Credit: Darrow Montgomery

You may have heard that D.C. is trying to become a state, and, as part of that effort, has released a draft constitution for which it aims to hold a convention in mid-June. Well, if you’ve got a lot of feelings about what a hypothetical District state should be called—or perhaps about how it should be structured—you’ll have several opportunities in the coming weeks to express your (partly compromised) democratic rights.

The New Columbia Statehood Commission plans to kick off a series of community meetings tonight at Gallaudet University, where it will convene five “working groups” considering different issues related to voting equality. Subsequently, D.C. will hold ward-based gatherings leading to a June 17–18 convention:

  • May 26: Roundtable to discuss draft constitution (details TBD)
  • May 31:  Ward 3 Town Hall at Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • June 1: Ward 6 Town Hall at Southwest Neighborhood Library, 900 Wesley Place SW, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • June 2: Ward 5 Town Hall at Bertie Backus, UDC Community College, 5171 South Dakota Ave. NE, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • June 4: Ward 7 Town Hall at DOES Community Room, 4058 Minnesota Ave. NE, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • June 4: Ward 8 Town Hall at Thurgood Marshall Academy, 2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
  • June 6: Ward 2 Town Hall at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • June 7: Ward 1 Town Hall at the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, 1925 Vermont Ave. NW, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • June 8: Ward 4 Town Hall, location TBD, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • June 9: Working-group recommendations to the New Columbia Statehood Commission from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the UDC Student Center, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW

The D.C. Council is expected to introduce the draft constitution as legislation once budget season wraps up this month, so citizens will be able to participate in a public hearing on the relevant bill, as per usual.

Can’t make your ward meeting in person? Residents can also submit their comments on the draft constitution online.