Here’s Why DC’s Most Infulential Professionals Are Fighting for Statehood
Kimberly Perry of DC Vote is on a mission to ensure that your future (along with every DC resident) is full of access, benefits, and the right to choose should you decide to build a life for yourself in this city.
What is DC Statehood?
The issue of DC Statehood has been around for a while. But it recently heated up when Initiative 71 — a Washington, D.C. voter-approved ballot initiative that legalized the recreational use of cannabis (aka marijuana) was challenged– essentially making it legal to use it and grow it, but not sell it.
If you are new to the conversation, all you need to know about DC Statehood is that it is about access and equality. DC residents don't have the right to choose or equal representation in Congress like every other state.
“We’re disenfranchised and can't participate,” says Perry. “And all we have to do is change the law.”
A Future Without DC Statehood
If nothing changes, those potentially hoping to build a life and a future in the District might not have the same school choices for their children, the same healthcare choices for themselves or their family, or even a vote on critical gun laws. Just to name a few.
“Congress is currently so dysfunctional, that our new strategy is to reach out to the 50 states and their legislatures for support,” says Perry. “That broader debate and public attention will catapult the movement to the next level, so ultimately we get the rights we deserve,” says Perry.
This issue touches so many lives it was thrown into the national spotlight when John Oliver joined the conversation. He did a brilliant bit on his show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver where he shared a clip comparing a DC resident's right to vote with that of a Panda at our national zoo.
“The Chinese panda's at the National Zoo have as much right to representation in the U.S. Congress as any resident in the District of Columbia.”
A bright future full of benefits, access, and the right to choose is possible in DC. We just have to make our voices heard.
Help current and future DC residents fight for weed, the right to choose, and other super important things by signing the petition at DCVote.org.
Photo credit: Roland Agli