Where Are D.C.'s Statues?

Statuary Hall still missing D.C.

The District is used to dealing with its fair share of snubs. No voting rights and a good baseball team rank up near the top.

But political blogger Anne Schroeder stokes the barely glowing embers of the battle over D.C.'s representation in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. To recap, each state has two statues of famous people (think Paula Abdul and William Hung), but D.C. has never been asked to join the party. So the marble statues of Marion Barry and Dan Snyder remain in storage, waiting for their chance to shine.

The debate has been going on for quite some time. As Schroeder noted, Comedy Central star Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill in 2005 in order to get D.C. some love in Statuary Hall, and the measure was backed by Nancy Pelosi, who even wrote a nice letter of support:

“For more than 200 years, the area eventually named the District of Columbia has been the seat of our nation’s federal government. The residents of the District of Columbia have been faithful participants in American life. District residents have proudly served in our armed forces, fighting and dying in war. They continue to pay taxes without voting representation in Congress. By any measure, District residents deserve to have the symbols of their history displayed in their Capitol.”

Schroeder said Norton eventually withdrew the bill, and there hasn't been much movement since. Schroeder said the easy solution would be to move statues of Pierre L'Enfant and Frederick Douglass to the Capitol from Judiciary Square, but she's getting ahead of herself.

D.C. would need to get some respect from its peers before the moving truck is called in. And if the battle over state quarters is any indication, the Capitol would also need to make room for Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Norton said her time has been taken up by efforts to gain D.C. voting rights and removing riders from the D.C. Appropriations Bill. Admittedly, both have much more importance to the people of the District than seeing two statues collect dust in the Capitol. But that doesn't stop D.C. rabble-rouser Mark Plotkin, who provides Schroeder with the kicker quote needed to finish off her blog and this article:

“She’s emulating President Obama with her disregard for the District of Columbia. She only wants to postpone things — [not] legislate. She’s a graduate of Yale Law School, can’t she do both things? She stalls rather than acts.”

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