Talk:Statehood movement in the District of Columbia

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Similar Situations[edit]

Are there other examples of federal states where the capital region is not part of another subnational entity? This is (partly) the case in Belgium where the Brussels Capital Region has certain autonomy. Voters in Brussels do have their own legislature and the rights to vote in the federal general elections. Wouter Lievens 09:11, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I can think of a couple examples: the Australian Capital Territory of Australia and the Distrito Federal of Mexico. Some nations' capitals are considered "special cities" directly under the administration of the federal government, such as Seoul in South Korea. Ian 13:16, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
The ACT has since the 1970s been more-or-less equivalent to a state. It is represented in the Commonwealth (federal) House of Representatives and the Senate; residents of the ACT must vote in federal constitutional referenda; these rights & responsibilities were originally granted only to residents of states. Additionally, the ACT is self governing to a similar extent as the states: it has responsibility for its education and health etc. etc. (though I think it's police force are the Australian Federal Police, rather than a separate territory-based force as in the Northern Territory). At this stage the biggest difference between the ACT as a territory and it as a state is that the federal government can over-rule legislation in the territory it can't in the states. —Felix the Cassowary 14:08, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Congressional oversight[edit]

"Such an action would require an act of Congress and approval from the District and the State of Maryland. " This sentence contradicts what is written in Voting rights in Washington, D.C.. I don't believe that legally the district would have a voice in the matter as Congress makes the laws for DC.15:37, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Since self-rule, the District basically makes its own laws and sets its own budget although these actions can be overturned by Congress. Constitutionally, Congress is the ultimate authority and can do what it wants in D.C. unilaterally. When the Virginia portion of D.C. was retroceded, District citizens were not consulted. They didn't even have any locally elected government that could represent them in such a decision. I removed the reference to the D.C. approval requirement in the article. --dm (talk) 00:48, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Merge into Voting Rights page[edit]

The page on D.C. Statehood is short, and represents a subset of the subect matter of Voting rights in Washington, D.C. I am proposing a merger of the two, retaining the name of the latter. Any objections? --BlueMoonlet 15:24, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, I decided to keep this page, since it pertains not only to District of Columbia voting rights but also District of Columbia home rule. See Talk:District of Columbia voting rights for more. --BlueMoonlet 04:38, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Merge D.C. Statehood and New Columbia[edit]

  • Merge as "D.C. Statehood" Someone has put a merger tag on both articles, but there doesn't seem to be any discussion as yet. I think this is a fine idea, as the article cover essentially the same subject matter, and I would have done it myself if I had had time. I would propose D.C. Statehood as a better title than New Columbia, as the latter is only one possible name that the proposed state might have. --BlueMoonlet 05:19, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge in same way and for the same reasons as BlueMoonlet mentions. Scoutersig 05:44, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge per BlueMoonlet.--Tainter 07:03, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
  • OK, I'll do it.Ferrylodge 20:46, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Statehood now statehood now statehood now Congress needs to get it's but moving Spursfest101 (talk) 04:40, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Why does D.C. Statehood fail?[edit]

I was just reading up the related articles on D.C. home rule, D.C. voting rights, D.C. Statehood and D.C. retrocession to Maryland and I was wondering why it all seems so difficult to give D.C. representation. As noted above, even Australia's capital territory is represented in both its House of Representatives and the Senate. Now it is true that have all of Washington D.C. become a state might require a constitutional amendment, but in the D.C. retrocession article there was a paragraph in the proposals section to the effect that most of the District could be retroceded to Maryland, with the exceptions of the National Capital Service Area (federal monuments, the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and other federal buildings) with the National Capital Service Area (NCSA) becoming a rump District. If that proposal doesn't require a constitutional amendment, then neither should Statehood for D.C., if a Statehood proposal includes separating the NCSA from the proposed New Columbia and retaining the NCSA as the District. Thus there would be the state of New Columbia and the District of Columbia with no need for a D.C. Voting Rights Amendment. In the fact the only amendment needed would be to repeal the 23rd amendment and it shouldn't be too hard to get the required number of states to get any such "repeal amendment" through. And if the article on 51st state(s) is correct, then Washingtonians are supposed to be the most in favour of statehood out of all the potential candidates (and this includes Puerto Rico where around 45-46% favoured statehood in the last few referenda). If that is the case, then it isn't hard to imagine that the majority (even if only a slim majority) of Washingtonians are in favour in statehood. Does anyone know if the Statehood advocates have any proposals along those lines (New Columbia and a rump D.C.)? Or do all the Statehood advocates put forward proposals to turn all of the District into a State?72.27.165.213 06:40, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

