterans, and their families who are residents of the District of Columbia.

Whereas on the last Monday of May, our Nation observes Memorial Day, a Federal holiday commemorating the men and women who died in the service of their country;

Whereas the service and sacrifice of active duty ser­vice­mem­bers, National Guard members, reservists, veterans, and their families are unparalleled;

Whereas a voluntary military gives the American people the privilege and honor of being protected by active duty servicemembers, National Guard members, and reservists;

Whereas active duty servicemembers, National Guard members, reservists, and veterans have risked life and limb to protect the American people and uphold the rights and freedoms of the people of the United States;

Whereas approximately 30,000 veterans are residents of the District of Columbia and do not have full voting rights and full representation in the Congress of the United States nor full self-government in the District of Columbia;

Whereas residents of the District of Columbia fought to create the United States in the Revolutionary War, which resulted in the creation of the United States, under the slogan of “no taxation without representation”, and have served in every war since;

Whereas 635 District of Columbia residents were casualties of World War I, a casualty figure greater than that observed by 3 different States during the war;

Whereas 3,575 District of Columbia residents were casualties of World War II, a casualty figure greater than that observed by 4 different States during the war;

Whereas 547 District of Columbia residents were casualties of the Korean war, a casualty figure greater than that observed by 8 different States during the war;

Whereas 243 District of Columbia residents were casualties of the Vietnam war, a casualty figure greater than that observed by 10 different States during the war;

Whereas almost 200,000 District of Columbia residents have served in the military since World War I;

Whereas Congress should pass H.R. 51 and S. 631, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which would grant full and equal voting representation, as well as democratic control over local affairs, to the District of Columbia by making the District the 51st State;

Whereas the Washington, D.C. Admission Act has a record 204 cosponsors in the House and a record 32 in the Senate: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That on May 27, 2019, Memorial Day, the House of Representatives recognizes that active duty servicemembers, National Guard members, reservists, veterans, and their families who are residents of the District of Columbia deserve full and equal rights and passage of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.

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