Paul Strauss is currently serving his fourth term as United States Senator from the District of Columbia. As a non-voting representative to the US Senate, Strauss advocates at the US Senate and the US House of Representatives on behalf of the citizens of DC in their attempt to gain full Federal representation, self-determination, and eventually admittance to the union as the nation's 51st state. The Senator also works closely with our non-voting Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Mayor and the DC Council members to advance the interest of local residents on Federal issues.
Prior to being elected Senator in 1996, Paul served in several locally elected government positions. His elected positions include: at-large member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, Chairperson of the Democratic Party's D.C. Statehood Committee, Chairperson of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E, and Chairperson of Neighborhood Planning Council #3. Paul was first elected the ANC in 1986. In 1987, he became the youngest ANC chairperson and served as an ANC Commissioner until 1996.
The Senator has worked as a Legislative Assistant to the D.C. Council's Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and as a Union Organizer for Hotel and Restaurant Employee's Local 25. He has been an adjunct professor of Political Science at the American University Department of Government. Paul Strauss has been a resident of the District of Columbia since 1982. He served as Chairperson on the Board of Real Property Assessment and Appeals for the District of Columbia, and is an attorney in private practice. He was President of the Northwest Youth Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides job opportunities to D.C. youth. Paul has a bachelor's degree from American University School of Government and Public Administration, and a Juris Doctorate from A.U.'s Washington College of Law.
Senator Strauss has been responsible for some of the most innovative and effective efforts at advancing awareness and promoting education about DC's struggle for Statehood. His "51 Stars" Campaign features 51 famous celebrities, or "stars", from the world of entertainment, professional sports, and the arts appearing in Public Service Announcements promoting DC Statehood. In 2015, Senator Strauss appeared before a panel of the UNPO (The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization), an international, nonviolent, and democratic membership organization, where he successfully petitioned to have the District of Columbia become the only North American member of that international body. Thanks to D.C.'s membership in the UNPO, worldwide attention was focused on DC's fight for statehood. The Senator's outreach to civic groups in Iowa led to unprecedented support by Grass-roots and elected leaders from that state generating national media attention.
These efforts culminated in DC Statehood resolutions being adopted my multiple precincts at the influential Iowa caucuses, resulting in Statehood support being added to party platforms across the state. Similar efforts in the Western Caucuses like Nevada also resulted in new and greater awareness of Statehood in the 2016 Presidential campaign. Senator Strauss' recent efforts at reforming the previously unratified draft DC Constitution for the new State resulted in its approval by over 86% of voters in a recent referendum election.