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Introduced in Annapolis: A Statement for Statehood

The latest person to throw support behind statehood for Washington, D.C., is a freshman delegate from Montgomery County.

Del. Gabriel Acevero (D) introduced a resolution in the General Assembly that would declare Maryland’s support of statehood for the District of Columbia.

House Joint Resolution 7 has more than 30 cosponsors, all Democrats, mostly from the capital region.

“This resolution is about reaffirming Maryland’s commitment to the fundamental principles undergirding American democracy,” Acevero said in a press release. “It is unconscionable to me that residents in our nation’s capital are obligated to pay federal taxes, adhere to federal laws, and fight and die in our country’s wars, yet have no voting representation in the Congress that imposes those taxes, passes those laws, and declares those wars.”

The District’s “shadow senator” in the U.S. Senate, Paul Strauss, said D.C. statehood is “constitutionally appropriate and morally just.” He urged prompt passage of the resolution.

“Although a State line has divided Maryland from Washington, D.C. since 1790, a common devotion to democracy, freedom and equality unites the people of both jurisdictions,” Strauss said in a written statement.

The three-page resolution will be considered by the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee on Feb. 25. There is no Senate cross-file of the measure.

The resolution is the latest in a push by Democrats to recognize the District of Columbia as the country’s 51st state.

A portion of the federal For the People Act of 2019, HR 1, includes a series of findings supporting statehood for the District. That measure, sponsored by Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-Md., 3rd), is expected to pass the U.S. House, but fail in the U.S. Senate. Democrats in the House have said the bill serves as a statement of party priorities and a blueprint for government reform, should the party take control of the Senate in 2020.

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