Following the Democratic State Committee’s vote to support D.C. Statehood, Maine Democratic Party Chair Drew Gattine released the following statement. 

“I applaud the Democratic State Committee’s vote in support of statehood for the District of Columbia. The Reconstruction era denial of statehood was rooted in racism. Over the years, it has been upheld by racism and partisanship. Today, it denies a population that is 46% Black full membership in our democracy. This racial and democratic injustice must end. No one in the United States should have taxation without representation. We join the chorus of voices across the country saying, Give D.C. statehood now.

“The population of the District of Columbia is 712,000, comparable to the populations of Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. These 712,000 citizens carry their full democratic weight: they serve on federal juries, they have fought for our country in every war since the American Revolution, and they pay more in federal taxes than residents in 44% of states. In addition, while the District of Columbia has passed a balanced budget since the late 1990s, it is regularly subject to the threat of a shutdown due to Congressional debates on the federal budget, alongside Congressional interference in their own self-governance. In fact, the United States is the only democractic nation that denies the right of self-government to the residents of its capital. 

“We cannot be an inclusive democracy as long as statehood is denied. Give the residents of D.C. the representation, equality, and citizenship afforded to residents of the 50 states. Bring the District of Columbia into the Union as a State of the United States of America.”