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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called on Thursday for Washington, D.C. to receive statehood, indicating that residents didn’t have the “right to vote.”
“DC was the 1st territory in the United States to free the enslaved. It’s where Black Americans fled the tyranny of slavery & towards greater freedom, to DC. Yet today it’s where 2nd class citizenship reigns, and the right to vote is denied,” she said.
It’s unclear what she was referring to since citizens in Washington, D.C. have the right to vote like every other citizen. She appeared to be complaining about the fact that D.C. congressmen and congresswomen can’t vote in the House of Representatives. DC residents also do not have any representation in the Senate.
DEMS LAUNCH LONGSHOT BID FOR DC STATEHOOD AT RARE HEARING, AS REPUBLICANS HAMMER LOCAL CORRUPTION
During a D.C. statehood hearing on Thursday, she also seemed to conflate former slaves with people currently living in the district.
“The people who fled here to the District of Columbia to flee slavery because of the enlightenment of this community are now disenfranchised because of that very act,” she said, according to The Washington Post.
Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow “squad” member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., also supported the move to make D.C. a state. Talib said she wanted to show her support with a 51-star flag for her office.
House Democrats, in their first hearing on D.C. statehood in more than 25 years, on Thursday advocated for the District of Columbia to become the country’s 51st state as Republicans raised concerns about recent corruption scandals involving local D.C. officials.
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Critics of D.C. statehood have long cited local corruption as one reason to oppose statehood. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said he wanted Thursday’s hearing to delve into the ongoing scandal involving D.C. Councilman Jack Evans.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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