I haven’t lived the whole of my life in the District itself, but it has always been “where I’m from.” DC statehood would put the cherry on top of the cookies-and-cream milkshake that is DC. And, now that we’ll have a new group in the White House, Washington football needs a new name. Keep hope alive! Protect the Capitol! God bless America!

The strongest memories at the end of my life will be of Sunday afternoons in my parents' front yard on South Carolina Avenue SE. A few minutes each before and after going to a Washington Football game with my dad, in the first couple decades of the 21st Century, when they were still known by a different name. In September, it was bright and hot out when we left for a 1 PM game, and still light out afterwards. Later in the year, we'd get back after dark. Either way, I'll remember the sounds, smells, and feeling of our corner of Southeast Capitol Hill in the late summer and early fall. There's no better place to grow up.

DC is an underrated city. Beyond the Mall, there's a wealth of diverse neighborhoods, eateries, art, and as an writer, my favorite: a thriving literary community. We have not just one independent bookstore, but several, all over the city. During the pandemic, they've all gotten so creative to keep reaching out to their communities and promoting deep thinking and kindness. When I moved here, I didn't expect to fall in love with the city as much as I have. There will always be a special place in my heart for DC.