Friday, 29 October 2021 14:33

Opinion: A stunted statehood movement Featured

Written by Karen A. Szulgit | The Washington Post
Opinion: A stunted statehood movement (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

The Washington Post, Letter to the Editor, October 29, 2021

Colbert I. King was on the mark in his Oct. 23 op-ed, “No issue is more important than voting rights.” Our republic may be doomed if President Biden and Senate Democrats do not engage in serious filibuster and national voting rights reform. Our democracy is already being held hostage by a minority of Republican senators — with help from a few Democratic senators — and this official rollback of our fundamental voting rights will only get worse.

I stood outside in line for five hours and 14 minutes to vote in D.C.’s most recent primary election. And my wait time was not nearly as long as others trying to vote in person out in the states. Limiting early voting in the states will only increase the multitude of challenges voters will face everywhere.

But Mr. King seriously missed the mark when he did not even mention the issue of D.C. statehood in his arguments. He wrote not one word about the 220 years of disenfranchisement of his brothers and sisters in the District of Columbia. Not. One. Word.

I held a “FREE DC” sign at the Freedom to Vote Act rally on Oct. 19 outside the White House. Other attendees carried signs that read “DC STATEHOOD IS RACIAL JUSTICE.” More than 700,000 D.C. residents — predominantly Black and Brown people — are truly the poster children of voter suppression in this country.

But until national voting rights advocates and Post columnists recognize this fact, the D.C. statehood movement will be stunted and continue to be mere background noise in this march toward democratic equality and voter protection.

Karen A. Szulgit, Washington

Click here to read this letter to the editor online in The Washington Post.

Read 85 times Last modified on Saturday, 06 November 2021 15:23

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Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC) was founded in 1997 to help 700,000 residents of our nation’s capital achieve full and equal citizenship rights.

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