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Some things are naturally subject to critique: New albums, art shows, movies, restaurants. District of Criticism is here to review everything else.

With the recent launch of the D.C. Statehood campaign comes, of course a new website.

A red, white, and blue new website.

The goal, of course, is the noblest one. You’ve probably heard the litany listed on the site:

  • District residents pay more than $3.8 billion in federal income taxes annually, they have no input on how their tax dollars are spent.
  • Congress maintains oversight of the democratically-elected DC government.
  • The District of Columbia is home to over 40,000 veterans, more per capita than any other city in the country.

The fight for statehood has a long and storied history here in D.C. and it’s only right that there’s now a site to go along with it. But is it any good?

Well, not really. Instead of having a top or bottom navigation, is pretty much a series of tubes. Or maybe a make-your-own-adventure book. Each page gives you a couple of options for other pages to check out. Start on the homepage and you can either sign a petition or “learn more.” If you decide to learn more, your options are to either sign the petition or see a statehood calendar (which, it should be noted is a beautifully designed…PDF).

Buried at the bottom of the “learn more” page, if you look hard enough, is a link to a history of the fight for statehood and a timeline. This page—-the most interesting one on the site—-is the the hardest to find. And when you come to the end, you can, of course, sign the petition, or download the calendar.

Oh, and did I mention the text on the site is almost all in Garamond? At least it’s not Comic Sans, but Garamond isn’t particularly easy to read in large doses in print—-much less on the web.

Verdict: A truly admirable effort gets bogged down in bad website design. Can we get a vote on this thing? Oh, wait.