Washington D.C., June 26, 2020 - Today, Brady applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which would admit the District of Columbia into the Union as Washington, Douglas Commonwealth, the 51st state. Though the House has voted on bills considering D.C. statehood in the past, this is the first time that such a bill has passed.
Washington, D.C.’s over 700,000 residents enjoy the same liberties, freedoms, and privileges as any resident of the United States, yet are unrepresented in our federal government and therefore unable to truly and fully participate in our nation’s governance. This is a clear and inexcusable inequality.
Though President Trump and Senate Majority Leader have stated openly and cynically that they will not take up or support this bill, Brady applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for demonstrating to the American people that our democracy must be fully inclusive of all Americans. Thank you for standing up for D.C. statehood.
Brady President Kris Brown said:
"For the first time since 1993, the U.S. Congress has voted on a bill to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in our union. That D.C.’s over 700,000 residents are subject to laws over which they have no formal say. This disenfranchisement is an outrage. Our nation has grappled with how it treats its citizens over the last month. It is impossible to look at D.C.’s long, slow path to home rule and hopefully statehood without understanding the racist motivations that have historically governed the decision to deprive its residents of their constitutional rights. D.C.’s lack of voting representation is a crystallization of how far our nation has yet to go to truly deliver on the promises of our founding for all of its citizens.
Brady is grateful to the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this bill, though President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell have already stated that they will not support it for politically motivated reasons. This is precisely what is wrong with our federal government at the moment: common-sense and popular bills cannot be held hostage by institutional rules that do not serve the will of the people. The promise of our government to protect basic fundamental rights for its citizens was foundational in our declaration of independence. As we head into the 4th of July, we condemn the comments made by Sen. McConnell and President Trump that put politics over those rights. This bill should pass in the Senate and should be passed with a 51-vote simple majority.
This is not a pyrrhic victory. Washington, D.C. will someday enjoy full and equal rights as a state in our union, and history will look back on this vote as evidence that our nation continues to move forward to improve our democracy for all its people. Brady is especially grateful for the hard work and leadership of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has represented D.C. since 1991 and ensured that her constituents are not forgotten and do not go unheard, even when she is denied a vote on their behalf in the House."
Brady is a proud member of 51 for 51, a coalition of D.C.-based and national groups committed to equal-representation rights for D.C’s 700,000 disenfranchised residents. Giving voice to the voiceless is a central goal of Brady; especially the voices of those who have died from gun violence. This bill perfectly aligns with this goal, and Brady strongly advocates for its passage. Brady also applauds the efforts of the D.C.-at-Large Delegate, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, for bringing this bill back into national conversation.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.