ICYMI: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Joins DGA In Push For D.C. Statehood
Yesterday, the DGA announced Mayor Muriel Bowser is joining the organization as its newest member.
Mayor Bowser joined DGA Chair New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. to make the announcement on CNN.
“She’s an executive leader in the district working on all of the things that Democratic governors are responsible, from continuing to save lives, get folks vaccinated in our fight against COVID, but to every other meaningful issue from voting rights protection, health care reform, and access educational investments for every single one of her constituents and families,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “And that’s exactly what the Democratic governors across this country are doing every day, and this partnership is an incredible announcement to really reinforce that’s what we’re dedicated to, and that’s what we are about.”
By joining the DGA, Mayor Bowser will have the opportunity to work with other state and territory executives to move the country forward and advance the values that matter most to families. It is also a recognition by the DGA on the positive impact D.C.’s residents and leaders make on the country.
Read more on the announcement of Mayor Bowser as the newest member of the DGA below:
The Democratic Governors Association on Tuesday welcomed D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser into its ranks, marking the latest effort by Democratic leaders to support making the District the nation’s 51st state.
Announcing the move on CNN, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who chairs the association, acknowledged that Bowser is not a governor. But citing the mayor’s role in advocating for D.C. residents and combating the coronavirus pandemic in the city, Lujan Grisham asserted that Bowser is already “an executive leader in the District working on all of the things Democratic governors are responsible [for].”
While advocates and most Democratic leaders have described statehood for the plurality-Black, overwhelmingly Democratic city a matter of voting rights and racial justice, Republicans dismiss it as a ploy to increase the number of Democrats in Congress.
“We function as a state in so many ways, we’re treated as a state throughout federal law,” Bowser said on CNN. “What’s missing is two senators to represent us in the Senate so we’ll be like every other taxpaying American.”
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on CNN today that the Democratic Governors Association is adding her to its membership. Founded in 1983, the DGA is made up of the Democratic governors in 23 states and 3 US territories, and provides policy advice, messaging resources, and campaign support.
As a DC statehood bill makes its way to the Senate, Bowser’s inclusion in the DGA sends a message about the perceived role of Bowser and the status of her jurisdiction. Though Bowser is currently a city mayor, she’s acted in a gubernatorial capacity throughout the pandemic, setting health policy and working to secure more federal funding when DC was underfunded in the initial Covid relief bill.
In the early months of 2020, Bowser was in close conversation with Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam to coordinate the response to the pandemic. Her mayoral status presented some roadblocks in communicating with the White House, though, and Bowser complained about being left out of calls between the executive branch and America’s governors. Hogan has said he invited her to a number of those calls, but that the White House had ultimate say over who was included.
Amid the District’s ongoing push for statehood, Democratic state governors are embracing D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as one of their own. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced today that Bowser has been invited to be a member of the Democratic Governors Association.
“She’s an executive leader in the District working on all of the things that Democratic governors are responsible [for] from continuing to save lives, get folks vaccinated in our fight against COVID to every other meaningful issue,” Grisham told CNN. “This partnership is an incredible announcement to really reinforce that’s what we’re dedicated to.”
Bowser thanked Grisham and other governors for their willingness to embrace “the city, county, and state that Washington, D.C. is right now.”
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has been admitted into the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) amid a Democratic push to turn the nation’s capital into a state.
The move comes about a week after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he does not support legislation the House passed to admit D.C. into the union, dealing the prospects of D.C. statehood a devastating blow.
Bowser first made the announcement in a joint interview with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), the chairwoman of the DGA, on Wednesday.
Grisham said that while Bowser isn’t a governor, she is an “executive leader” who is “working on all of the things that Democratic governors are responsible” for, from fighting the coronavirus pandemic to protecting voting rights.
“This partnership is an incredible announcement to really reinforce that’s what we’re dedicated to and that’s what we are about,” Grisham said.
The House passed a bill along party lines last month to make D.C. a state, the second time in two years the House passed such legislation.
Advocates say that the city’s roughly 700,000 citizens, mostly Black Americans, deserve equal representation. Republicans have fought against D.C. statehood, arguing that it was a chance for Democrats to tip the evenly divided Senate in their favor.
Despite the challenges, Bowser expressed confidence that D.C. would become a state, touting support from the White House and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“The president of the United States has issued a very strong statement supporting statehood for D.C. Sen. Schumer has been very strong in his support for D.C. statehood,” Bowser said. “So we know they’re going to work with Sen. Manchin and others so that this is an issue that’s finally resolved, a wrong that is finally righted in our democracy.”
The Democratic Governors Association is adding D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to its ranks in a symbolic push for D.C. statehood.
In a news release, the group said by joining the group, Bowser “will have the opportunity to interact with other state and territory executives on policy best practices, furthering cooperation and innovation both in the District and in other states.”
In a statement, Bowser said: “In Washington, D.C., we are proud to fulfill all the same responsibilities of citizenship as our fellow Americans in the other 50 states. The fight for DC statehood is about demanding what is owed to us — the rights guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution. Like millions of Americans nationwide, Washingtonians are focused on building a fairer, more just, and more resilient nation. We know that ending taxation without representation is not only the right thing to do, it is the best way to build a stronger, more inclusive democracy.”
In recent years, the push for D.C. statehood has been elevated from a fringe issue and now has the backing of most Democrats in Congress and President Joe Biden.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who chairs the governor’s group, said welcoming Bowser to the group underscored the group’s fight for voting rights.
“There’s no better way for a state to protect voting rights than to elect a Democratic governor — and that’s exactly what the people of D.C. deserve,” Grisham said.