Timothy Cooper’s proposal to add more elected representatives in the District [“D.C. leaders are thinking small on statehood,” Local Opinions, June 19] was good. But while he advocated for a larger-than-proposed New Columbia state legislature, there is another way for D.C. residents to gain greater representation, as well as the voting rights and home rule equal to these enjoyed by other Americans. The District could be recognized as a home-rule city in Maryland with a status similar to that of Baltimore. Under this reunion-with-Maryland approach, D.C. residents would gain two senators, a representative, a governor, a comptroller, four Maryland state senators and 12 Maryland state delegates. We would retain an elected mayor, city council and state attorney general. This approach is good for Maryland (state expansion), is good for D.C. (full voting rights) and could gain bipartisan congressional support.
John Forster, Washington
The writer is the volunteer activities coordinator of the Committee for the Capital City.
I grew up in Montgomery County and have lived in the District for 31 years. Like many Washingtonians, I support the recent attempts by D.C. leaders to achieve statehood. However, I have a better idea. How about inviting the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia to secede from those states and join the District in creating a new state? It’s not as though Richmond and Annapolis care about these counties, except for their money. We could still call it New Columbia but use “DMV” as our postal address. We’d be the richest state in the nation. Oh, and our new state would not tax personal income.
Jeff Harris, Washington
The District continues to seek statehood when it clearly isn’t ready to accept the responsibilities that statehood entails. There are more than 2,000 homes and properties up for auction in the District because of delinquent property taxes. Some property owners owe back taxes of more than $30,000. Washington is not ready for the responsibilities of self-rule. It can’t even manage its finances or accounts receivable. If it’s in such poor shape while having to answer to congressional oversight, can one imagine what condition it would be in if it had no oversight?
Jack Duckworth, Burke