You're puzzled perhaps because you have forgotten that the USA is racist, partisan, and undemocratic. That's mentioned in our article on D.C. voting rights. Korky Day 01:19, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Your claim that the fact that D.C. hasn't been made the State of New Columbia is a sign of America being "racist" and "undemocratic" is unsubstantiated and simplistic. There are plenty of people, including many D.C. residents, who don't want statehood, but do want D.C.'s current problems to be fixed. Are those people racists, because they don't agree to your solution?--Repeal 16-17 (talk) 22:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)\
Korky is a Canadian, don't expect much logic from him; only anti-american foolishness. Travis T. Cleveland (talk) 09:01, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Taking the original question seriously if I might... It's true that a simply act of Congress could grant statehood to D.C. Congress is reluctant to do this because D.C. would be the second smallest state in population (ahead of Wyoming) and its population votes about 90% Democrat. This doesn't sit well with Republicans and the Senate as a whole because D.C. would then be entitled to two senators thus diluting everyone else's power. Not exactly a fair or principled argument, but logical. Retrocession doesn't seem to be popular with D.C. or Maryland residents. Marylanders don't relish the idea of taking responsibility for Washington's many urban problems (failing schools, rampant crime, etc.) while most of the D.C. residents I ask about the matter seem simply not to like Maryland much and like to bask in the city's unique status of not being part of any state. Seems like pretty shallow arguments to me. That's why as a D.C. resident I favor retrocession, but I'm pretty much in an extreme minority on this point. --D. Monack | talk 03:39, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Although I'm not a resident any where near DC or it's neighboring states, I too favor retrocession to Maryland, perhaps as Maryland's second independent city (Baltimore City being the first.) However, I think one of the real reasons something doesn't happen is just general apathy - no one really wants to do anything, too many people don't really care,a nd too many are OK with the status quo. Granted, that's all conjecture on my part, and certainly doesn't belong in the article as is, but at least it beats the "cause america is racist" line! - BillCJ (talk) 04:04, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
And that's the problem BillCJ - too many people not from anywhere near DC sticking their nose in DC business. Why retrocede to Maryland when most of us in the surrounding DC area feel more loyalty to DC than to our states? Theres a local culture issue here that gets drowned out by the fact that we have to deal with people from other parts of the country in determining the plight of our area. I live in Northern Virginia but I'm a DC native and the only apathy is outside of this area - and its a crying shame that in a federal so-called republic a major metropolitan area has to appeal to the federal government and to the other states for its own measures. As for the "Canadians" comments on racism - considering all of the other measures that the federal government has taken to marginalize and devalue the gains that black people have made in representing themselves in a city where they form a firm majority - it's only blindly pro-american foolishness that would condemn his remarks, or out-of-town foolishness. --70.177.186.164 (talk) 17:36, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
You seem to forget it's my country's capital, but not the Canadian's - I do have a say, like it or not. The constitution set it up the way it was when there was no city - they wanted a capital apart from state politics of any kind. They didn't do it to marginalize anyone 200 years later; in fact, they really didn't intend for it to be a long-term residence for anyone. The current situation just evolved over time. However, with the "success" of home-rule, I can see why many aren't enthusisatic about turning DC over to its current leaders - electing better local leaders would be a good start! Something needs to change, but the solution isn't necessarily statehood. And I would say the same thing no mattter the color or ethnic background of the residents. - BilCat (talk) 22:36, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, BilCat, as soon as the District was founded there were concerns about disenfranchising the people who lived there, see Debates Over Retrocession. Additionally, one has to remember that the District originally included two relatively large settlements, Alexandria and Georgetown, which were the 22nd and 32nd most populous cities in the country, respectively. That would be the modern-day equivalent of disenfranchising both Boston and Tucson, Arizona. So the idea that Congress didn't know/intend for people to live in the District is a bit disingenuous. The only unintended consequence would be that perhaps the founders underestimated the extent that Congress would insert itself into the purely local affairs of the District's residents, such as the content of the school curriculum.
As for the quality of the local elected government, I would argue that D.C. is in a lot better shape than many other large cities. The local government has had a balanced budget for over a decade (more than you can say for California), maintains a AAA bond rating, and has been gaining residents at a time when many other large cities have seen large declines. The city's crime rates have fallen sharply (down 50% from a decade ago), development is still booming, and homes in the city have retained their value even in this down economy. Many attribute (or some would say "blame") this effect on federal spending and that may be partially true; but I can tell you that none of the recent initiatives to improve the quality of life for residents has occurred thanks to Congress.
However, getting back to the original point, you are correct that the solution isn't necessarily statehood. For many, the issue is one of representation. Many would be more understanding of the unique circumstances that come with living in the federal city, so long as D.C.'s voice in Congress is appreciated as much as the residents' tax revenue. In addition, Congress could make a number of changes to ensure that local residents maintain as much autonomy as possible. Perhaps, for example, by requiring a supermajority to pass special legislation in regards to the District or overturn an act of the local legislature. Best, epicAdam(talk) 02:31, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I understand your points. For all practical purposes, Congress is to DC what State Legislturs are to thier cities. While I don't know for certin, I would think that some of the 50 state legislatures probably exercise greater control over their cites and counties. I do agree that DC should have some representation in Congress; for certain, it should not have state-level representation without actually being a state (I hold the same view for Puerto Rico, for which I do support statehood, and even Northern Marianas/Guam).
