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A Real Plan for DC Voting Rights and Home Rule

  • We believe that residents of the District of Columbia should have voting rights in the US Senate and House of Representatives equal to those of all other Americans.
  • We support Maryland-based solutions that provide full voting rights in the House and Senate and real home-rule for the residents of the District of Columbia.
  • Our two-part plan calls for Congress to restore the right of DC residents to vote as part of the Maryland electorate for congressional representation, and to support Washington becoming a new home-rule city in Maryland.

Contact Us

Committee for the Capital City
PO Box 77443
Washington, DC 20013-8443
Hugh M. Mealy - Give D.C. back to Maryland PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor, originally published on the Washington Post on April 28, 2016.

April 28

The District has been talking for years about statehood. A better idea would be to retrocede the land to Maryland. There is precedent for this: The portion of the nation’s capital ceded by Virginia in 1790 was retroceded in 1846.

Many consider the land area and population of the District to be too small to make a viable state. Retrocession would give the citizens of the District all the political rights that other Americans enjoy. The District could be incorporated by the state in a manner similar to Baltimore, giving citizens home rule, including the election of a city council and mayor.

Some Marylanders object to retrocession in the belief that it would fundamentally change the political landscape of Maryland. But the effect would be much smaller than that of making a state out of what was once a small portion of Prince George’s County, creating an entity with the power to counteract the will of Marylanders. If Maryland passes on its opportunity to regain the land ceded, it will regret it. And to repurpose the land without the express permission of the people of Maryland would be a betrayal of trust.

Maryland should petition to have the land comprising the District returned to Maryland. If the people or the federal government no longer want it for the purposes of its donation, it should be returned to Maryland with costs paid by the federal government.

Hugh M. Mealy, Annapolis