Vincent Orange (D-AtLarge) D.C. Council member (Courtesy Photo)A veteran D.C. Council member seeks to launch a petition drive to get one million people to support making the District of Columbia the 51st state in the union.D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) submitted a “sense of the council” resolution on July 7 called the “‘Statehood or Else’ Signature Campaign of 2015.” Partially using the slogan of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March – “Justice or Else” – the event will take place on Oct. 10.“The time is now for the District to push for statehood and collecting one million signatures demonstrates that sense of urgency,” Orange said. “It is important to have the signatures by next summer so that the future leadership in the White House makes statehood in the District a priority of their administration.”Orange said he wants to collect one million signatures for a petition supporting D.C. statehood and submit them to the White House, the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, and to the leaders at the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions.The resolution is legislation that expresses the determination, decision, and direction of the D.C. Council, according to the latest edition of the D.C. Council Handbook. The resolution only has to go through one full reading by the Council and doesn’t have to be approved by the mayor or the U.S. Congress. Orange’s bill will likely be taken up after the D.C. Council’s summer recess, which ends on Sept. 15.D.C. Council members Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), LaRuby May (D-Ward 8), Brandon Todd (D-Ward 8), Brianna Nadeau (D-Ward 1), and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) are co-sponsoring the legislation. However, while Orange has enough support to pass his bill through the council, he said that more political and governmental leaders need to be on board.“For the campaign’s success, we need Mayor Bowser, all 13 council members, [D.C.] Attorney General Karl Racine, the Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt, [D.C.]Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, [D.C.] Senators Paul Strauss and Michael D. Brown, [D.C.] Representative Franklin Garcia, D.C. Vote, D.C. Appleseed and all District residents and citizens of the United States to aggressively support this campaign for D.C. statehood,” Orange said.“The ‘Statehood or Else’ campaign is an opportunity to present a unifying front with the goal of achieving statehood for the District.”Garcia said he supports Orange’s initiative enthusiastically. Garcia, Strauss, and Brown are non-paid elected officials charged with lobbying Congress to grant the District statehood. “It is a good initiative,” Garcia told the AFRO on July 25. “We need to have a national campaign to get statehood and we need to take our message beyond D.C. and its borders.”Garcia said that any effort to highlight the political plight of D.C. residents is worth it. “I was in Rhode Island recently and I explained to an audience that D.C. residents don’t have a vote in Congress and people were shocked to hear that,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know what is going on in D.C. We need to do whatever we can do see that people across the nation are informed about our lack of democracy.”Orange also has the support of Stand Up! for Democracy – Free D.C., a grassroots organization that is pro-D.C. statehood. The organization posted that it “has already planned to work to mobilize and educate visitors for D.C. statehood [on Oct. 10] and will work in coalition with council member Orange and ‘Justice or Else.’However, Orange’s approach does have its critics. Josh Burch, the founder of Neighbors United for Statehood, said on his website, the51st.org, that he supports the spirit of what the council member wants to do, however, some aspects should be changed. “There are many good components in Council member Vincent Orange’s resolution to promote the statehood cause through a multi-media campaign and a petition drive,” Burch said. “The name D.C. Statehood or Else, should be tabled but the basic premise should be preserved, nurtured and developed into something meaningful, impactful and inspiring.”Burch proposes that a march, rally, and a peaceable and non-violent storming of the U.S. Capitol by District residents takes place on April 16 instead of a petition drive.
