DC_Statehood_DARK_BLUE

With the potential for a new President that strongly supports statehood for the District of Columbia – both Clinton and Trump are supporters – as well as a new Congress expected in November, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has begun priming the pump to reinvigorate the D.C. Statehood movement.

Following a meeting of the Constitutional Convention June 29 Bowser, and a five-member commission, including Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), D.C. shadow Sens. Paul Strauss, Michael D. Brown, and Rep. Franklin Garcia, endorsed “New Columbia,” as a potential new state name.

A moniker dating back to 1982, New Columbia, instead of being celebrated, has sparked a backlash that many old settler Washingtonians consider silly, but increasingly commonplace.  In a recent {Washington Post} poll, of more than 8,000 respondents, a majority was opposed to the name, with random comments labeling New Columbia everything from “corny” to “boring.” More than half of the poll respondents said they didn’t like the name, but had no concrete alternatives.

“We decided to keep what had been part of the statehood legacy since 1982,” Strauss said in a statement.  “If the voters of the new state want to change it, that’s going to be a great thing they can do as a free state.”

The name Douglass Commonwealth, named for Frederick Douglass was also offered as a possibility, which would allow the new state to keep its D.C. abbreviation. “It demonstrates the level of commitment many of our newer residents have to statehood that the name becomes such a trivial piece of contention to debate,” Ward 7 resident Michael Artist told the {AFRO}.

“We have fought tirelessly for sovereignty, for self-determination, and pride in a city where we are wholly invested, so most people with common sense, are not concerned about the name,” he said.

The last time District residents weighed in on a state name was during a 1982 referendum when New Columbia beat out Potomac and Anacostia. For more information about the process and the Constitutional Convention, visit statehood.dc.gov.