Join the Fight For DC Statehood
Write a Letter to the Editor
On Thursday, September 19th, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the Washington, DC Admission Act (H.R. 51). This will be the first hearing on DC statehood in more than a quarter century.
Help spread awareness about the issue of DC Statehood by writing a letter to the editor of your local or state newspaper expressing your support.
To: Editor, Name of your Newspaper
City, State Zip
Re: Historic Hearing on Washington, DC Admission Act (H.R. 51[SC1] )
For the first time in more than 25 years, the U.S. House of Representatives just held a hearing about making Washington, D.C. a state. As I viewed the hearing in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, witnesses discussed the lack of Congressional voting representation suffered by the 700,000+ residents of the District of Columbia. That’s more people than live in Wyoming or Vermont and a clear example of voter suppression!
For me, this legislation and DC Statehood is important because…[Insert a personal narrative here]
The legislation suggests reducing the size of the Federal District to the area surrounding the main national government buildings, like the Capitol, Supreme Court, White House, the Mall, etc. and then admit the rest of the District, and it’s 700,000+ residents, as the 51ststate. The dynamic city of Washington is home to these Americans who not only live and work in the nation’s capital, but who raise families, worship, and contribute to the rich history and community of this city.
It is unthinkable that in the greatest democracy in the world, we still have citizens who do not have the full-fledged rights of others in our country. The people who live in the District of Columbia deserve representation in a Congress that holds total power over their laws, budget, and judiciary. That is why we need to support and pass HR 51, the DC Admission Act.
Why Write a Letter to the Editor
Letters to the editor are important tools in your advocacy arsenal. They are quick to write, relatively easy to have published, and are the most widely read section in the newspaper. Many politicians and government agencies routinely clip and circulate letters to the editor as indicators of what is important to their constituents.
Letters to the editor, while often “reactive” to news already reported, can keep the story alive and the debate raging. Journalism is one of the rare professions in which controversy is good – there are at least two sides to every story and journalists want to report them all.
A furious war of words on the letters-to-the-editor page encourages debate in the community and at the newspaper, frequently resulting in newspaper-run editorials on the same subject.
If you get a letter published, make sure to send a copy to the office of your elected official to ensure they know your issue is important to the community they were elected to serve.
Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor
Keep it short--- usually 200 words or less.
Focus on one or two main points.
Put the most important information rst and the least important last. Editors tend to cut from the bottom up.
Remove any non-essential words, e.g. “In my opinion”, “I believe”, “It should be obvious”. You won’t have much space, so choose your words wisely.
Maintain a civil tone. Avoid name calling or o ensive language.
Omit formatting such as boldface, all caps, or underlining.
Proofread your letter for grammatical and spelling errors---several times.
Include your contact information with your submission so that newspaper staff can reach you.
Your Letter Was Published! Now What?
Post it on social media, include it in any newsletters or email communications, copy it to distribute it at meetings. Post with hashtags: #ShowUp4DC, #DCStatehood, and #MakingDemocracyWork
Encourage your friends, family, and community to read, share, get involved, or write a letter to the editor themselves.