R 157
2021 -- S 0751
Enacted 03/30/2021

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Valverde, and Goldin
Date Introduced: March 30, 2021

     WHEREAS, The people living on the land that would eventually be designated as the
District of Columbia were provided the right to vote for representation in Congress when the
United States Constitution was ratified in 1788; and
     WHEREAS, The passage of the Organic Act of 1801 placed the District of Columbia
under the exclusive authority of the United States Congress and abolished residents right to vote
for members of Congress and the President and Vice President of the United States; and
     WHEREAS, Residents of the District of Columbia were granted the right to vote for the
President and Vice President through passage of the Twenty-Third Amendment to the United
States Constitution in 1961; and
     WHEREAS, As of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau data estimates that the District of
Columbia’s population at approximately 712,000 residents is comparable to the populations of
Wyoming (582,000), Vermont (623,000), Alaska (731,000), and North Dakota (765,000); and
     WHEREAS, Residents of the District of Columbia share all the responsibilities of United
States citizenship, including paying more federal taxes than residents of 22 states, service on
federal juries, and defending the United States as members of the United States armed forces in
every war since the War for Independence, yet they are denied full representation in Congress;
     WHEREAS, The residents of the District of Columbia themselves have endorsed
statehood for the District of Columbia and passed a District-wide referendum on November 8,
2016, which favored statehood by 86 percent; and
     WHEREAS, No other democratic nation denies the right of self–government, including
participation in its national legislature, to the residents of its capital; and
     WHEREAS, The residents of the District of Columbia lack full democracy, equality, and
citizenship enjoyed by the residents of the 50 states; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Congress has repeatedly interfered with the District of
Columbia’s limited self-government by enacting laws that affect the District of Columbia’s
expenditure of its locally raised tax revenue, including barring the usage of locally raised revenue,
thus violating the fundamental principle that states and local governments are best suited to enact
legislation that represents the will of its citizens; and
     WHEREAS, Although the District of Columbia has passed consecutive balanced budgets
since FY1997, it still faces the possibility of being shut down yearly because of Congressional
deliberations over the federal budget; and
     WHEREAS, District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Delaware U.S.
Senator Tom Carper introduced in the 117th Congress H.R. 51, which had historically passed the
House on June 26, 2020, during the 116th Congress, and S. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission
Act, that provides that the State of Washington, D.C. would have all the rights of citizenship as
taxpaying American citizens, including two Senators and at least one House member; and
     WHEREAS, The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the United
States Congress to address the District of Columbia’s lack of political equality, and the
Organization of American States has declared the disenfranchisement of the District of Columbia
residents a violation of its charter agreement, to which the United States is a signatory; now,
therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island hereby supports admitting
Washington, D.C. into the Union as a State of the United States of America; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Majority Leader of the United States
Senate, the Minority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House
of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, Senator
Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Representative James Langevin, Representative David
Cicilline, and the President of Students for D.C. Statehood.