In this March 22, 2021, file photo advocates for statehood for the District of Columbia rally near the Supreme Court and Capitol prior to a House of Representatives hearing on creating a fifty-first state, in Washington. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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I believe that no democracy in the world deprives the citizens of its capital representation except the United States. Although Washington, D.C., residents and businesses paid over $26 billion in federal taxes in 2014, which was more than the taxes collected from 22 states and had the highest federal tax rate per capita, they did not have any voting representatives in Congress. Further, over 192,000 citizens of the District have fought in our armed forces since World War I in service to our nation in every war and foreign conflict.

As a state Washington, D.C., would be able to manage its budget, its local taxes and laws and its National Guard (helping to protect our Congress from events like the Jan. 6 insurrection). Currently, all these issues are managed by a Congress in which they have no voting representation. The D.C. statehood bill — S. 51 — is the only way to correct this absolutely unfair arrangement.

Please ask Sen. Angus King  to co-sponsor it. Disallowing approximately 700,000 tax paying residents of our capital from taking part in a basic duty of democracy – selecting their congressional representation – is like disallowing Maine’s First Congressional District and more from voting because of an agreement made in a previous century. It makes no sense.  

Admitting the residential and commercial portions of Washington, D.C., as a state is the only way legislatively to give the District permanent equal representation in Congress as well as legislative and budget autonomy. Please call or write Sen. King to co-sponsor S. 51.

Emanuel Pariser