Statehood for the District of Columbia

Since 1801, the residents of the District of Columbia have had no representation in Congress. Nor have they been able to govern themselves without interference from Congress.  Yet, District residents are required to fulfill all the obligations of U.S. citizenship—paying taxes, voting, and serving on juries and in the military. For over 200 years, they have been denied a voice in our national government and sovereignty over state and local affairs. The people of Washington, D.C. deserve the same rights that the people in the 50 states enjoy. And in November 2016, DC citizens voted overwhelming in favor of petitioning Congress for statehood - the first step in the statehood process.

The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia supports self government for the District and  believes statehood is a means of acquiring full rights. 

The DC Statehood Toolkit was created by the League of Women Voters Education Fund and the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia Education Fund with a generous grant from the government of the District of Columbia.

Congress has the power to remedy this hole in our democracy.  But, many, many people in this country do not know that DC has no vote in Congress and do not understand the implications of this fact. The Distict of Columbia has more population than the states of Vermont or Wyoming, yet no voting rights in Congress.

DC citizens can't achieve statehood on our own. We need the support of citizens across the country to achieve the rights other Americans take for granted.

The Toolkit is designed to provide educational resources for local leagues across the country to educate and engage local citizens and elected officials of the lack of full democracy in our nation's capitol and encourage support of DC Statehood. 


LWVDC Advocacy Report

DC Statehood efforts in the District of Columbia

DC Statehood Commission. In 2014, the Council of the District of Columbia created the New Columbia Statehood Commission to coordinate the District's statehood initiatives. The Commission is an independent agency within DC government providing support to the Statehood Congressional Delegation in promoting statehood and voting rights to the District. 

Advisory Referendum on the State of New Columbia Admission Act Resolution of 2016, PR21-0839 The resolution approves the submission of a proposed advisory referendum to the Board of Elections that would allow voters to support statehood and ask to petition Congress to enact a statehood Admission Act, including boundaries of the future state of New Columbia and a constitution. Status: Passed.

Active Legislation in Congress

The New Columbia Admission Act is the legislation which would at last grant DC residents the rights of full citizenship enjoyed by Americans living in the 50 states. Namely, the right to full representation in the US House and US Senate, and the right to locally elected government free from Congressional interference.

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