New Hampshire Legislator Makes Case For D.C. Statehood | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

New Hampshire Legislator Makes Case For D.C. Statehood

Play associated audio
 
The New Hampshire state legislature is considering a bill that would express support for D.C. statehood.
Holley St. Germain (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stgermh/565664120/)
  The New Hampshire state legislature is considering a bill that would express support for D.C. statehood.

Republican presidential hopefuls have left New Hampshire, but now some of the District's local politicians are planning a trip there to testify before the New Hampshire state legislature.

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering a measure that would express their support for the District becoming the 51st state. If the non-binding resolution passes, New Hampshire would be the first legislature to express its support for D.C. statehood. 

So why is the Granite State doing this now? As Cindy Rosenwald, Democratic member of the New Hampshire House, puts it, "Why not now?"

Rosenwald met D.C. Council member David Catania at a conference and he explained the District doesn't have a full vote in Congress. Then she did some research. 

"I realized that the District of Columbia is the size of Vermont and, in fact, is half the size of New Hampshire," she says. "I could not imagine disenfranchising half of New Hampshire s population or all of Vermont. It doesn’t seem fair."

Since then, says D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, Rosenwald has been a good friend to the District.

Gray and some council members expected to head New Hampshire this week to support the New Hampshire bill, but had to postpone their trip because of snow. 

This is the start of a plan to convince state legislatures across the country to support D.C., which Gray and D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown launched last fall. "We hope to be able to start the process in a systematic way of educating people in the other states about the plight of the people in the city," Gray says. 

It makes sense to Rosenwald to start in her state given that New Hampshire and D.C. have very memorable license plates. The District's, of course, bears the slogan "Taxation Without Representation." 

"Your license plate ranks up there with New Hampshire's "Live Free Or Die," in terms of really pithy statements," says Rosenwald. 

The New Hampshire legislature is dominated by Republicans, meaning the bill to support D.C. statehood could face an uphill battle. But Rosenwald says she'll try to appeal to their mistrust of government. After all, she says, the District is nothing if not subject to the long arm of federal power. 

David is a journalism graduate student at American University, and WAMU is licensed to American University.

NPR

Ann Meara, Half Of Husband-Wife Comedy Team, Dies At 85

Ann Meara died Saturday in New York. She had a long varied career in show business and was one half of the 1960s comedy duo, Stiller and Meara. She was marred to Jerry Stiller. Her son is Ben Stiller.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Obama Administration Forced To Defend Strategy Against ISIS In Iraq

On this Memorial Day, the Obama administration finds itself defending its foreign policy strategy in Iraq where the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has captured the city of Ramadi.
NPR

For Aspiring Artists, Social Media Can Get Fans Too Close For Comfort

The power of social media is that aspiring artists can essentially invite fans into their living rooms, but fans can sometimes overstay their welcome.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.