Orange to Introduce Statehood Advocacy Legislation

3/4/2013, 7:54 p.m.

Bill Provides Funding to Support City's Quest for Statehood, Budget Autonomy and Voting Rights

During the D.C. Council's March 5 legislative session, Vincent Orange (D-At-Large) will introduce a bill to establish a District of Columbia Statehood Delegation fund to assist promotion of the District's statehood and voting rights.

The "District of Columbia Statehood Advocacy Act of 2013" would provide elected officials $75,000 for staffing and $75,000 for programming. The 13-member D.C. Council would be provided $550,000 for a lobbying and media campaign.

"Full statehood is important to this city," Council member Orange said. "The 618,000 citizens of D.C. deserve to enjoy the same full voting rights as every American citizen."

Orange added that his bill is about supporting the efforts for statehood, budget autonomy, and voting rights. "Words are fine, but actions are better," he said. "The citizens of D.C. have been disenfranchised much too long [and] our voice deserves to be heard."

The D.C. Council would also appropriate funds to retain the services of a Congressional Affairs firm to lobby Congress on the issue of D.C. statehood and for the execution of a media campaign to further increase the awareness of D.C. statehood issues.