2. Donetsk, Ukraine from £48Perhaps you went to Donetsk to see a match at Euro 2012? Maybe you’ve heard of Shaktar Donetsk, winners of the UEFA Cup in 2009? Or maybe you’re not a football fan, in which case you might not even have heard of the place. In any case, it’s a long way away, even just in terms of Ukraine, out in the east of the country. It gets good and hot in the summer, and while Donetsk is not famed for its beaches, who needs ‘em when there’s Aqua Sferra, the largest free-standing aluminium-domed waterpark in the world, complete with retractable roof. The other Donetsk must-see is the monument to John Hughes. No, not that John Hughes, and not that John Hughes either, but the city’s Welsh founder. and a bonus one to break the budget (but it’s stil a great deal):6. Sharm El Sheikh, Egpyt from £129While visiting Cairo (and most of Egypt in fact) is not recommended by the FCO, Red Sea resorts like Sharm El Sheik are perfectly safe if you need to jet off for a much-needed dose of winter sun; or autumn sun.. and then some – at the time of writing, maximum temperatures are forecast to be between 38 and 44°C for the next 10 days. And while snorkelling with tropical fish in the Red Sea seems like a long-haul dream, you can get there (and back) for just £129. Related9 flights for under £30Book a budget break for the autumn – nine cool city break ideas, all with return flights under £30.10 flights for under £5010 flights, 10 city breaks in Europe for fun, sun and shopping.How to find flash sale flights before they’re goneOn your marks, get set, go! It’s another flights flash sale from a low-cost airline! But you’re just never quick enough eh? How do you bag a seriously cheap flight when these sales come around? Well, here are our tried and tested tips that will help you catch bargain flight… 4. Fes, Morocco from £60While we’re here, in Morocco, we’ll take a look beyond Marrakech to the once-overshadowed city of Fes. While Marrakech is many people’s first touchdown in Africa, new direct flights to Fes in the last few years have put it on the slightly more adventurous breaker’s map. Fes el Bali, the city’s ‘old town’ to put it in ridiculously basic terms, is a world away from Europe, a dusty vortex of souks, alleys, street food stalls and mint tea stops. 5. Istanbul, Turkey from £65Warning: cheesy line coming. With flights this cheap, you can save your cash for shopping. No, not Milan, nor Paris, but a mere 60 squid takes you on a retailers’ busman’s holiday of a lifetime in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar is one of the hardest places in the world to resist a good salesman, but give some back and get haggling. You’ll need a map to get round it, you are bound to get lost anyway, and you may not be able to get that 20 square foot carpet back home, but it’s many times more atmospheric than your average out-of-town shopping centre. Prices correct at time of going to press – 16 September 2013. Prices can go down as well as up! Keep tabs on the price of the routes you’re looking at with Skyscanner Price Alerts.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 3. Marrakech, Morocco from £55That’s a deal and a half to take you to the full-on craziness of Marrakech. While some may be overawed by sights such as Djemaa el-Fna, you can at least take a break from the constant hustle, bustle (and heat for much of the year) by staying in a secluded riad – ‘a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard’. Many riad owners will pick up from the airport, to ease you into your visit before you hit up the souks and snake charmers. Moscow for under £50 return? Morocco for £55? No way!In our relentless pursuit of cheap flights on Skyscanner, there are certain destinations that always seem to crop up and stun us out our bargain-hunting minds for how damn cheap they are to fly to.Yes, the flights are operated by budget airlines; you may have to book a couple of months in advance; travel is mid-week blah blah, but these days you know the score with finding the cheapest prices when you are booking travel. There isn’t a science to this – we haven’t calculated kilometres per pound – it’s just that these flights look like an unbelievably good deal. So, here are six of our best value flights from the UK to distant-ish shores this autumn.1. Moscow, Russia from £46 returnMoscow for under £50? Yes, really – at the time of writing we found a return flight for £46. To paraphrase the famous Kiss song, it’s a crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy price. You could spend as much on a night out down the pub, but instead you could go to Russia. With a journey duration of roughly five hours, that’s just £5 an hour there and back. The flight goes to Moscow Domodedovo, which you might think is one of those misleadingly-named airports and it’s actually located in downtown Vladivostok, but you’re wrong. While at 26 miles from the city centre, it’s not exactly walking distance from Red Square, it is one of Moscow’s three main international airports, and the busiest in Russia. Once there, you can continue to keep your transport costs to a minimum by getting around by bike thanks to Moscow’s new Boris bike-alike hire scheme (you might need to translate this page!).