Fight for DC statehood getting help from Hollywood - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fight for DC statehood getting help from Hollywood

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WASHINGTON -

Most Americans have no idea that District residents have no true representation in Congress. D.C. residents pay federal taxes, but don't have a voting House member or two senators. But there is a movement underway to get Hollywood stars and producers to help build support for D.C. to one day become the 51st state.

It's proven time and time again if you want people talking, get the conversation going in Hollywood. That is exactly what D.C. Shadow Senator Paul Strauss is trying to do.

Strauss was able to get some of Hollywood’s elite to join him for dinner last week to discuss statehood. Kate Walsh, Tim Daly, and Mario Van Peebles were just some of the names there.

“One of the things that really gratified me is it wasn't just actors -- it was entertainment leaders, producers, directors, Academy Award-winning screenwriters,” said Strauss.

District leaders have tried to spread the “Taxation Without Representation” message. Even the president put the message on his limousine plates.

And a few years back, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and several council members were arrested to bring attention to the issue. But not much has happened since.

A campaign for NOH8 gained worldwide attention when celebrities and lawmakers got involved. Strauss says similar spots could be recorded for statehood.

Actress Hayden Panettiere was the first to do it in 2008.

But what could get the most attention is if D.C. statehood is written into a script. Maybe the message flashed on the big screen. Strauss says the goal is to inform America and spark a nationwide movement.

“When you get these folks behind a camera, in front of a camera on TV talking about D.C. statehood, asking Americans to call their senators to support the D.C. statehood bill, it's going to have a powerful, powerful impact,” said Strauss.

Sen. Strauss says the group behind this movement, the Creative Coalition, will hold a conference call on Wednesday to discuss how this effort will move forward.

We know some stars are ready to record public service announcements that will go online and can be used in media markets across the country.


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