Colbert I. King’s assessment that “This is D.C. statehood’s only way forward” [Thursday Opinion, Sept. 19] was too narrow. While he noted correctly that “a Republican-controlled Senate and White House are not the least bit upset about the denial of D.C. voting representation in Congress,” his solution of providing support to candidates opposing anti-D.C. incumbents will have marginal impact. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is on the right track, but her plan for a 51st state will become a reality only when it has broader appeal.

A more reasonable proposal that provides a win for everyone is a 51st state consisting of the city of Washington, the Maryland suburbs of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and the Virginia suburbs of Fairfax and Arlington counties and the city of Alexandria. Washington, D.C., can remain as a city in the new state. The remaining states of Maryland and Virginia will have a higher concentration of conservative voters. The issues surrounding the coordination of government services in the D.C. metro area and the reasons to have the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments are mitigated. D.C. residents get their deserved voting representation in Congress. Rural and suburban residents of Maryland and Virginia who have long been wary of each other won’t have to deal with each other as much. While this adds more complexity to a proposed 51st state, it provides significantly more appeal for the populations involved and broadens congressional support, resulting in an improved chance for the 51st state to become a reality.

Peter Sampogna, Centerville, Ohio