WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's inauguration Tuesday has raised the hopes of activists hoping to make the District of Columbia a state.
Stateline.org reported that some Washington's residents say they hope they will finally get a vote in Congress, which would be a step toward statehood.
Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, a Democrat, said last week that local leaders planned to use the inauguration as a platform to push for rights for D.C. residents.
"We'll take every opportunity to raise the voting rights issue with the American citizenry so they're reminded of how hypocritical our voting right situation is," he said.
Fenty said while he supports statehood for the District, he said his immediate goal is a U.S. House vote for District statehood. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton currently represents the capital city in the U.S. House, but she doesn't have a vote in the full House.
In 1978, Congress proposed a constitutional amendment to give the District votes in the House and Senate. That measure died because only 16 of the required 38 states approved it. Then in 1993, Democrats proposed creating a state of New Columbia out of the non-federal lands in the city.
The U.S. House defeated the measure on a 277-153 vote.