What to Know
- Bowser asked the DNC to add DC statehood to its platform at the party's platform forum.
- Bowser cited DC's lack of representation despite residents paying federal taxes and enlisting in the military.
- She said the issue of statehood is "an American issue." She asked that the Democratic Party go beyond politics to fix DC's lack of rights.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser asked the Democratic National Committee to add D.C. statehood to its platform Tuesday.
The DNC held its Mid-Atlantic Democratic Platform Forum in the first event of a series that aims to engage a variety of voices from the party. Bowser took the opportunity to present the issue of statehood.
“Despite the fact that we perform all the functions of a state, Washingtonians do not enjoy the rights of all Americans,” Bowser said.
She pointed out that residents in the District pay federal taxes and fight in the military. But with one congresswoman without voting power and no senators, D.C. does not have adequate representation, she said.
And while residents of the District elect local government officials, Congress can override elections and overturn laws passed by those officials. Bowser said this was a violation of residents’ rights.
“We are Washingtonians, and we are Americans too. And we want to be considered just like every other American,” she said.
Bowser said the issue of statehood should go beyond politics. She said the District needed help from all 50 states to fix the inequality.
“Access to democracy is not a Democratic or Republican issue,” she said. “It’s an American issue.”
In April, Bowser advocated adding a ballot on the statehood issue to the November election. She also released a draft of a constitution for the District in May and set plans to hold a constitutional convention June 17 to 18.
But Bowser said in order to pursue statehood, D.C. needs support from the Democratic Party.
“We share the belief that all men and women are created equal,” she said. “No matter the color of their skin, who they love, their native tongue, or certainly, no matter where they live.”