(Washington, DC) – Today, ahead of Thursday’s historic House hearing on the DC statehood bill (H.R. 51), Mayor Bowser launched a new DC statehood commercial, featuring DC veteran Antoinette Scott. The commercial, which is already airing in Washington, DC, Kentucky, and South Carolina, is part of the Bowser Administration’s education campaign to make more Americans aware of the injustices happening in the nation’s capital due to our lack of statehood.
“This commercial is going to make more Americans aware of a particularly disgraceful effect of our disenfranchisement – the fact that we have men and women fighting for our nation, defending our democracy abroad, and, yet, when they come home to Washington, DC, they are denied those very same democratic rights. Our servicemembers are denied voting representation in the Congress that decides when and whether to send them to war,” said Mayor Bowser. “Only through statehood can we correct this injustice and ensure all Washingtonians, including our veterans and servicemembers, are provided the voting representation we deserve.”
In the commercial, Scott highlights this particular injustice facing DC veterans: “I fought for my country, and I deserve the right to representation just like any other American, in any other state.”
Scott, the veteran featured in the commercial, is a DC native and current resident who served in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Purple Heart. Scott was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. Today, Scott continues to empower those around her as a speaker, author, and advocate for women and DC statehood. She speaks to live audiences about her experience as a female wounded warrior.
Tomorrow, Mayor Bowser will lead a parade with 51 DC veterans and fly 51-star American flags along Pennsylvania Avenue in a salute to DC statehood. Mayor Bowser, DC veterans, and public officials will board a DC statehood-themed bus and ride down Pennsylvania Avenue, which is lined with hundreds of 51-star flags. The Mayor will hold a media availability at the end of the parade to thank DC veterans for their service and call on Congress to grant the District’s 702,000 residents, including 32,000 veterans who have fought for their country, their full democratic rights as American citizens.
Last year, the Mayor’s Office of Federal and Regional Affairs (OFRA) launched an extensive educational campaign to raise awareness about the District’s lack of voting representation in Congress. Through web ads across Google, Facebook, and Twitter and targeted emails, OFRA has already reached millions of voters in multiple states. And through a mobile app and new kiosks at high traffic locations such as the Convention Center and Union Station, tourists who visit Washington, DC are also learning about the need for DC statehood. Additionally, representatives from the Bowser Administration continue to travel across the U.S. and attend national conferences and conventions to engage and educate local and state-level elected officials and their constituents.