Should Washington, D.C., Become a State?

Rally for D.C. Statehood
Some people want Washington, D.C. to be its own state.

The D.C. in Washington, D.C., stands for “District of Columbia.” Washington, D.C., is a city rather than a state. But some people would like that to change.

How was Washington, D.C., formed? In 1774, a group of representatives from the colonies, the First Continental Congress, needed a place to meet. They met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which served as the capital. When George Washington become president in 1789, New York City was the capital.

But the northern and southern states wanted a capital that was not too far north and not too far south. They agreed on a spot in the middle, right between Maryland and Virginia, and named it after President Washington. America’s founders were concerned that people living in Washington, D.C., might influence Congress, so the residents of the city did not have representation in the Senate or the House of Representatives. This is still true today, although people who live in Washington, D.C., can vote for the President.

Why do some believe that Washington, D.C., should be a state? With a population of over 700,000, D.C. has more residents than Vermont or Wyoming—yet the city has no representatives in Congress. People who live in D.C. have the same responsibilities of being U.S. citizens. They pay taxes to the government, and many serve in the military. They believe there should be “no taxation without representation.” D.C. residents have voted in favor of making Washington, D.C. a state. If Washington, D.C., were a state, it would have two senators and one member of the House of Representatives.

In 2021, the House of Representatives voted to make Washington, D.C., a state. While there seems to be a lot of support for the idea of making Washington, D.C., a state, others are opposed to the idea. Some argue that Washington, D.C., does not have the same manufacturing or agriculture that other states have. And others say that the Congress should not have the power to add states. Instead, they believe, the Constitution needs to be amended to add another state.

What Do You Think? Do you think Washington, D.C., should be a state? Why or why not?

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