Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–123. Call of convention; duties of convention; adoption of constitution; rejection of constitution; election of Senator and Representative.

(a) Within 60 days after the Board of Elections has certified the election of at-large and ward delegates to the constitutional convention pursuant to § 1-124, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall call a constitutional convention and assemble the elected delegates. The convention shall write a constitution within 90 days which shall be republican in form and shall not be repugnant to the Constitution or laws of the United States, and it shall otherwise prepare for the admission of a major portion of the territory now known as the District of Columbia as a state.

(b) The proposed Constitution for the State of New Columbia, approved by Congress June 24, 1987, is amended to read as set forth in Volume 1 of the District of Columbia Code.

(c) If a majority of the registered qualified electors voting reject the constitution, the Mayor shall within 60 calendar days call for the reassembly of the constitutional convention and thereafter a new constitution shall be framed and the same proceedings shall be taken for its submission to the electors of the District of Columbia: Except, that if the proposed constitution of a second constitutional convention is rejected by the registered qualified electors, then the task of writing a constitution acceptable to the electorate shall be abandoned until such time as a new constitutional convention is called for by either legislative action or voter initiative.

(d)(1) Following the approval of a proposed constitution by a majority of the electors voting thereon, there shall be held an election of candidates for the offices of Senator and Representative from the new state. Such election shall be partisan and shall be held at the next regularly scheduled primary and general elections following certification by the District of Columbia Board of Elections that the proposed constitution has been approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon. In the event that the proposed constitution is approved by the electors at the general election to be held in November, 1982, the primary and general elections authorized by this paragraph shall be held in September, 1990, and November, 1990, respectively.

(2) The qualifications for candidates for the offices of Senator and Representative shall conform with the provisions of Article I of the United States Constitution and the primary and general elections shall follow the same electoral procedures as provided for candidates for nonvoting Delegate of the District of Columbia in the District of Columbia Election Code of 1955, subchapter I of Chapter 10 of this title. The term of the 1st Representative elected pursuant to this initiative shall begin on January 2, 1991, and shall expire on January 2, 1993. The terms of the 1st Senators elected pursuant to this initiative shall begin on January 2, 1991, and shall expire on January 2, 1997, and January 2, 1995, respectively. At the initial election, the candidate for Senator receiving the highest number of votes will receive the longer term and the candidate receiving the second highest number of votes will receive the shorter term. A primary and a general election to replace a Representative or a Senator whose term is about to expire shall be held in September and in November respectively, of the year preceding the year during which the term of the Representative or the Senator expires. Each Representative shall be elected for a 2-year term and each Senator shall be elected for a 6-year term as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States.

(3) The District of Columbia Board of Elections shall:

(A) Conduct elections to fill the positions of 2 United States Senators and 1 United States Representative; and

(B) Issue such rules and expressly delegate authority to officials and employees of the District of Columbia Board of Elections (such delegation of authority only to be effective upon publication in the District of Columbia Register) as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this initiative, and related acts requiring implementation by the District of Columbia Board of Elections.

(e) A Representative or Senator elected pursuant to this subchapter shall be a public official as defined in § 1-1161.01(47), and subscribe to the oath or affirmation of office provided for in § 1-604.08.

(f) A Representative or Senator:

(1) Shall inform the Congress and individual members of Congress that the District of Columbia residents meet the standards traditionally required by Congress for the admission of a United States territory as a state of the United States;

(2) Shall monitor the progress of the petition for admission of New Columbia to statehood pending before the Congress and report on the progress to the District of Columbia residents;

(3) May advise the District of Columbia on matters of public policy that bear on the achievement of statehood;

(4) In accordance with subsection (g) of this section, may employ staff and expend funds donated by private sources for public purposes related to the achievement of statehood; and

(5) Shall have any other powers or duties as may be provided by law.

