One Year After the Insurrection, D.C. Residents Are Still Without Full Voting Representation and Self-Governance
Washington, D.C. — One year ago today, white supremacists invaded the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election. For the 700,000 mostly Black and Brown residents of D.C., this violent insurrection was not only an attack on our nation’s democracy –– it was an attack on our home. Today, despite a historic year for D.C. statehood and growing nationwide support for making D.C. the 51st state, District residents are still without full voting representation and self-governance.
Just last month, Congress removed a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would have given Mayor Bowser control over the D.C. National Guard, in the event of future violent incidents in the District.
On the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, 51 for 51 and ACLU of D.C. issued the following statements:
“Jan. 6 began with Black joy and ended with white hate, and the 700,000 of us who call D.C. home were forced to bear the brunt of that hatred,” said Jamal Holtz, Lead Organizer of 51 for 51. “A year after that violent day, D.C.’s residents –– the majority of whom are Black and Brown –– are still denied voting representation in Congress, and we still do not have the full protections that statehood provides. The anniversary of Jan. 6 is a reminder that we cannot wait for another violent attack on our home to act –– Congress must grant D.C. statehood now. The safety of our community and the sanctity of our democracy are on the line.”
“You cannot say that you care about representative democracy in this country if you are not actively campaigning for D.C. statehood," said Monica Hopkins, Executive Director of the ACLU of the District of Columbia. "On January 6 of last year, the residents of D.C. were traumatized as an insurrectionist mob roamed our streets, harassed our neighbors, and violently broke into the Capitol Building, killing at least five people –– all in an attempt to overthrow the counting of American citizens' votes. And through all this attack, the 700,000 people of D.C. who lived through this violence, the majority of whom are Black and Brown, remain denied any voting representation in Congress. It is long past time for Congress to correct this 200-year-old historic injustice and grant full and equal voting rights to the people who live in D.C."
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51 for 51 is a coalition of D.C.-based and national groups committed to equal representation for the over 700,000 D.C. residents who remain locked out of our democracy. The coalition of 20 progressive groups believe American citizens living in the District deserve a voice in Congress and control over their own local laws. Already, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Senators Warren, Markey, Gillibrand and Hickenlooper have endorsed 51 for 51’s proposed path to statehood.
ACLU of the District of Columbia is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties of those who live and work in the District of Columbia. The ACLU-D.C. works in communities, in the legislature, and in the courts to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.