DC Mayor Calls for Citywide Vote on Making District 51st State

What to Know

  • Friday morning's demonstration coincides with Emancipation Day.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she will propose legislation to put the issue of D.C. statehood on the ballot in November. 

Bowser made the pledge on whether to make D.C. the 51st state on Friday, the same day advocates for statehood marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to call attention to the cause.

The statehood advocates joined activists who demonstrated at the Capitol this week about the role of money in politics and other issues.

Bowser said the legislation would be proposed this summer.  

The demonstration Friday morning also coincides with a local holiday, D.C. Emancipation Day, which commemorates President Abraham Lincoln's freeing of more than 3,000 slaves in the nation's capital.

The District's 672,000 residents pay federal taxes and fight in wars but lack voting representation in Congress. Statehood advocates argue that making the nation's capital a state is the best solution.


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But the effort has gone nowhere in Congress, in part, because the city is overwhelmingly Democratic, and Republicans don't want to hand two Senate seats to Democrats.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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