Norton Resolution Recognizes D.C. Servicemembers on Memorial Day, Calls for Statehood for Them

May 22, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she has introduced a resolution recognizing District of Columbia servicemembers on Memorial Day. Her resolution also calls for statehood for the District to ensure these servicemembers and veterans enjoy the full rights of American democracy given to other American citizens. D.C. servicemembers have served in every war since the Revolution, all without the full and equal rights that can come only with statehood.

“Memorial Day recognizes servicemembers who have died in service to our nation.,” Norton said. “However, it is especially timely this year to recognize District of Columbia servicemembers, whose equal service has never come with the equal benefits of American democracy. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform passed my D.C. statehood bill in February, marking the first time the D.C. statehood bill has been passed in a committee since 1993.  The bill, which is expected to pass on the House floor this year, will  afford the District’s servicemembers, veterans and all its citizens equal citizenship.”

Norton’s D.C. statehood bill has a record number of cosponsors in the House (223), more than enough to pass in the House this year, and the Senate (35). The House-passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, contained extensive findings supporting D.C. statehood, marking the first time in history either chamber of Congress has endorsed D.C. statehood; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) strongly endorsed D.C. statehood upon introduction of H.R. 51; House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), a cosponsor of the statehood bill, endorsed D.C. statehood in a strong op-ed; 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 the bill is endorsed by more than 100 national advocacy groups.

The text of Norton’s resolution follows:

Recognizing on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, 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.

 


RESOLUTION

Recognizing on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, 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, instead of through use of conscription;

 

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 voting rights and full representation in the Congress of the United States or full self-governance in the District of Columbia;

 

Whereas residents of the District of Columbia fought 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 that 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 that 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 that 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 that war;

 

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

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

Whereas the Washington, D.C. Admission Act has a record 223 cosponsors in the House and a record 35 cosponsors in the Senate: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—

  1. District of Columbia residents have earned full and equal representation in the United States House of Representatives and United States senate; and
  2. on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, 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 passage of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act by the House of Representatives in 2020.

 

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