I am writing to express my opposition to the Washington, D.C., Admission Act (HR 51). While I support the argument that the citizens of Washington, D.C., should have equal representation within our country’s legislature, I disagree with this method of granting that fundamental right. This act would be detrimental to the unity and strength of our country through an additional method of fracturing our society.
It would be more beneficial for the country and would give the citizens of Washington, D.C., just and equitable representation if the district was retroceded back to Maryland instead of being granted statehood. However, to provide parity for the remainder of the country, this would require repealing the 23rd Amendment, which explicitly provides the District of Columbia a minimum of three votes in the Electoral College and other means of congressional representation.
There are countless enclaves throughout the country, both urban and rural, that can justifiably claim underrepresentation. Since the formation of our union, many have sought and continue to seek the creation of separate states. HR 51 would set a bad precedent. At worst it can be characterized as a balkanization of our country. At best, it would be the most severe form of gerrymandering and would not solve our social problems.
Without a doubt our country faces racial, social, and political reckonings. However, I would argue that one of our greatest problems, which propagates our inequalities, is poverty. I would further suggest that education is our most effective and sustainable anti-poverty program. This is why I support the president’s proposal for free education for all through two years of community college.
So, let us aim for solutions that lift everyone up and unite us, as opposed to quick fixes that would figuratively and literally break apart the country.
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