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.
“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.