(g)(1) A Representative or Senator may solicit and receive contributions to support the purposes and operations of the Representative’s or Senator’s public office. A Representative or Senator may accept services, monies, gifts, endowments, donations, or bequests. A Representative or Senator shall establish a District of Columbia statehood fund in 1 or more financial institutions in the District of Columbia. There shall be deposited in each fund any gift or contribution in whatever form, and any monies not included in annual Congressional appropriations. A Representative or Senator is authorized to administer the Representative’s or Senator’s respective fund in any manner the Representative or Senator deems wise and prudent, provided that the administration is lawful, in accordance with the fiduciary responsibilities of public office, and does not impose any financial burden on the District of Columbia.

(2) Contributions may be expended for the salary, office, or other expenses necessary to support the purposes and operations of the public office of a Representative or Senator, however, each Representative or Senator shall receive compensation no greater than the compensation of the Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, as provided in §§ 1-204.03 and 1-611.09.

(3) Each Representative or Senator shall file with the Director of Campaign Finance a quarterly report of all contributions received and expenditures made in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection. No campaign activities related to election or re-election to the office of Representative or Senator shall be conducted nor shall expenditures for campaign literature or paraphernalia be authorized under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(4) The recordkeeping requirements of subchapter III of Chapter 11A of this title, shall apply to contributions and expenditures made under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(5) Upon expiration of a Representative’s or Senator’s term of office and where the Representative or Senator has not been re-elected, the Representative’s or Senator’s statehood fund, established in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall be dissolved and any excess funds shall be used to retire the Representative’s or Senator’s debts for salary, office, or other expenses necessary to support the purposes and operation of the public office of the Representative or Senator. Any remaining funds shall be donated to an organization operating in the District of Columbia as a not-for-profit organization within the meaning of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 22, 1986 (100 Stat. 2085; 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)).

(h) A Representative or Senator elected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, shall be subject to recall pursuant to § 1-1001.17, during the period of the Representative’s or Senator’s service prior to the admission of the proposed new state into the union.


(Mar. 10, 1981, D.C. Law 3-171, § 4, 27 DCR 4732; Oct. 8, 1981, D.C. Law 4-35, § 2(c), 28 DCR 3376; Aug. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-138, § 2, 29 DCR 2761; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-17, § 4, 30 DCR 3196; Aug. 10, 1984, D.C. Law 5-105, § 2, 31 DCR 3040; Apr. 23, 1985, D.C. Law 6-1, § 2, 32 DCR 1475; May 13, 1987, D.C. Law 7-2, § 2, 34 DCR 2153; June 24, 1987, D.C. Law 7-8, § 2, 34 DCR 3057; June 24, 1987, D.C. Law 7-10, § 2, 34 DCR 3286; June 8, 1990, D.C. Law 8-135, § 2, 37 DCR 2616; Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(k)(2), 59 DCR 1862.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-113.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-124, § 1-127, § 1-129.01, § 1-131, § 1-603.01, § 1-1001.10, § 1-1161.01, and § 47-1812.11c.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-124, in subsecs. (a), (d)(1), and (d)(3), substituted “Board of Elections” for “Board of Elections and Ethics”; in subsec. (e), substituted “§ 1-1162.24” for “§ 1-1106.02(a)”; and, in subsec. (g)(4), substituted “subchapter III of Chapter 11A of this title” for “subchapter I of Chapter 11 of this title”.

Cross References

Congressional vacancies, appointments, see § 1-1001.10.

Election campaigns, disclosure of financial interests, see § 1-1106.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 401(k)(2) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).

Editor's Notes

Amendment of proposed Constitution: For text of proposed Constitution for the State of New Columbia as amended by D.C. Law 7-8, see Volume 1.

Restriction on use of funds: Section 128 of Pub. L. 104-194, 110 Stat. 2368, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997, provided that none of the funds provided in this Act may be used by the District of Columbia to provide for salaries, expenses, or other costs associated with the offices of United States Senator or United States Representative under subsection (d) of this section.