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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton to Use D.C. Emancipation Day Events to Continue Her Fight for D.C. Statehood

Apr 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will use the lead-up to District of Columbia Emancipation Day to highlight her efforts to make D.C. the 51st state, including the historic level of congressional support she has garnered for her statehood bill.  D.C. Emancipation Day commemorates April 16, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln and the Congress freed 3,100 enslaved African Americans in the District with the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, Norton will attend the annual D.C. Emancipation Day breakfast at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW), beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Norton will serve on a panel with local elected officials, entitled “Symposium On D.C. Statehood: The Impact of Federal Gun Legislation on District Residents,” to discuss her successful efforts to prevent Members of Congress, including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), from overturning D.C.’s gun safety laws.

On Saturday, April 14, 2018, Norton will help lead the annual D.C. Emancipation Day Parade, beginning at 2:00 p.m., along Pennsylvania Avenue, starting at 10th St. NW and ending at Freedom Plaza.

“Each year on Emancipation Day, we not only celebrate the freeing of thousands of slaves in the District of Columbia, but recognize that D.C. residents remain the last to be free without their full democratic rights in Congress,” Norton said.  “Emancipation Day 2018 must be a rallying cry to make D.C. the 51st state to keep our city from being open-season for anti-democratic attacks on its home rule.  This Congress, D.C. has faced a record number of attacks on its local laws by Members of Congress, eager to score political points at home or from far-right interest groups.  Even without statehood, we have successfully repelled these dangerous attacks, none more important than those to eliminate all of the District’s local gun laws.  The only way to permanently end congressional interference in D.C.’s affairs and fully free our residents is to make D.C. the 51st state.”