Mayor Muriel Bowser has renewed the push for DC statehood. The mayor and her allies have released a draft constitution and scheduled a constitutional convention for June 17-18, with the aim of putting the issue on the ballot in November. The District of Columbia pays more in federal income taxes than 22 states and has a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont, yet lacks representation in Congress. Putting aside the question of whether Bowser’s plan for statehood will work (it almost certainly will not), let’s examine the potential benefits and drawbacks of such a sweeping change to the city’s status.

These are the pros and cons of making Washington, D.C. the 51st state:



  • Is unquestionably the right thing to do in a representative democratic republic
  • The area from the White House to the Capitol would remain federal, so we wouldn’t even have to mow the Mall
  • Would make an honest woman out of Eleanor Holmes Norton after all these years
  • Washington would finally be able to provide public funding for abortions for low-income women without needing the approval of a few hundred high-income men who’ve never been pregnant
  • The capitol of the capital’s new capital could be the capitol
  • Would directly defy the wishes of the founding fathers, a much needed act of insubordination after they fucked us over with the 2nd Amendment
  • Would be by far the blackest, most liberal state in the union
  • The District gaining control over local affairs would force Mayor Bowser and the Council to reconsider taxing and regulating legal marijuana now that they wouldn’t have the fallback Congress-won’t-let-us excuse
  • More elections to prevent disenfranchised ex-felons from voting in!
  • Keeping the United States at a nice round 50 is important to people, and we know of a few stray Dakotas that could be merged without anyone really noticing
  • If he was elevated from the Council to the new House of Delegates, Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans could snag even more lucrative side jobs with law firms that represent clients before the state
  • is available for only $12 on Go Daddy
  • It would be one helluva show to watch how spectacularly we fucked it up



  • “Governor Bowser”
  • Enormous amount of paperwork for an aging, overworked administrative assistant named Peggy
  • Would fuck up Metro even more (though so would not becoming a state)
  • “Fifty Nifty United States” is a cultural touchstone for millions of Americans who aren’t going stand for the new “Fifty One, Nifty Fun United States”
  • Would necessitate the production of millions of new American flags, an economic boon to wherever in China they’re made
  • Mississippi would embarrassingly fall out of the top 50 in most quality of life metrics
  • New Columbia is a terrible name, both in a vacuum and because the city would still inexplicably be named for genocidal madman Christopher Columbus. Everyone’s still going to call it Washington and DC anyway, but some will start calling it Washington, NC too, which is worst of all.
  • You’re going to start hearing pedantic dorks get into heated arguments about the 23rd amendment. You may even be forced into a situation where you have to pretend to know what the 23rd amendment is.
  • As a southern state, may slip up and pass discriminatory legislation once or twice in the beginning
  • Sends clear message that disenfranchising the citizens of Washington is an unacceptable breach of our democratic principles, and that that’s fine when it’s just brown people in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the other colonies.
  • If we’re going with a lame name like New Columbia, we’d probably also punt on state bird and be the eighth state to choose cardinal
  • Everyone would have to go to the DMV and we’d all take a half day of work and try to go on the same day and many would die
  • Whole thing is probably just a misbegotten scheme to make New York take us seriously
  • No one left to blame