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September 1, 2013

Party Hopping

Dear Partygoers:

Scott McLarty writes on behalf of the Statehood-Green Party to criticize the DC and the national Democratic Parties for their positions on statehood for the District of Columbia. The criticism is fair, if your chief aim is statehood. The Democratic Party does little to nothing to promote statehood, and if your primary political aim is to achieve statehood for DC you are unlikely to achieve it through Democratic Party politics.

But how many residents of DC make statehood their primary political goal? A good measure of that is the low number of people who have registered as Statehood-Green Party voters. If what you really want out of the political system is statehood, the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to get it is to change your party registration from Democratic, Republican, or no party to Statehood-Green. If tens of thousands of voters change their party registrations, that will get the attention of political parties a lot quicker than any number of street demonstrations. If you support statehood, but don’t support the other positions of the Statehood-Green Party, then participate in party affairs to select candidates with positions more to your liking.

Gary Imhoff


Marijuana in DC
Dorothy Brizill,

On Wednesday morning, September 4, the DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) will hold its regular monthly board meeting, receive testimony, and determine whether a proposed voter initiative measure — the Decriminilization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014 — is a proper subject for a voter initiative in the District. Under DC law, an initiative or referendum may not appropriate funds, violate the Home Rule Charter, negate a budget act, or violate the District’s Human Rights Act. The proposed initiative measure "would make possession of under two ounces of marijuana for use, or a person’s cultivation in their home of nor more than three cannabis plans, a civil offense rather than a criminal offense; and would prohibit any District of Columbia government agency from denying any opportunity or benefit based on such civil violation" ( It is supported by Adam Eidinger, the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Marijuana Policy Project.

If approved by the DCBOE, the initiative’s supporters would have 180 days to circulate petitions and secure the signatures of 5 percent of DC registered voters. Conceivably, it could then appear on the April 1 primary ballot.


The DC Statehood Rally and the History of the Statehood Movement
Scott McLarty,

Despite repeated requests, the organizers of the DC Statehood Rally denied the DC Statehood Green Party a slot in its lineup of speakers at the DC War Memorial on Saturday morning before the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington. As a result, there was no mention (or, at least, I heard no mention) of Julius Hobson, Hilda Mason, Jo Butler, or any other leaders in the movement for DC democracy who went on to found and lead the DC Statehood Party in 1970.

The Statehood Party is now the DC Statehood Green Party, part of the Green Party of the United States, the only party that calls for DC statehood in its national platform. Don’t look for an endorsement of DC statehood in the Democratic platform — it was removed in 2004 at the request of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and remains missing. When Democrats controlled the White House and Congress during recent decades (most recently 2009-2010), they did nothing to bring democracy to DC. Meanwhile, Del. Norton, other Dem leaders, and DC Vote pretended that "DC Voting Rights" (a single voting seat in the US House) was an acceptable substitute for self-determination, self-government, and full representation in Congress. Even the DC Voting Rights bill fizzled.

None of this was mentioned by the lineup of speakers on Saturday morning, nearly all of them Dems. Such is politics in a one-party town, where most residents keep voting like clockwork to maintain a Democratic machine that has a stake in preserving the status quo. For a good chronicle of the history of the local movement for statehood and democracy, see Sam Smith’s "The Statehood Papers" (


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