We were blessed with a beautiful day on Thursday, Sept. 19 for the historic hearing on H.R. 51, the Washington DC Admission Act (aka, the statehood bill), and it's a good thing, because so many activists turned out that we filled the hearing room, the overflow hearing room, the SECOND overflow hearing room, the halls of the Rayburn building, and had a large overflow-overflow crowd in the Spirit of Justice park behind the Rayburn building.
How big was the total crowd? We honestly don’t know, but one of the thee coalition partners, DC Vote, reports that they handed out all 2000 "I Showed Up 4 DC Statehood" stickers they had printed well before the hearing started.
The statehood bill was ably represented by testimony from:
- Mayor Muriel Bowser
- Council Chairman Phil Mendelson
- DC CFO Jeffrey DeWitt
- Congressional Research Service Legislative Attorney Kenneth Thomas
- Kerwin Miller, DC resident and veteran
Mr. Miller was supported by additional veterans who are also DC residents, shown here with a 51 star US flag.
If you were unable to attend, you can learn more about the hearing at:
There will be many more steps to take to achieve statehood, but last week, we accomplished a really big one.
Thanks to all the Ward 6 statehood supporters who turned out, and stay tuned for next steps, which will include marking up H.R. 51 and a floor vote in the House. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who chaired the hearing, recently reported that H.R. 51 now has 218 co-sponsors in the House, which means we have sufficient votes to pass the bill in the House.