In recent weeks I have attended/taken part in/responded to a number of DC candidate forums and questionnaires. One important question has been, "What would you do to promote DC Statehood if elected?" First of all I will continue to work for Statehood whether I am elected or not. However, I do have several thoughts/ideas on the whole issue. One reason I have joined the DC Statehood Green Party is that we do not accept corporate financing and thus have no part in the recent electoral scandals and questions. Therefore we can promote Statehood with clean hands and a pure heart throughout the country.
Thus, I encourage our voters to vote the DC Statehood Green Party ticket. We will have 6 candidates printed on the November ballot. Some may be tempted to vote for President Obama. Last election he had 93% of the vote in DC. Has this gained us anything in DC? For those who rightfully fear a Romney administration, voting for Dr. Jill Stein in DC is not going to change the fact that President Obama will still get a majority of DC votes and our electoral votes. However, if his count drops by 10 or 15% perhaps he will realize that we are disappointed that while living here full time he has done so little for our city or our Statehood quest. Continuing to pay 100% federal taxes, while only electing 2 out of the 5 representatives we ought to have simply is not fair.
Second, it has come to my attention that Republicans have expressed an interest in having Puerto Rico, with potentially 5 Representatives and 2 Senators, become a state. Although a majority of those elected might be Republicans, if we in DC were to enter as a state at the same time, the major political parties would probably be represented roughly in equal numbers. Pairs of states entering the Union with different political views has been arranged several times in the past. Since we lost the Utah redistricting pairing idea, this seems to be our next best strategy as DC is unlikely to win a supermajority of approvals by the 50 states in the near future.
On Sept. 24th I raised this idea at the DC for Democracy candidate forum when my competition for the "Shadow" Representative to Congress and I were questioned, which you can see at this link:
The chance to use this strategy for the moment depends on the results of the November 6th vote in Puerto Rico when they will decide if they want Statehood, Independence, or status quo. I am considering making a fact finding trip there, where I have family already living, to make contacts for potential future joint action. Unlike Rick Santorum, who says PR would have to make Spanish language secondary, rather than co-equal with English as it is now, I suspect that we in DC would honor their cultural diversity and language.
A third idea is to raise national awareness of the very real sacrifices in blood and lives that we in DC have made in our military. This is also true for Puerto Ricans who have served bravely in the US military as well. I propose that each Veteran's Day and Memorial Day we have a press conference/demonstration in front of the column with Washington DC carved on it at the World War II Memorial. There is a large blank granite rectangular block holding a tall column. We should prepare a poster the size of this rectangle. Written on it should be: DC soldiers DIED ( ), DC soldiers WOUNDED ( ), DC soldiers SERVED
( ). Supporters of Puerto Rican statehood could join us in doing the same. Photographed against our memorial column this would be a powerful statement to send the nation.
The failure of candidate Romney to even mention our service people in his major Republican Convention address is especially indicative of his lack of concern for the common man. You would think that after getting 6 draft waivers while selling Mormonism in France, he would recognize the need to make an extra effort with the group that has sacrificed so much more than the rest of us. The fact that so many of the 47% that he says don't matter to him are service people or families, and often living in "red" states, shows just how ignorant and unconcerned he is with the economic condition of people in our country. I have encountered several wonderful summaries of opinion regarding the Romney campaign that deserve quoting. They are comments at a Huffington Post article titled, Mitt Romney Ohio Ground Game: A Frantic Race to Catch Obama, by San Stein.