D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on Friday called for a citywide vote in November to make the nation’s capital the 51st state, resurrecting a decades-old plan to put the issue before Congress and to raise awareness across the country about District residents’ lack of full citizenship.
“I propose we take another bold step toward democracy in the District of Columbia,” Bowser told a breakfast of hundreds of city residents, Democratic members of Congress and civil rights leaders marking the city’s anniversary of emancipation from slavery.
“It’s going to require that we send a bold message to the Congress and the rest of the country, that we demand not only a vote in the House of Representatives. We demand two senators — the full rights of citizenship in this great nation,” Bowser said.
The mayor’s announcement could significantly increase tension between the city’s Democratic majority and a Republican-controlled Congress.