The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) adopted the pro DC Statehood Resolution below at its regular monthly meeting last Saturday. Josh Burch, Brookland resident and leader of Neighbors United For DC Statehood spoke about the importance of the resolution and statehood in general. Neighbors United is a grassroots movement whose strategy is to work across DC, neighborhood by neighborhood, to galvanize and organize smaller groups in order to build a larger and more sustainable movement for statehood. As part of this effort, they are asking neighborhood based organizations like the BNCA to adopt pro-statehood resolutions.
D.C. STATEHOOD RESOLUTION
Whereas, the District of Columbia is the only political and geographical entity within the United States of America whose citizens bear the responsibilities of citizenship, including taxation and Selective Service registration, without sharing in the full rights and privileges of citizenship; and
Whereas, over 192,000 citizens of the District have fought in our armed forces in service to our nation in every war and foreign conflict; and
Whereas, in Fiscal Year 2012, District residents and businesses paid $20.7 billion in federal taxes; more than the taxes collected from 19 states and the highest federal taxes per capita; and
Whereas, the District balanced its budget every year since Fiscal Year 1997; and
Whereas, the Congress has recklessly fomented repeated fiscal crises, and a federal government shutdown would force the government of the District to close despite having a balanced budget; and
Whereas, the Congress and the President have restricted the District from spending local tax dollars as our Council and Mayor have directed; and
Whereas, the District government receives less federal funds as a percentage of its budget than Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, and North Dakota; and is on par with Alabama, Montana, Vermont, and West Virginia; and eight states receive as much or more aid than the District; and
Whereas, the continuous intrusions of the United States Congress into the local municipal affairs of the District are affronts to a republican and federal form of government that occur nowhere else in the country; and
Whereas, the Congress has final approval on all District laws, unlike any other jurisdiction in the country; and
Whereas, District residents are subject to all of the laws of the United States, as well as treaties made with foreign governments, without ever having consented through Congressional representation to such laws; and
Whereas, the District has a population of more than 632,000 people, which is a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont; and
Whereas, the District has a larger population than most states when they joined the United States, which needed only 60,000 people under the Enabling Act of 1802; and
Whereas, the Congress has bartered our freedoms and constrained our liberty through numerous appropriations bills, riders, and like instruments; and
Whereas, the Congress can repeal the Home Rule Act of 1973 and our limited self-governance, but cannot redefine or repeal Statehood; and
Whereas, in the only public referendum on the issue, the majority of District residents voted overwhelmingly in 1980 in favor of Statehood; and
Whereas, Statehood is the only way to guarantee the citizens of the District our irrevocable and inalienable right to full citizenship;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association demands Statehood for the residential and commercial portions of the District of Columbia, in order that our second-class citizen status be permanently abolished.
Approved at a regularly scheduled meeting on May 18, 2013.
President, Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association