So we might not have voting rights, but we might be getting statues. That’s almost the same as government representation, right? The House Administration Committee approved a bill this afternoon that would grant DC the right to install two statues in the Capitol’s famed National Statuary Hall Collection, a privilege every state has enjoyed since 1864. The bill’s final passage would be a symbolic victory during a dismal year for the District’s fight for equality, and one that Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes has fought for years to achieve. No word yet on when the bill will reach the full House floor, or whether it would survive a Senate vote.
Although the idea of statues seems innocuous, The Washington Post reports that Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) tried to reduce the bill’s designation to a single statue, lest DC begin to think itself on par with the rest of the union. Thankfully, Lungren’s amendment didn’t pass. A separate bill was approved granting Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands one statue apiece.
DC’s statues would portray abolitionist Frederick Douglass and city planner Pierre L’Enfant. They were carved four years ago, and have been waiting patiently in the lobby of One Judiciary Square for their chance to shine on the national stage. Here’s hoping they soon get to enjoy new digs in the Capitol.