By Franchetta Groves
A recent poll from the Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that a majority of Maryland residents support the idea of D.C. becoming a state. This goes against the sentiments of the rest of the country who do not support D.C. statehood as widely.
Proponents of D.C. statehood argue that Washington, D.C. is not being properly represented, despite having a population greater than states such asWyoming and Vermont. They argue that because Washington, D.C. pays federal income tax it is having taxation without proper representation due to their lack of statehood.
Another proposed solution is for the city of Washington, D.C. to become a county of Maryland, which is an unpopular idea among Maryland residents. Only 36% of individuals from Maryland support this idea. The poll was seen as a win and a step in the right direction for those who support D.C. statehood.
“Our neighbors in Maryland know that by recognizing the rights promised to us in the U.S. Constitution, we would be building not only a stronger D.C., but a stronger region,” commented D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in the WTOP article. “That is why we will continue to teach more Americans about our plight until we make it right.”
This poll brings into question recent legislation which was introduced to the house last January. The bill, titled the Washington D.C. Admissions Act, would admit Washington, D.C. to the union with equal footing to the other states. After this recent poll and following last month’s congressional hearing on the bill, public support for the bill could increase. This would mean that the District of Columbia would be represented by two Senators and one Representative.
“It is very interesting and seems complex but I think it’s an idea that shouldn’t be off the table,” said freshman Niko Esposito.
Opponents of D.C. statehood argue that it is not the role of Congress to decide D.C. statehood, but that the matter instead must go through the Amendment process. They argue that the Constitution designed the District of Columbia to be represented by the rest of Congress. Some argue that the United States needs a federal district and that Washington D.C. serves that purpose.
“Washington, D.C. isn’t designed to be a state,” said freshman Maggie Glowe, “That’s why it’s the capital of the United States.”
While the Union may not see Washington, D.C. admitted as a state anytime soon, polls like this show that support may eventually shift. Nationwide support may still be low, yet conversations are beginning to take place on what the status of our nation’s capital will be.