As a political scientist and independent voter, I suspect the District’s political elite are interested in gaining prestigious career positions for which they would face little competition more than they care about basic congressional representation for voters.
If the District wants to be represented in Congress, it should follow the example of Arlington’s 1847 retrocession into Virginia and recede back into the state of Maryland as a city (which is what it is). That way, it would be assured of one seat in the House of Representatives and would be able to field candidates for the two Senate seats for Maryland — all of whom would represent D.C. residents.
The idea of the District becoming a state is conceptually ill-advised and would set a bad precedent. If the District became a state, why shouldn’t New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Dallas — all cities that have populations larger than the District — apply to become states?
If representation is really the issue, follow history’s example (Arlington County), not self-serving politicians residing in a very small place.
William Beck, Arlington