Washington, D.C. — Today, Senate Democrats introduced legislation that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and end more than 200 years of disenfranchisement for its residents. In response, Will Roberts, managing director for Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The lack of representation for the district denies roughly 700,000 people the full benefits of citizenship granted to Americans living in every state. The recent violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol showed how this systematic inequality even deprives the district of the ability to call up the National Guard to protect its residents. It’s shameful that Washington, D.C., residents remain subject to the punitive whims of the federal government and Congress in particular. This has repeatedly undermined the historically Black leadership and population of the district when it comes to issues of reproductive rights, gun violence, marriage equality, and even receiving emergency aid to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s time for Congress to give the people of Washington, D.C., the power to control their own destiny.
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