Statement attributable to Beverley Wheeler, Director, D.C. Hunger Solutions
WASHINGTON, April 22, 2021 — D.C. Hunger Solutions applauds the recent passage of H.R. 51 in the House of Representatives, as it will bring the District of Columbia one step closer to becoming a state and granting its more than 700,000 residents full representation in Congress.
Congressional representation for D.C. residents is critical to ensuring that our community has a say on the policies that affect them and can enjoy the same benefits that other states are guaranteed, including COVID-19 relief and access to nutrition assistance programs.
Even before the pandemic, food insecurity and hunger were widespread in our nation’s capital. COVID-19 has only exacerbated this food insecurity crisis, especially for Black and Latinx communities in the District. While granting statehood to D.C. will ensure all resident voices are heard, it is particularly important that Congress hear the voices of low-income residents and put forth efforts to meet their needs.
D.C. statehood is also an issue of racial justice, as the lack of full representation in Congress disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of Black voters in the District. Statehood will expand the voting power of communities of color, diversifying our electorate and encouraging Congress to address the racial inequities that have afflicted our country for far too long.
We now urge the Senate to pass this legislation and grant full voting power to D.C. residents.
About D.C. Hunger Solutions:
D.C. Hunger Solutions, founded in 2002 as an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), works to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income people in the District of Columbia. To learn more about D.C. Hunger Solutions, visit www.dchunger.org