In Washington, D.C., we saw what it was like to live under the thumb of a lawless president. While much of the city remained calm and peaceful, President Donald Trump responded to protests demanding racial justice with tear gas and a violent authoritarianism that no American city should face.

No state in our union is subject to the egregious violations of local sovereignty that D.C. endures, let alone this sort of quasi-occupation. But of course, despite residents’ wishes, D.C. is not a state. Our license plates here read “No Taxation Without Representation.” In a 2016 referendum, we voted for statehood in a landslide, with 86% voting in favor. D.C. already has a greater population than Vermont or Wyoming — and continues to grow. D.C. residents pay more in federal taxes than 22 states do. How much longer can we disenfranchise so many Americans?

I hope that Sen. Angus King will come to our aid, sign on to support Senate Bill 631, and endorse statehood for the people of D.C.

Maine looms large in my family history. My particular branch of the family tree first took root in the U.S. when William Armstrong and his family fled Scotland and arrived in Machias, floating atop his carpenter’s chest after a shipwreck. The Armstrong family had a significant presence in the town for years. He built one of the town’s churches and sent sons off to fight in the Civil War. Even after my great-grandfather moved to Connecticut, we kept up a family tradition of visiting every summer for camping trips in Boothbay and, later, Acadia National Park.

My hope is that Sen. King will adopt me as a sort of constituent-from-away until I am able to vote for senators of my own. Please, Sen. King: support S. 631, D.C. statehood, and justice.

 

Alex Armstrong

Washington, D.C.


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