Despite the fact that 86% of DC voters voted in favor of statehood, Congress refuses to take up the matter.  In fact, Congress has increasingly meddled in DC's affairs. Thislocal workshop will provide participants with information on the DC Statehood movement, and how we can protect ourselves from Congressional meddling.

Location: Payden 102

Moderator: Mindi D'Angelo



Charles Allen,Ward 6 Councilmember, DC Council

In his time on DC Council, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen has championed issues from the environment to transportation to women’s health. In late January 2017, fed up with Congressional oversight into local DC issues, Allen called the office of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Chair of the House Oversight Committee, to request help with his trash from the Utah representative who seemed to love interfering in local DC issues. Hands Off DC became the latest effort in DC’s decades-long struggle for Statehood, bringing hundreds together for a protest and forum a few weeks later to call for an end to congressional interference in local issues.  Charles serves as the Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety for the Council. He lives in northeast DC with his wife Jordi, their two children Cora Neal and Everett, and their dog Olive.


Josh Burch, Founder: Neighbors United for DC Statehood

Josh Burch founded the group Neighbors United for DC Statehood in 2011 with a focus on growing the statehood movement locally person by person, neighborhood by neighborhood. Over the last 6 years, Neighbors United for DC Statehood has organized over a dozen lobby days on the Hill, hosted DC Trivia Nights at local bars, presented at community meetings across the District, and helped to bring more people into the statehood movement by tapping into individual interests and talents providing a space for them to work together for the common good. Josh is a husband, father of two wonderful children, and proud Brookland resident.

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Barbara Helmick, Director of Programs, DCVote

Barbara Helmick was a pioneer in the development of the door to door model for progressive organizations, such as Clean Water Action, People’s Action, Working America, and the ERA Fund. Those efforts contributed to the establishment of the Super Fund, Obamacare; in raising the minimum wage in municipalities across the US, and in building support for state fights on choice. Barbara is active in local DC civic life, serving on her ANC for two terms and on the Democratic State Committee. She is active in the LGBTQIA community, serving on the Mayor’s Advisory Commission 2012-2016. Since moving to DC in 1979, Barbara has spoken out on DC’s inequality and is excited to do so now as part of her job with DC Vote.  She believes that with a strong organizing strategy and energized people power, DC will become the 51st state.


Scott Kaiser, Co-Founder, Americans for Self-Rule

Mr. Kaiser has lived on the east coast for 6 ½ years and has called the District home since 2014. He has always been involved in local politics to some degree as an urban planning consultant but the results of the 2016 election triggered a strong desire to engage in issues beyond the next proposed bike lane or waterfront development project. This led him to team up with a dozen other District residents to form the Americans for Self-Rule Political Action Committee to protect D.C. from members of Congress who wish to violate our constitutionally protected right to self-rule. Mr. Kaiser has complete confidence in District residents to self-govern without interference from Congress and looks forward to taking the fight directly to the home districts of those who do.