To clarify my previous statement on "sticking my nose into DC's business": I have the same right that any other citizen in the US has - Freedom of Speech _ I can express my opinion if I want, and try to persuade others I'm right. The former DC citizen above has the exact same right as I do - it's not his business now either, not legally, as he in not a DC resident. But neither of of can enforce our views on others. Congress does have oversight over DC, dn that oversight is complete and total, just as the states's oversight of their counties and cities is complete and total, to the degree permitted in their constitutions. Ulitmately, I oppose most Congressional control over anyhting at all! We would all be better off with local control over most issues! I also suppport self-determination for all people everywhere in the world, including DC. If the poeple of DC or PR want statehood, I support that. In DC case, as we both stated, I do think other options are available to be considered, but ultimtely it's up to the people to determine their own fate, but Congress does have a role too constitutionally, and ultimately.
Finally, there are many things I would like to see COngress have to have a SUpermajority to do, so good luck on that one! COngress generally doesn't relinguish power on its own! - BilCat (talk) 02:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I have to disagree with you assertion that the status of the District of Columbia is similar and/or equal to the status of cities within a state. In a state, residents of cities have full voting representatives in the state legislature; the District of Columbia has no such equivalent in Congress. In addition, Congress is not at all similar to state legislatures. Congress is made up of politicians from all over the country, each of whom has his/her own particular ideas of how the country should be governed. Issues that may be important to a Representative from Wyoming or Georgia may be completely divergent from the interests of the people of the District. This is in contrast to representatives in a state legislature who are much more likely to share the same views and common interests. In addition, the people of the District have already voted for statehood, but that petition has been denied by Congress. Therefore, the people of the District have no such self-determination, unlike Puerto Rico which could legally leave its political union with the United States at any time.
In addition, I do not understand why the people of the District "should not have state-level representation". The people of the District pay the same taxes, fight in the same wars, and are subject to all the same laws and regulations as the people of any state. To claim that these people are somehow inferior because they live in the nation's capital is ridiculous. Those who would deny the District voting representation point to the fact that the residents of D.C. are not "People of the several States". However, there over two million U.S. citizens who live overseas yet are allowed to vote for President and members of Congress, thanks to the Reagan-era Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). These American expatriates are not residents of a U.S. state, do not pay taxes to the United States, and do they aid in this country's defense; however, these non-residents have full voting representation in Congress while the people who live in the nation's capital do not. Furthermore, Congress treats the District as a "state" under the Constitution for every other purpose (taxation, regulation of inter-state commerce, the federal judiciary, etc.) except representation. This is hypocrisy of the highest order. Congress cannot have it both ways; the District should be treated like a state for all purposes under the Constitution or none of them. Best, epicAdam(talk) 06:35, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
You missed my point entirely on "state-level representation". Anyway, we are far off the topic of improving the article. Feel free to move our comments from today to my talk page (or your own if you prefer), and we can contiue this there if you would like. - BilCat (talk) 07:06, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Not to disparage your arguments epicAdam, but we expats most certainly do pay taxes (although there is some exclusion of income to account for all the foreign taxes we pay while overseas), and if there were ever a draft, I highly doubt they would not come for my son should he be of draftable age at that time.Arlesd (talk) 00:34, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't D.C. carved out of both Maryland and Virginia? Why not return each share to their respective states? Or better yet, why not merge Maryland and Virgina into a single state? Combined they would be smaller than most states. 72.67.35.97 (talk)
All of present DC was carved out of Maryland. Virginia originally also contributed land to DC, but that land was returned to Virginia in 1846. As for merging Maryland and Virginia... even if that was possible in theory (which I don't think it is, at least under current law), it's not even remotely close to being realistic. Why would the residents of Maryland and Virginia, who between them currently have four senators, decide they only want half as much power in the Senate? I won't even get into the questions of how to handle what to do with the two governors, two separate legislatures, and 200+ years of uncoordinated state laws. This would be a mind-bogglingly expensive and stupid thing to even attempt at this point, even if the residents wanted it, which... why would they? --Dreamsmith (talk) 09:02, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
It would be possible. The Constitution does make a provision for the possibility of two or more states merging into one. That provision has never been invoked, but it's there (IIRC, there've been suggestions of merging the Dakotas). It would require the consent of both states as well as Congress. It would create a lot of difficulties, as you mentioned, and I seriously doubt there are many Marylanders or Virginians who would favor it, though. But, it is theoretically possible. XinaNicole (talk) 04:43, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I added an 'Arguments Against' section. The notable sourced objections I can find are a) the fact that (from the Federalist Papers) concerns were expressed about placing the federal govt within a single state b) the small size of the city by geography and population, c) having a state which lacks any rural area and with a large dependence on the federal government as an employer d) the possibility of DC imposing a commuter tax on federal employees living in neighboring states (which they are currently barred from doing). I think these are common objections that are raised when statehood is discussed. Afpre (talkcontribs) 14:10, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Encyclopedia headings should not be abbreviated[edit]

