The Democratic Socialists of America condemns Congress’s meddling in the autonomy and governance of the District of Columbia, and the local affairs of the residents of that future state. As laid out in the DSA Platform approved by our membership at the 2021 National Convention, we demand democratic self-governance for all and immediate passage of the S.51, granting the District statehood and giving its nearly 700,000 residents equal representation in Congress.
Since the inception of the District of Columbia, the residents of DC have been disenfranchised for no other reason than the fact that a majority of the residents are Black and brown. Racism and classism are the root of the patronizing interference the District faces when its residents democratically decide the manner in which they will be governed. Occasionally through disapproval resolutions, and more often through budget riders, Congress has, in repeated instances, imposed its reactionary views on the residents of the District. It cannot be understated that the vast majority of the District’s residents are working class. They are responsible for carrying out the crucial, and often overlooked, task of maintaining and facilitating the business of a government which they have only limited say in directing.
By imposing its will on DC, Congress will doubly disenfranchise the residents of the District; first by denying noncitizen DC residents the right to vote in local elections, and second by denying the remaining residents the right to self-determination in granting their immigrant neighbors equal rights. As stated in the DSA Platform, we demand voting rights for noncitizens not only in local elections in DC, but for all elections across the United States. As a basic tenet of democracy, voting rights should be extended to all members of a community, regardless of their immigration status or country of citizenship.
Our comrades in DC even lack the access to take part in the lowest form of participatory democracy: the power to lobby their representatives in Congress – because they have none. The members of the Metro DC chapter ask that we advocate for them in solidarity. Please use this link to tell Congress to keep their dirty hands off DC and to pass S.51, the “Washington, D.C. Admission Act”.