Letter from the Mayor | February 9, 2017

Feb 9th, 2017 | By | Category: Blogs & Op-eds, Community, News & Features, Politics & Law

Dear Washingtonians,

For more than two centuries, Washington, DC has played a pivotal role in the story of the African American experience, serving as a national stage to both our struggle and our progress. And I would not be here today if it were not for countless strong, proud and brave black women – trailblazers like Dorothy Height and Shirley Chisholm who taught the world that “tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”

Last week, my Administration kicked off Black History Month with two free screenings of the Oscar-nominated film, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ – one screening at Ballou High School and another at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This documentary uses James Baldwin’s commentary to shed light on the racial challenges faced by African Americans.

Of course, in Washington, DC, we not only celebrate and study black history in February, but we do so all year long. There is no way to tell the history of Washington, DC without telling the history of black Americans. And every day, we acknowledge that the fight for equality and equal opportunity is not over. In DC, we have 681,000 residents living in the shadow of the Capitol, yet we still lack a vote in Congress. We still fight off congressional interference in local matters because, without statehood, we are vulnerable to the meddling of representatives from other states who want to impose their personal beliefs on our residents.

As Mayor, I will continue to fight for all Washingtonians – to close the achievement gap and get more residents on pathways to the middle class. As we study and celebrate history, we cannot lose sight of the fact that every day we are still making history. Every day is a new opportunity to stand up for our DC values and to make our city and country a better place for people from all backgrounds.


Muriel Bowser

Sign for Mayor Bower’s enews

Mayor Muriel Bowser

John A. Wilson Building | 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW | Washington DC, 20004

(202) 727-2643

muriel.bowser@dc.gov | mayor.dc.gov | @mayorbowser

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