Several Democratic leaders — including Sen. Bernie Sanders and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser — are voicing their support for D.C. statehood and are championing the fight to get it on the Democratic platform this July.
Last Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention’s Mid-Atlantic Platform Forum, Bowser argued that D.C. residents pay taxes, serve in the military, and the district has grown significantly in population, but, “despite these successes,” residents do not reap any benefits.
Bowser continued by saying that statehood should be an issue of consideration for the Democratic platform.
“Mr. Chairman, you know that Washingtonians do not benefit. And despite the fact that we perform all the functions of the state, Washingtonians do not enjoy the rights of all Americans,” said Bowser in her testimony to the committee. “Nearly 700,000 residents live in the shadow of the nation’s capital without a vote in Congress.”
And just two days after Bowser’s statements, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders backed her sentiment.
“I hope that the next time I’m back we’re going to be talking about the state of Washington DC,” Sanders said at a rally ahead of the D.C. primaries today, according to a report from CNN.
“I think it is morally wrong for American citizens who pay federal taxes, fight in our wars and live in our country to be denied the basic right to full congressional representation.”
D.C. voters go to the polls Tuesday and 20 delegates are up for grabs in the Democratic primary.
Hillary Clinton leads Sanders in delegates 2,784-1,877.