Preparing for Statehood

Carrying out the due diligence so that everyone—the local government, residents and businesses—are ready for the day the District of Columbia becomes a state.

Diving into the details.

The case for the District of Columbia's right to statehood has been made. Now we will answer the practical questions of how statehood would work.

Statehood Research DC will dive into the historical, economic and legal details. Policymakers must understand the historical context. A careful transition process must be mapped out. Policies and regulations will need to be renegotiated with the federal government and all options scored for fiscal and economic impact.

A new government system will be created if and when the District of Columbia becomes the 51st state. We need to ensure that policymakers have everything they need to do it right.

Research is still being conducted. Get notified when reports are released.

Scope Of Work

History

Understanding the context. What was the original thinking behind the legislative and fiscal relationship between DC and the federal government? How has that relationship evolved over time? 

Competitiveness

Statehood will change DC's business climate. How will DC’s business tax burden under statehood compare to its suburbs? How will statehood impact business perceptions about DC as a place to do business?

A New Relationship with the Federal Government

A host of legal questions would have to be settled between the federal government and the new state, including whether federally imposed regulations would still stand, how DC's criminal justice system would function, and whether there are other administrative obligations that the federal government should retain for practical reasons.

Covering the Bottom Line

DC's budget would dramatically change with statehood. How could DC restructure its tax system in ways that were previously forbidden by federal statute? What are the best terms for negotiating new fiscal obligations?

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Latest Research

History

Shifting Landscape: A Brief History of the Fiscal Relationship Between the District of Columbia and the Federal Government

By the D.C. Policy Center / October 2021

The city's fiscal supports from the federal government has (more often than not) been erratic, unpredictable and declining over time. Rarely have these fiscal arrangements involved much feedback from city leaders about the city's actual needs. Today, the city's own fiscal standing—independent of the federal government—has never been stronger. The city has proven that it has the discipline and wherewithal to manage its finances under statehood.

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History

Democracy Deferred: Race, Politics, and D.C.'s Two-Century Struggle for Full Voting Rights

By Derek Musgrove and Chris Asch / March 2021

This report provides a summary and analysis of the circumstances that led the citizens who lived in the area designated as the seat of government to lose their right to vote in 1801, why Congress has only partially addressed this state of affairs in the intervening 220 years, and how the modern struggle for self-determination among Washington, D.C., residents has evolved into the present push for statehood.

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Statehood Resources

The Federal City Council Announces Creation of “Statehood Research DC” and Release of First Report

Federal City Council / March 19, 2021

Statehood Research DC, which launches today, will answer the more practical questions about statehood by sponsoring research, briefing papers and other education materials.

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Bowser will make case for D.C. statehood at congressional hearing next month

The Washington Post / February 22, 2021

Mayor Bowser will testify that DC is fiscally resilient, well-managed and can handle taking on statehood.

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The Board

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Gregory McCarthy (Chair)
Senior Vice President, Community Engagement
Washington Nationals Ball Club
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Charles Miller (Vice Chair)
Senior Counsel
Covington & Burling LLP
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Cora Williams (Treasurer)
Founder & CEO
Ideal Electric Supply Corp.
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Pedro Alfonso (Secretary)
Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Dynamic Concepts Inc.
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Sheila Brooks
Founder, President & CEO
SRB Communications, LLC
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Monty Hoffman
Founder & Chairman
Hoffman & Associates
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Jake Jones
Executive Director of External Affairs and Public Policy
Daimler
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Melissa Lavinson
Senior Vice President, Government & External Affairs
Pepco Holdings, an Exelon Company
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B. Doyle Mitchell Jr.
President & CEO
Industrial Bank
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Linda D. Rabbitt
Founder & Chairman
Rand Construction Corporation
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Daniel Solomon
President
Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation
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Anthony Williams
CEO and Executive Director
Federal City Council