WASHINGTON, DC -- Wednesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser alongside other DC elected officials held a public meeting to discuss a new plan of action to see the District of Columbia become the nation’s 51st state.
“We’re getting taxed like it’s a state, so, give us the money.”, said resident, James Leak Jr.
He's just one of many DC residents who have been sounding off about the long-fought battle that's gone on for decades to gain adequate representation in Congress.
During its second public meeting, the New Columbia Statehood Commission laid out how DC’s “Tennessee Plan” will help get the ball rolling.
Initiatives are two fold and focused on educating people in DC and throughout the country.
“We know that we get 20 million visitors here each year, and those 20 million visitors, we let them come here without educating them on our lack of democracy.”, said Beverly Perry, Sr. Advisor to Mayor Bowser.
She said there will be interactive kiosks set up at high traffic areas to help educate visitors.
There are also efforts to reach out to 10 states so far to garner support for a national call to action.
“First of all, people have no idea that we have a bigger population than two states. People are amazed that we pay more taxes then 22 states. People are amazed that we have veterans who died for our country that don’t have anybody to vote for in the congress.”, said Perry.
Last year, 86 percent of DC voters, voted for statehood.
Many, like DC resident Tammy Johnson are hopeful that statehood will be a reality this time around.
She said, “I can’t wait until we do become a state. We really need it so that we can get some things in place for our state and we can be evenly balanced across the board.”
“You know, we’re getting taxation without representation and we’re tired of talking. We know that Eleanor Holmes Norton has been trying to get it done, but we want to see some action.", said Leak.