04/15/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2019 17:35
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) applauded 20 Attorneys General who declared their support for statehood for the District of Columbia ahead of D.C.'s Emancipation Day, celebrating when the nation's slaves were first freed nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation. District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced today that 20 Attorneys General joined him in supporting Norton's H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which would grant statehood to the District.
'Attorneys General are trusted as a state's chief legal counsel and the top prosecutor for their jurisdictions,' Norton said. 'The recognition, for the first time ever, of 20 Attorneys General speaks to the core issues of D.C. statehood - justice, fairness, and full representation in government. Our thanks are due to AG Racine for his leadership on this issue central to democratic government in the U.S. We have already built historic support for D.C. statehood, and the support of these Attorneys General only gives more power and credibility to our cause to become the 51st state of the United States.'
In his statement, AG Racine said: 'The fight for D.C. Statehood is a fight for justice and equality and a fight to empower the District's disenfranchised residents. Support for our cause continues to grow. I am grateful to the advocates and activists working here in the District and across the country to stand up for our fundamental rights, and I am especially grateful to my fellow State Attorneys General for joining us in supporting D.C. Statehood for the first time. I am confident that in time a majority of the country's Attorneys General will support statehood for the District.'
This endorsement follows Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) unveiling of a sweeping proposal to combat voter disenfranchisement, including restoring the Voting Rights Act, establishing national, automatic voter registration laws, and supporting D.C. statehood. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has also strongly endorsed D.C. statehood and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) announced that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which he chairs, will hold a hearing and markup on H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, this year. The statehood bill has a record number of cosponsors in the House (203) and Senate (32).