Thursday, 03 August 2017 00:00

Greetings from Timothy Cooper

Written by Timothy Cooper

On the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC)

When the definitive history of the DC statehood movement is written—by some writer who may not have even been born yet—those who were a part of Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC) will deserve the grateful nod of history. They will be remembered for something important. They will be remembered for their generosity of spirit, their love of community and their selflessness. This spirit, which can’t be manufactured or bought, is what sets Stand Up! / Free DC apart. It’s this spirit that has allowed them to believe that equality and justice can and will be won for the politically exiled 700,000 living in America's capital city.

It is this spirit that places community above self—and that Stand Up! / Free DC and its supporters embody. And with this spirit Stand Up! / Free DC can and will make the seemingly impossible journey to statehood possible—no matter how long it takes or what price paid.

Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC) has always been about the triumph of the spirit. It has never been about the pursuit of ordinary politics or the attainment of some kind of transitory power. No, it has always been about going after something really rather extraordinary, and oh so very difficult to achieve—a durable justice in a sometimes impossibly unjust land.

What the early-on members of Stand Up! / Free DC set out to achieve 20 years ago today—when Senator Lauch Faircloth and his Republican Congress took away our tiny, insulting measure of Home Rule—was no small thing. Not even close. Then as now, they set out to defend the District’s basic right to self-determination. On that day, they drew a line in the sand and declared that the citizens of the District would not rest until they had established themselves as equals among equals, nothing less. It was the right thing to do.

That is because it was self-evident to them that everyone in America—no matter where they lived—was entitled to enjoy the rewards, the riches of equality. There can be no wealth without equality, because equality is prosperity.

And for 20 long years, our resolve has been tested. But for 20 years the people of the District have never faltered. They have gone from strength to strength, and today, because of all their unwavering, undaunted efforts, the DC statehood movement is now more alive than ever.

But of course, we are not there yet. And how we get there is always a matter for debate. But what is not debatable is the righteousness of our common cause. What is not open to debate is what we intend to achieve. And that would be equality.

So when that day finally arrives, when the citizens of Washington, DC rise to fully join the Union, let’s be clear about one elemental thing. Let’s be crystal clear that we will have in significant measure Stand Up! for Democracy in DC / Free DC to thank.

—Timothy Cooper, August 3, 2017

Read 221 times Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2017 18:16

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Stand Up! / Free DC was founded in 1997 to help the 670,000+ residents of our nation’s capital achieve full and equal citizenship rights. Stand Up! / Free DC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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