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Inside The Push To Make Washington, D.C. The 51st State

A field of flags is spread across the National Mall, with the Washington Monument in the background ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A field of flags is spread across the National Mall, with the Washington Monument in the background ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

More people live in Washington, D.C. than in Wyoming or Vermont. But without statehood, residents of D.C. have no voting member in Congress. We discuss the new push by Democrats to make D.C. the 51st state.

Guests

George Derek Musgrove, historian at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Co-author of “Chocolate City.” (@gdmusgrove)

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, non-voting delegate for the District of Columbia. (@EleanorNorton)

Rep. Dusty Johnson, Republican for South Dakota’s at-large congressional district. Sponsor of the “District of Columbia-Maryland Reunion Act.” (@RepDustyJohnson)

Also Featured

Peter Tracey and Shawntia Humphries, D.C. residents.

Roger Pilon, constitutional scholar at the Cato Institute.

From The Reading List

Baltimore Sun: “Commentary: A modest proposal: Make D.C. a state, and merge Wyoming with South Dakota” — “Reacting to the latest proposal to grant statehood to the District of Columbia, the sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Dakota recently introduced legislation to merge most of D.C. with Maryland instead.”

Slate: “What D.C. Residents Continue to Endure” — “In his mealy-mouthed speech on the Senate floor following Wednesday’s attempted government takeover by a mob of Donald Trump supporters, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska threw in a casual dig at the city whose residents make his life possible.”

The Atlantic: “D.C. Statehood Is More Urgent Than Ever” — “Less than six months before a mob of the sitting president’s supporters would descend upon the United States Capitol, a more solemn crowd gathered at its steps.”

Washington Post: “Opinion: D.C. needs statehood more than ever, and the Capitol riot proves it” — “Jan. 6 began with Black joy and ended with white hate — a day like too many in our history.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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