Statehood for D.C.

To the editor,

I saw Maine organizations, such as the firefighters union, ACLU, and Planned Parenthood recently called on U.S. Sen. Angus King to support statehood for the 712,000 Americans who live in Washington, D.C. I share their sentiments.

Congressional representation for tax-paying residents who call our nation’s capital home is only right, not least because more than 30,000 of them are veterans. D.C. is 46% African American, making federal representation for Washingtonians a racial justice issue as well as one of equality under the law. During the January 6th riot, it was the D.C. Police Department that stepped in and protected Congress, even though D.C. residents lack voting representation there. Establishing equality for D.C. families has always been the right thing to do, but it has taken on new urgency following the racial justice protests of 2020 and the recent assault on the U.S. Capitol.

In social studies classes, we learned the principle of “one person, one vote” is a hallmark of democracy. We never learned there is an exception for Americans who live in Washington, D.C. — 712,000 people, no vote.

As a longtime former resident and educator in Washington, D.C. and now a proud new citizen of Maine, this issue is of the utmost importance to me. Thank you for the time you have taken to consider this communication.

Jodi Bossio

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