Washington, D.C. – March 31, 2021 – The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL)
It’s hard for us to imagine a more ironic situation than the disenfranchisement of citizens in Washington, D.C., a city named after a man who literally fought for a representative democracy. Since 1978, NBCSL has established policy in support of the home rule, budget autonomy and Congressional representation which come with full statehood for the residents of the District of Columbia. These policies include those highlighted in our ratified resolutions LJE-14-34 and BED-17-30. Residents of the District of Columbia pay federal taxes, serve in the U.S. military, and participate in jury service like all other Americans citizens. And by comparison, there are states with less population that help decide how federal taxes are spent, and when and where our troops are deployed.
Over half of all the people living in the District of Columbia identify themselves as “Black” or “African American. In times like today, it’s imperative that the voices of marginalized people be included in their governance. Our nation’s founders fought for a representative democracy. It was a good idea then, and the Members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators still embrace it today.
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