SENATE MEMORIAL 8
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Brenda G. McKenna and Leo Jaramillo and Shannon D. Pinto
and Harold Pope and Benny Shendo, Jr.
REQUESTING CONGRESS TO ADMIT WASHINGTON, D.C., INTO THE UNION AS A STATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
WHEREAS, the people living on the land that would eventually be designated as the District of Columbia were provided the right to vote for representation in Congress when the United States constitution was ratified in 1788; and
WHEREAS, the passage of the federal District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 placed the District of Columbia under the exclusive authority of Congress and abolished residents' right to vote for members of Congress and the president and vice president of the United States; and
WHEREAS, residents of the District of Columbia were granted the right to vote for the president and vice president through passage of the twenty-third amendment to the United States constitution in 1961; and
WHEREAS, as of 2021, the United States census bureau estimates that the District of Columbia's population (six hundred eighty-nine thousand five hundred forty-five) is comparable to the populations of Wyoming (five hundred seventy-six thousand eight hundred fifty-one), Vermont (six hundred forty-three thousand seventy-seven), Alaska (seven hundred thirty-three thousand three hundred ninety-one) and North Dakota (seven hundred seventy-nine thousand ninety-four); and
WHEREAS, the residents of the District of Columbia share all the responsibilities of United States citizenship, including paying more federal taxes than residents of twenty-two states, serving on federal juries and defending the United States as members of the United States armed forces in every war since the Revolutionary War, yet they are denied full representation in Congress; and
WHEREAS, the residents of the District of Columbia have endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia and passed a districtwide referendum on November 8, 2016 that favored statehood by eighty-six percent; and
WHEREAS, no other democratic nation denies the right of self-government, including participation in its national legislature, to the residents of its capital; and
WHEREAS, the residents of the District of Columbia lack full democracy, equality and citizenship enjoyed by the residents of the fifty states; and
WHEREAS, Congress repeatedly has interfered with the District of Columbia's limited self-government by enacting laws that affect the District of Columbia's expenditure of its locally raised tax revenue, including barring the usage of locally raised revenue, thus violating the fundamental principle that states and local governments are best suited to enact legislation that represents the will of their citizens; and
WHEREAS, although the District of Columbia has passed consecutive balanced budgets since fiscal year 1997, it still faces the possibility of being shut down yearly because of Congressional deliberations over the federal budget; and
WHEREAS, District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced House Resolution 51 in the one hundred seventeenth Congress and Delaware senator Tom Carper introduced Senate Bill 51 in the one hundred seventeenth Congress, both of which are known as the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which act would provide that residents of the State of Washington, D.C., would have all the rights of citizenship as taxpaying American citizens, including two senators and at least one house member; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations human rights committee has called on the United States Congress to address the District of Columbia's lack of political equality, and the organization of American states has declared the disenfranchisement of the District of Columbia residents to be a violation of its charter agreement, to which the United States is a signatory;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that members of the United States Congress be urged to enact federal legislation granting statehood to Washington, D.C.; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the New Mexico senate support admitting Washington, D.C., into the union as a state of the United States of America; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the president and vice president of the United States, the speaker of the United States house of representatives, the president pro tempore of the United States senate and the members of the New Mexico Congressional delegation.
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