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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Paul Strauss
The District of Columbia, the city that has longed for statehood and self-rule, now finds itself facing uncomfortable questions about whether it is thwarting the will of its own residents.
As Puerto Rico prepares to hold its first status referendum in 14 years this November, a leading advocate for D.C. statehood said he sees strong parallels between the two jurisdictions' political situations.
Actress Hayden Panettiere was born and raised in upstate New York, lives in Los Angeles and has no roots in the nation's capital. But she's passionate about securing full representation in Congress for District of Columbia residents.
Mr. Strauss said that, strategically, this is a poor time to give the perception that elected officials should substitute their opinions for those of voters.
"The similarities aren't lost on me, and the fact that states have frequently been admitted in pairs … is also not lost on me," Mr. Strauss said. "I think this is a step along the journey for Puerto Rico as it is for the District of Columbia."