Three starting points:

1. HR1 /S1: For the People Act of 2019

. . . in 2019, the House of Representatives passed HR 1, the For the People Act of 2019.

This historic legislation contains key reforms to revitalize American democracy—including automatic voter registration, small donor public financing, redistricting reform, and a commitment to restore the Voting Rights Act. It would make voting easier and more accessible, lower barriers to running for office, and empower voters to choose their representatives, rather than let representatives choose their voters. H.R. 1 would be the most sweeping reform in a half century . . .”

The Brennan Center

2. John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act responds to current conditions in voting today by restoring the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was last reauthorized by Congress in 2006, but gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Following the Shelby County decision seven years ago, several states passed sweeping voter suppression laws that disproportionately prevent minorities, the elderly, and the youth from voting.

The bill provides the tools to address these discriminatory practices and seeks to protect all Americans’ right to vote.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act establishes a targeted process for reviewing voting changes in jurisdictions nationwide, focused on measures that have historically been used to discriminate against voters.

Partial synopsis from Senator Leahy’s office

3. HR 51: Washington Admission Act

This bill provides admission into the United States of the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, composed of most of the territory of the District of Columbia. The commonwealth shall be admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the other states.

This legislation needs a companion bill introduced in the senate.

Why Statehood?

DC residents fulfill all the obligations of US citizenship and yet are denied representation.

  • DC residents pay the highest per-capita federal income taxes in the US,

  • DC has 712,000 residents, more than Vermont and Wyoming and comparable with other states including Delaware, Alaska, and several others.

  • DC residents have fought and died in every war, yet those armed service members are denied the freedoms they have fought to protect.

  • DC elects a non-voting Delegate to the US House of Representatives who can draft legislation but cannot vote. The current Delegate for DC is Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

  • Statehood is the only remedy that provides full representation in Congress for the residents of Washington, DC.

What You Can Do:

Write separate emails (or make phone calls) for each issue, urging your elected representatives to prioritize introduction of the bill, become a cosponsor of the bill, and support the passage of it.

Lesley Frost, Advocacy Chair