Who can fix that to "District of Columbia statehood"? I don't know how. Korky Day 01:13, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Homeland[edit]

Homeland? That's not what statehood is about by any stretch. Please stop adding this without verifiable, reliable sources to back up your claim,a nd a concensus here to include the phrases in the text. Thanks. - BillCJ (talk) 00:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

A "homeland for the African-American people of DC"? Where are they moving to? Are non-African-Americans who live in DC going to be get their own ethnic homelands too? I'm beginning think this is simply vandalism or trolling, not a serious attempt to add info, esp given the IP is from Canada, not the DC area. I will file an AIV report or contact an admin if further changes are made without any serious attempt to discuss the issue AND gain a consensus first, and to provide sources to back up the 'homeland" language. - BillCJ (talk) 00:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

The movement is hardly known *only* in the "DC area". People around the world are also familiar with this controversy, and we're supposed to cover all POV's (see Deep web:POV). For example, here's a BBC article on the statehood movement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.97.134.80 (talk) 01:01, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a trend these days to ethnic self-determination, on all scales; DC's size is on the order of, say, a Kosovo, and, as I and anyone who's actually lived there will tell you, the secessionist spirit is at least as motivated by race as it is by, say, voting rights. DbelangeB (talk) 01:07, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Statehood has nothing to do with ethnic self determination, homelands, or secession. If there is a movement for DC to "secede", then that, but the actual definitions of words, "secession" means leaving the US, not becoming a state of the US. Btw, all the BBC link above states is about voting rights, and the piece is 7 years old. - BillCJ (talk) 01:22, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

"Secession" is too strong a word, I agree, but the meaning should be clear from context. "Statehood" also carries multiple meanings, some of them overtly ethnic; see, for example, the article on Israel, which Deep web calls "the world's only Jewish state". DbelangeB (talk) 01:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps a solution would be to create a new article discussing secession and include an "other uses" link at the top of this article to the new article. Or a new section in this article might also suffice. 129.97.134.80 (talk) 01:56, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
"Statehood" as it is used in the phrase "D.C. statehood" means making D.C. a U.S. state like California or New Jersey. It never refers to secession from the U.S., because no one is advocating that. Please don't add anything about nationhood for D.C. to this article unless you have legitimate sources for this. Like I said, no such movement exists as far as I know, so citations would be hard to come by. --D. Monack | talk 02:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

