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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Norton Praises Mayor Bowser’s New Effort to Have D.C. Residents Vote on Statehood

Apr 15, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released the Congresswoman’s statement on District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposal today to have an updated vote on D.C. statehood on the ballot this November.

“I appreciate Mayor Bowser’s call for D.C. statehood to be on the November ballot because it will give residents yet another opportunity to send a strong message to Congress and the nation on our determination to become the 51st state of the union.  Just last November, a Washington Post poll showed 71% of D.C. residents favor statehood, a proportion I found encouraging, considering that many residents come from other states, and some are fairly recent arrivals who may not even know they have lost precious citizenship rights by moving to their nation’s capital.  I predict that the exercise of going to the polls and voting will raise even further the support for statehood found in the recent poll and will help fuel the District’s drive for statehood.  The fact that statehood has been difficult for every state to achieve should not discourage residents.  The effort to become the 51st state must be fertilized on a continuing basis to have a fair chance of succeeding.  The effort should be judged not by whether it achieves statehood, but whether it brings much-needed energy to our push to become the 51st state.  The most difficult challenge for the District’s statehood movement is overcoming congressional obstruction of the kind that was not there for other states.  On a far more frequent basis, Congress must feel or see the pressure from residents.  We should seek to make the statehood ballot referendum raise the national profile of our drive for statehood in our country, where many still believe that District residents have the same rights as other Americans. Just as I have been able to defend the District’s budget autonomy referendum from congressional interference, I intend to take comparable action to prevent Congress from interfering with the vote on statehood.”

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