A commercial promoting D.C. statehood aired Sunday ahead of a congressional hearing on the issue, with a veteran featured in the commercial saying it's time for Congress to "give us our star and give us our state."
Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a release the commercial is airing in D.C., Kentucky and South Carolina and is meant to educate Americans on the "injustices happening in the nation's capital due to our lack of statehood."
In the commercial, U.S. Army veteran Antoinette Scott says, "I fought for my country, and I deserve the right to representation just like any other American, in any other state."
Scott is a D.C. native and was awarded a Purple Heart.
"We're more than just a city of tourism and we're more than just a city where Congress sits and makes decisions. We are a city of people who want the proper representation so we can have the same rights that they have," Scott told News4 on Friday.
D.C. residents cannot elect senators nor voting members of Congress, and the federal government must give final approval to local laws.
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The U.S. House of Representatives is set to hold a hearing Thursday on D.C. becoming the nation's 51st state. The historic hearing will be the first on the topic in more than 25 years.
In preparation for the hearing, Bowser had dozens of 51-star flags hung along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between the White House and the U.S. Capitol.
"The message is loud and clear that there's a place for us even on the flag to become the 51st state. So, give us our star and give us our state," Scott said.
Bowser also announced she will lead a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday in a D.C. statehood-themed bus with 51 D.C. veterans and public officials.
"What we're talking about is 702,000 Americans," Bowser said Friday. "People in the District didn't have any say in whether we should go to war. We have no say on who sits on the Supreme Court."
Bowser wants Maryland and Virginia to join in the fight for statehood.
"Our region rises and falls together," Bowser said. "We would have two more people fighting for us for scarce dollars for Metro, for housing, for fixing the environmental issues on our rivers or the Chesapeake Bay or adding bridges where they're needed."