Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:00

First Subway Ads for D.C. Statehood Now Appear in Five Metrorail Stations

Written by Anise Jenkins and Bill Moseley

During March, passengers using five Metrorail stations will be greeted by standing ads that draw a link between the D.C. Statehood and civil rights movements. The ads were created by the Stand Up! for Democracy in D.C. Coalition (Free DC).

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reported average weekly total ridership throughout the Metrorail system at 721,804 in 2014, with surges during special events.

The ad, with the heading “Support D.C. Statehood...The District of Columbia Thirsts for Statehood,” features two water fountains, one labeled “U.S. Voter” and the other “D.C. Voter,” reminiscent of the “whites only” and “blacks only” fountains of the Jim Crow era. The ad states that even though D.C. residents pay billions in federal taxes, they have no voting representation in Congress, lack control over their local budget and laws, and cannot appoint or elect their local judges.

On March 9, Stand Up - Free DC launches its "Looking for DC Statehood" week. The first five people to find an ad will win an iconic prize. High school students, in addition to the prize, will also earn ten community service credits toward graduation. Entrants must send a "selfie" photo with the ad by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by Twitter to @StandUp_FreeDC identifying the location. The contest ends Monday March 16 when winners and all five ad locations will be publicly announced. The contest will also be on Twitter. The WMATA is displaying the ads free of charge as a public service. The cost of the prints and installation was paid by a grant from the DC government.

“These ads will deliver a message on DC Statehood to local commuters as well as visitors from around the country,” said Anise Jenkins, Stand Up!’s President and Executive Director. “They will be running during much of the Cherry Blossom Festival and hundreds of thousands of riders will see them. These ads, which appear during the 50th anniversary year of the historic Selma march, will help make the direct connection between DC residents’ ongoing lack of basic citizenship rights and the 1960's Civil Rights Movement. DC Statehood is not only the path to equal rights and full citizenship for residents of the District – it is the unfinished chapter of the civil rights movement.”

The Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition (Free DC) was founded in 1997 to educate the public about the District’s need to achieve full Statehood and possible paths for obtaining it.

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