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As District leaders advocate for statehood and full voting rights this summer, some pols are already looking to the fall.
Released on Friday, a draft version of the 2016 Democratic Party Platform for the Nov. 8 general election identifies D.C. statehood as a pivotal issue. Party organizers put the item under the heading “Protect Voting Rights, Fix Our Campaign Finance System, and Restore Our Democracy.” Though the document is explicitly “deliberative and predecisional,” the provisional inclusion of District statehood, which presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton as well as President Barack Obama support, could well bring the issue greater attention on the national level. Local supporters of statehood have long said that allies from other jurisdictions would be necessary for D.C. to realistically become the 51st state one day.
“Restoring our democracy also means finally passing statehood for Washington, D.C., so that its citizens have full and equal congressional rights as well as the right to have the laws and budget of their local government respected without Congressional interference,” the tentative party platform explains in a single sentence.
Whether a would-be District state gets called “New Columbia” or something else—well, that’s another matter entirely.