New Columbia constitution links[edit]

Unfortunately the Westlaw links aren't persistent. The site is highly user-hostile and unlinkable because of cookies and JavaScript. The best option seems to be to link to the DC Code page and let the reader navigate from there on their own. Maybe there's a better copy out there on the web somewhere. For now, I'll change the bad links to the best known option (which is still nonideal). —KCinDC (talk) 19:54, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

License plates?[edit]

The "License plates" section seems irrelevant, since it doesn't mention statehood. I could see moving it to District of Columbia voting rights, perhaps as part of a new section about attempts to draw attention to the issue. —KCinDC (talk) 22:48, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. The license plate issue relates more to voting rights than statehood. -epicAdam (talk) 15:17, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. Looks like it was there but was removed. —KCinDC (talk) 15:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Does the current president have the "Taxation without Representation" plates back on the limo? If we're mentioning Clinton and Bush, we should update it for Obama as well. Zaldax (talk) 14:24, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Downsides[edit]

Let's face it: This article is biased, presenting no opposing opinion to statehood or voting rights. Possibly include a section icluding possible ulterior motives, such as DC not having any Republicans in office, essentially giving the Democratic Party 2 free Senate votes (which I oppose) and 1 free representative in the House (which I support).--Carolinapanthersfan (talk) 23:31, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

An "ulterior motives" section would be problematic because ulterior motives are by definition never stated openly. We obviously can't speculate about statehood advocates' inner thoughts. On the other hand, a section describing the arguments of prominent opponents would be appropriate. —D. Monack talk 07:14, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

"Advocates"[edit]

After a too-lengthy exchange of back-and-forth edits with User:Carolinapanthersfan concerning the "Advocates" section of the article, I removed the one sentence in the disputed paragraph that lacked a source, and restored the balance. I hope this compromise will satisfy interested parties. If not, please discuss the matter here. JohnInDC (talk) 20:28, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the Advocates section needs to be properly sourced just like everything else on Deep web, but don't pretend that your the "Opponents" section was just the flip side of this one. "Advocates" merely lists the main activists behind statehood without repeating their arguments. Fairly non-controversial stuff. Your "opponents" section was a list of arguments without naming anyone who actually made such arguments. They're not equivalent. Deep web is not a forum for your personal opinions. —D. Monack talk 21:11, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me, I didn't mean to direct my comments to you, JohnInDC. They're obviously addressed to User:Carolinapanthersfan. Sorry for the confusion. —D. Monack talk 21:14, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Understood. I would add that the entire article is (blandly) descriptive, simply identifying what the issues are and how they came to be. This is really not the place for the pros and cons of the matter. JohnInDC (talk) 21:17, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

google population graph[edit]

Let me present a possible argument against here.

Warning: This is WP:OR, I am not proposing an addition to the article.

States with less than 1 million population, along with DC.[1]

12 percent of the US Senate elected by less than 1.4 percent of the population? OK, it's in the constitution.

Nevermind how the residents of DC would vote, why make it 13.7 percent of the Senate represented by 1.5 percent of the population?

Why did the merge with New Columbia fail?[edit]

I noticed an earlier section in this talk page suggested a merge back in 2006, but apparently it was reversed...why? I mean, they ARE on slightly different topics, but everything contained in the New Columbia (state) article could easily be contained in this article, if it isn't already. I just don't see the logic to it. --StoryMakerEchidna (talk) 19:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't see any reason why it couldn't be merged. Be bold, merge the content, and create the redirect. Best, epicAdam(talk) 21:58, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Orphaned references in District of Columbia statehood movement[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of District of Columbia statehood movement's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "heritage":

  • From District of Columbia voting rights: Pate, Hewitt R. (August 27, 1993). "D.C. Statehood: Not Without a Constitutional Amendment". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
  • From District of Columbia home rule: Pate, Hewitt R. (1993-08-27). "D.C. Statehood: Not Without a Constitutional Amendment". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-12-29.

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 04:36, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

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