NAACP Reaffirms Support for Statehood for the District of Columbia; Supports Referendums on the Question
WHEREAS, the NAACP has robust, established policy in support of the home rule, budget autonomy and Congressional representation which come with full statehood for the residents of the District of Columbia (see resolutions from 1978, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2011); and
WHEREAS, the residents of the District of Columbia pay federal taxes, serve in the U.S. military, and participate in jury service like all other Americans citizens; and
WHEREAS, almost half of all the people living in the District of Columbia identify themselves as "Black or African American"; and
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 601,000 people living in the District of Columbia at the time of the most recent census, compared to Wyoming, which had less than 564,000 yet which has full voting representation in Congress with two Senators and one Congressperson; and
WHEREAS, in fiscal year 2016, the gross state product for the District of Columbia was estimated to be more than $120 billion, more than that of 16 states; and
WHEREAS, as of 2015, Washington, D.C. residents paid $1.6 billion a year in federal taxes - more per person than the residents of every state; and
WHEREAS, in 2016, as a show of fiscal independence and for the first time, the elected officials of the District of Columbia plan to enact a local spending plan — totaling $13 billion — without congressional appropriation of those funds. Instead, the city will begin spending its money in a manner determined by locally elected officials unless federal lawmakers act to stop it; and
WHEREAS, there is also a move to put a referendum on the ballot in November 2016 allowing the residents of the District of Columbia to decide on whether or not they want statehood; and
WHEREAS, if such a ballot were to be placed on the ballot and ultimately approved, it would provide District of Columbia residents and their struggle for statehood with more and much-needed national impact.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP reaffirms its resolutions from 1978, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2011 supporting the residents of the District of Columbia in their struggle for home rule, budget autonomy, and representation in Congress; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP supports a referendum which would give the residents of the District of Columbia the full representation they so rightly deserve and the rights and responsibilities inherent in statehood.