House bill would make DC the nation’s first plurality-Black state

A poll found that 74% of Democratic approve of the statehood along with about 34% of Republicans

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Washington, D.C. is inching closer to becoming its own state.

On Monday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform is set to hold a hearing on if D.C. should become the 51st state. Statehood for D.C. has been a controversial topic, but a new poll shows most voters believe it should be its own state, per CBS.

“The enfranchisement of 712,000 D.C. residents is a top priority for the Oversight and Reform Committee,” said Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney to CBS, who calls it a “civil rights issue.”

“After years of stagnation, we are witnessing a real and sustained momentum behind D.C. Statehood.”

DC's Cherry Blossoms Come To Late Bloom
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 08: Cherry blossoms bloom on the edge of the Tidal Basin after a colder than normal March and chilly April delayed the beginning of the cherry blossom season in the nation’s capital April 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. Peak bloom was originally predicted between March 26 and March 30th, with the revised prediction moving to April 6-10. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Supporters say the capital should be its own state because its majority Black and Brown population is disenfranchised due to its lack of representation. If statehood is to pass, the District of Colombia will become the country’s first plurality-Black state.

data poll conducted by Democracy for All 2021 Action’s progressive advocacy coalition found that 74% of Democratic approve of the statehood and about 34% of Republicans. It also discovered that about half of voters in rural areas throughout the country agree it should be its own state, along with 57% of those in swing states.

“This now has captured the majority of American voters, which makes us believe that the watchword, ‘taxation without representation,’ is on its way out,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton. She represents the District in Congress as a non-voting delegate who reintroduced H.R. 51.

But everyone is not onboard with D.C. becoming a stand-alone state.

“D.C. statehood is all about Speaker Pelosi and liberal Democrats consolidating their power to enact radical policies nationwide like the Green New Deal, packing the Supreme Court, and eliminating the filibuster,” said the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Congressman James Comer in a statement about the hearing.

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Some Republicans feel as if the statehood is a simple ploy by Democrats to gain Congress. D.C. voters. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell considers D.C. Statehood a “full-bore socialism.”

Comer adds, “The Democrats’ bill is unconstitutional and no amount of testimony can change that basic fact.” He labeled the bill as “a dangerous political power grab.” 

But Norton remains hopeful despite the critics, saying, “In 2022, I do think we will have a better chance for statehood in both houses.”

Protesters Demonstrate In D.C. Against Death Of George Floyd By Police Officer In Minneapolis
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 05: People walk down 16th street after volunteers, with permission from the city, painted “Black Lives Matter” on the street near the White House on June 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. After seven days of protests in DC over the death of George Floyd, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has renamed that section of 16th street “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

As reported by theGrio, D.C. residents are looking out for each other by supporting it essential workers.

Mr. Braxton Bar and Kitchen, a Black-owned restaurant in Washington, distributed 700 free meals to residents, front-line workers, and emergency first responders. One of eight Black-owned restaurants in cities across the country that participated in the meal distribution program.

“We really wanted to make sure that we could get those meals out to those individuals in need,” Booker Parchment, the owner of Mr. Braxton Bar and Kitchen said. 

Parchment partnered with the Washington D.C. Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc.’s Guide Right committee to coordinate the sites and distribute the meals, setting up distribution centers at Howard University Hospital Center, Washington Hospital Center, the Metropolitan Police Department, and several other locations around Washington.

Additional reporting by Alicia Diaz

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