Mayor Muriel Bowser Welcomes New Members of the 115th Congress
Mayor Muriel Bowser welcomed Freshman members of the 115th Congress to Washington DC today at a reception at the Cannon House Office Building. The event marked the first time a Mayor of the District of Columbia has extended this courtesy to Congress. The large room was packed with District residents, Congress members and staff. The atmosphere in the room was jubilant.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) California, opened the program. The Congressman believes that Washington DC is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I agree with him! He also complemented the Mayor on her leadership and vision in pulling the event together.
Mayor Bowser reminded everyone that she is THEIR Mayor while residing in and/or working in the District of Columbia. She shared that Washington is a vibrant cit with a diverse population of 681,000 residents - a number that will reach 800,000 in her lifetime. She welcomed Congress to discover Washington DC by visiting neighborhoods in all 8 Wards; as well as, our many restaurants, shops, museums, theaters, galleries and monuments.
Mayor Bowser then ran the facts and figures: Washingtonians are proud to serve in our military. Washingtonians pay more Federal taxes that 22 states, revenues are high, we have the fastest improving urban school system in the country and yet ---- we have no vote in Congress. She then noted that 80 percent of DC voters voted to move forward with making Washington the 51st state. She closed by entreating Congress to support DC Statehood.
Mayor Bowser presented the Keys to the City to David M.Rubinstein, for his philanthropy and patronage of the arts. Notably, he donated millions to fund the renovation of the Washington Monument after it suffered earthquake damage. Mr. Rubinstein quipped that his largest donations to the city came via parking tickets. LOL.
Steny Hoyer (D) Maryland - House Minority Whip - came out swinging - citing that no capital city in industrialized countries lacks voting representation in its parliament. This is wrong. He went on to say that the DMV region depends on the health and vitality of Washington DC. The implication being that the City should be able to count on support from the surrounding jurisdictions. The Mayor's approach to build support for voting rights and Statehood is taking root.
Rep Hoyer introduced the Freshman Congressmen who were present and some more seasoned Representatives as well. He also introduced a special guest, House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D) California.
It was great to see local Washington mix with Federal Washington (both sides of the aisle) and celebrate the Nation's Capital and Democracy. It's incumbent on all of us to engage, stay vigilant and work to make sure that the warmth and positive vibes that were created in the Cannon House Office Building on the evening of the 12th of January will NOT be short lived!!