Capitol Injustice

An analysis of proposals to make Washington D.C. a state and its potential impacts on women and Black Americans

Key Findings
  • D.C. is majority female (52%). Its proportion of women is higher than any other state.
  • Black women and girls make up the largest single demographic group in D.C., at 25% of the population.
  • D.C.’s proportion of Black women relative to its population is higher than any other state.
  • The median federal income tax liability is higher in D.C. than any other state. It is two times higher than Kentucky and 30% higher than the next highest state.
  • 527,773 registered voters in the District are effectively disfranchised at the federal level.
  • 705,749 Americans are currently denied Congressional representation, equal citizenship, and local self-government, including 369,809 women and girls, and 328,979 Black Americans.
The Washington, D.C. Admission Act
U.S. Congress - H.R. 51/S. 51

June 2021

“Taxation Without Representation” is emblazoned on every Washington D.C. license plate. It highlights that citizens of Washington D.C. are the only women and men in the United States who are deprived of self-government at the federal level but required to pay federal income taxes.

On June 22, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing on The Washington, D.C. Admission Act. Passage would make D.C. a state, providing it with the same representation, privileges, and authority granted to all states. 

Capitol Injustice,” a report by the Gender Equity Policy Institute, analyzed D.C.’s current anomalous political status, with a focus on its impact by gender, race, and ethnicity.

Washingtonians are the only U.S. citizens who have no Congressional representation but are subject to the Federal income tax. Across several measures of federal tax liabilities, they pay more than the residents of any other state.

In this moment of racial reckoning, in the midst of a burgeoning movement to protect the fundamental right to vote, it should not escape notice that the nation’s worst violation of civil rights falls heaviest on Black women, who make up 25% of the D.C. population. 

Considering the more than 700,000 residents deprived of voting representation at the federal level, making Washington D.C. a state would rectify one of contemporary America’s most egregious violations of democratic rights.