WASHINGTON - With the D.C. statehood bill poised to head to the Senate for the second time in two years, the District’s face in the Senate, Michael Brown, is making a statement about what he sees as disenfranchisement for the nation’s capital.
On Sunday, Brown planted the sign outside his home at 4501 Western Avenue, Northwest – right on the fringe of the city.
"I want this sign to be a warning and a reminder that our disenfranchisement is not an inconvenience, or an oversight, a slight or simple unfairness. It’s a violation of our most basic rights of citizenship," Brown said in a statement.
The sign reads: "‘WARNING’ You are entering the District of Columbia, the Nation’s Capital, CAUTION, residency may result in the loss of your basic civil rights."
It also calls attention to "Taxation without representation" – an ubiquitous statement of protest that adorns many District license plates.
Congress approved a D.C. statehood bill last year, only to have the Senate decline to even take it up.
Even with the Democrats holding a slim majority in the Senate after the 2020 election, the bill faces long odds once again.
"The Senate is a different landscape and simply clinging to our righteous indignation and recent House victory will not get the job done. Collectively, we must rise up against this political anachronism that infringes on our most basic rights. We have paid fully for our citizenship with our money and our blood and we ask for no favors, no special treatment, no dispensations. We come only to reclaim our rights. It’s time we call this what it is – un-American, undemocratic and a violation of every principle that we hold dear and, lest we forget, an injustice to everyone who resides in the nation’s capital (members of Congress exempted, of course)," Brown said in his statement.
The Biden administration has thrown its full support behind making D.C. the 51st state.
So-called "shadow senators" lack a congressional vote. Brown’s position is unpaid.