Dozens of D.C. children gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Sunday morning to sing a new D.C. statehood song just a week after it aired on satirist John Oliver’s HBO show “Last Week Tonight.”
Oliver spent more than 17 minutes of his Aug. 2 show railing against Washington’s lack of representation in Congress. In the segment he discussed how Congress attempted to remove gun restriction autonomy from the District, prevented the District from creating marijuana regulations and blocked a needle exchange bill during the HIV/AIDS epidemic that eventually dropped needle-related HIV transmissions in the District by 87 percent.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said Monday she plans to show Oliver's segment at a briefing on D.C. statehood when Congress reconvenes in September. Norton said Oliver's video gives statehood advocates the ammunition they need to better inform the public and move forward.
“Each and every line makes fun of the Congress for adding things to bills that tell us what we can’t do, for making us come here (to Congress) in the first place with our budget,” Norton said Sunday morning. “It was hilarious and it was the first round of what I think you’re going to see with people trying to do something with this 17-minute of magic, free advertising for statehood for the District of Columbia so we can get our full rights.”
The event was organized by some of the same parents who took on the ban on sledding on the west side of Capitol Hill in March.
“It’s by no means the last thing we’re going to do,” said Maria Helena Carey, one of the organizers. “It’s just the beginning.”