In an open letter to Congress, NAACP and Deliberate Parenthood spotlight the significance of Washington D.C. statehood, citing pandemic response, vaccine distribution and healthcare as causes the measure particularly impacts Black individuals.
The letter, launched on Thursday (April 29), notes that there are pressing issues that have to be addressed, together with the mortality charge with Black ladies. It’s “a matter of life and loss of life,” the letter reads.
Head of Deliberate Parenthood Alexis McGill Johnson and president of the NAACP Washington D.C. Akosua Ali are among the many supporters who’ve signed the letter, with many different Black ladies on the signatory web page.
“It has at all times been morally reprehensible to disclaim the individuals of Washington D.C. illustration in our democracy. Individuals who dwell in Washington D.C. are being denied autonomy to construct their very own well being care techniques and make their very own selections about their our bodies.”
With a inhabitants of roughly 700,000 individuals, D.C. residents would acquire extra management over their well being and extra, together with surviving a pandemic that has elevated the mortality charge within the Black group.
“Because the nation works to distribute vaccines and finish the COVID-19 pandemic — which has devastated Black and Latino communities with larger an infection charges, loss of life charges, and job losses — the District’s lack of autonomy has put residents’ well being in danger,” the letter mentioned. “Massive proportions of D.C.’s vaccine allotment has gone to federal companies and to non-residents whereas Black residents are going with out. Whereas D.C.’s Black residents have accounted for almost half of COVID-19 instances and almost 70% of deaths, they’ve obtained solely 37% of vaccines.”
Simply final week, the Home of Representatives voted to make D.C. the 51st state, together with a brand new title, Washington, Douglas Commonwealth. The title represents the dismantling of slavery and civil rights chief Fredrick Douglass.
D.C. would have two senators and one home seat if statehood is granted.
Nonetheless, the invoice wants at the very least 10 republicans in favor of the change. As of proper now, the change isn’t assured, particularly with the democratic social gathering not totally on the identical web page. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia mentioned he’s undecided, as reported by CNN.