U.S. Shadow Rep. Oye Owolewa (D) led a motorcade throughout the District to the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress to pass statehood legislation. He called it the SuperCar Parade for D.C. Statehood and participated by riding in a yellow Porsche.
“This year, we have 51 cars parading through the streets to create awareness of what D.C. statehood is about,” Owolewa said. “By holding this parade, we are planning to take the fight for statehood to a whole new level.”
Owolewa said the Nov. 6 parade is the second time the procession has occurred. The first time, he said, took place last year with a smaller group of cars and “nobody on the road” to hold up the procession.
For the past two sessions of the U.S. Congress, District statehood bills sponsored by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) have successfully passed the House of Representatives. In 2021, a hearing by the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on District statehood, a matter rarely considered in the history of that chamber. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is a sponsor of the D.C. statehood bill with a record 45 co-sponsors. President Biden has indicated he will sign D.C. statehood legislation should it reach his desk. Additionally, Norton has quoted a poll commissioned by the Data for Progress and the Democracy for All 2021 Action, indicating that 54% of Americans favor District statehood.
The Procession Through the City
Supporters drove their cars to a parking lot in the Palisades neighborhood in Ward 3. Many are members of the Sunset Auto Club.
With Owolewa’s name on stickers taped to car doors, and a Q.R. code containing information on the statehood movement, the procession made its way across the city for the nearly 90-minute journey, ending at the Peace Monument on the west side of the U.S. Capitol.
Escorted by the D.C. MPD, drivers honked their horns as people on the sidewalks and streets shouted their support.
At the Peace Monument, Owolewa spoke about the need for people to get ready to fight for statehood.
“We have come too far to turn back,” he said. “Tell your family and friends about D.C. statehood and why it is important.”
Carol Junkin observed the progression near the Peace Memorial. She listened to Owolewa talk about D.C. statehood and admitted she didn’t know much about the issue.
“I saw all of these nice cars in a row, and I wondered what this was about,” said Junkin, a resident of Iowa. “I listened to the man talk about statehood for Washington, D.C. I really didn’t know anything about that.”
Dominic Ilochi, a leader with the Sunset Auto Club based in Potomac, Md., and parade leader, said he supports statehood for the District.
“I support Oye, and our club supports him,” Ilochi said. “This is a good cause, and today we had a good response for the second year in a row.”
Stuart Anderson serves as the Anacostia Coordinating Council’s director for community engagement. Anderson said his organization firmly supported the parade.
“We are a huge sponsor of this,” he said. “We will support this until the 700,000 residents of the District of Columbia are full citizens of this country.”