Two letters appeared June 29 opposing the idea of statehood for the District of Columbia. One of these letters trotted out the old idea that areas of D.C. not considered part of the "federal enclave" be ceded back to Maryland, and the other simply stated that statehood would not solve the problems of the poor. Both of these letters missed the point completely. D.C. should, in fact must, be made a state because statehood has become the only possible way for D.C. residents to obtain the right to full representation in the U.S. Congress. This right is enjoyed by every U.S. citizen except those who live in the District.
The writers of these two letters should be reminded that a constitutional amendment that would have provided full representation in Congress without making D.C. a state failed to be ratified by the required number of states for reasons that can only be characterized as political. The idea of ceding most of the District back to Maryland is not valid, because Maryland is unlikely to accept the burden of a second major city in a small state with limited resources. Since Maryland is a sovereign state, it could never be forced to accept a return of the District for any reason.
Since it has been demonstrated that the only way D.C. residents will ever be fully represented in their national legislature is for D.C. to become a state, opposition to statehood is in fact support for the idea that some U.S. citizens should have fewer basic rights than others. This idea should be repugnant to any American, regardless of where he or she lives.
WALTER F. CLOSSON