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Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

D.C. statehood would advance criminal justice reform

Advocates for statehood for the District of Columbia rally near the Capitol prior to a House of Representatives hearing on creating a fifty-first state, in Washington, Monday, March 22, 2021. The activists were able to gather near the Capitol building after the outer perimeter security fencing was dismantled this weekend. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When our senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, contemplate D.C. statehood this year, criminal justice reform may not be top of mind. But D.C.’s disenfranchisement continues a standard of democracy only for some. The Americans who live in D.C. deserve statehood, and their voices and experience would benefit all of us.

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D.C. statehood a racial, voting rights issue

The East Front of the U.S. Capitol at dusk. It’s quiet now, but will be a lot livelier when Congress returns from its August recess on Sept. 8 and begins to tackle a long list of back-up legislation. (Photo courtesy Architect of the Capitol)

When our State Senate considers D.C. statehood, they should treat this issue as a necessary and substantive pro-democracy reform rather than giving it the cursory and partisan treatment that the House did. If this issue comes up in the U.S. Senate, I hope Sens.Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly will recognize D.C. statehood for the racial justice and voting rights issue that it is.

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What is ‘PILT’ and why do we need a permanent solution?

The acronym “PILT” is more than just an odd abbreviation. PILT stands for Payment In Lieu of Taxes, a program created by Congress in 1976. Simply put, PILT provides federal funding to counties that host large tracts of non-taxable federal land, reimbursing the counties for services required on those lands and making it possible for county governments to provide police and fire protection, road maintenance and necessary health care services.

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