Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser testified during a congressional hearing on Monday to consider a bill that would make the city the country’s 51st state.
Watch in the video player above.
Bowser is calling on the 117th Congress to pass the statehood legislation and put it on President Joe Biden’s desk within the first 100 days.
“It occurred by a mistake. The founding fathers created a federal district,” says Beverly Perry, a special advisor to Washington D.C.’s mayor. “Didn’t realize that they were disenfranchising the people in the nation’s capital.”
“You can’t disenfranchise the people in the nation’s capital and have a beacon of democracy,” Perry explained.
Friday, Perry and district workers gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza to hang 51 American flags in support of the statehood movement.
With a simple majority in the House and Senate, Congress can add new states to the Union through an Admission Act or House Resolution, according to Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
Last June, the House voted to make D.C. the 51st state, the first time in history that either chamber had advanced such a bill.
Bowser points out D.C. taxpayers get no voting representatives in Congress despite contributing more in federal taxes on a per person basis than many states. The nation’s capital, with just over 700,000 residents, has a larger population than Vermont and Wyoming.