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.
Earlier this month — for the second time in as many years — the House passed a bill to make D.C. the 51st state on a 216-208 vote, strictly along party lines. The measure faces a tough future in the Senate, where Democrats maintain only a razor-thin majority.
Under a 2016 measure approved by D.C. voters, if statehood became a reality, the federal district would be shrunk to an area comprising the White House, Capitol building and National Mall, and the rest of the city would form the new state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth — a nod to abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
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.