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D.C. goes next level in quest to become state with new 'We Demand Statehood' license plate

The increased push for statehood comes amid the House blocked two D.C bills including one that would allow non-U.S citizens to vote in local elections.

February 22, 2023 10:20am

Updated: February 24, 2023 8:08am

District of Columbia drivers have a clear message to send to members of Congress. Starting in October, the city will start issuing "We Demand Statehood."

District officials made the announcement Tuesday, while the city continues until this fall to issue its infamous "End Taxation without Representation" tags.

Taxpaying District residents have only one member of Congress who can vote. However the member, a House delegate, cannot cast a final vote on any legislation brought to the chamber floor.

The District under what is called Home Rule is allowed to self govern. However, Congress reviews all legislation passed by the District's City Council before it can become law and it retains authority over the District’s budget.

The GOP-led House recent got into a standoff with the District over a measure it said was too soft on crime and another that allows non-citizens to vote in local elections. The chamber earlier this month passed legislation blocking both measures. 

Efforts to get the new slogan on the city's metal tag dates back to 2016.

The Specialty License Plate Awareness Act of that year mandated adding the word “End” before “Taxation Without Representation” to increase urgency in the push to become the 51st state. The act also mandated creating the latest statehood themed plate, which is only coming into fruition now. 

To amplify the statement, the tag is priced at $51. The city's Department of Motor Vehicles had no comment about the delay in the tags production.

The slow rollout of specialty license plates in the city is not unusual.

Also in 2016, Democrat-led City Council ordered the creation of a Bicycle Awareness plate that was only issued last summer.

Residents humorously redesigned the plate on Twitter, thinking they could do it better. 

Bills have been introduced to both the House and Senate to make D.C the nation's 51st state and have representation in Congress.

President Biden has opted out of putting the “End Taxation Without Representation” tag on his official limousine, but he could be holding out until the new one is issued in October, according to Axios.

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