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Statement from Mayor Bowser on the 50th Anniversary of the DC Home Rule Act

Friday, December 22, 2023

(Washington, DC) – On December 24, 1973, President Richard Nixon signed into law the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which created a local government for Washington, DC. While the DC Home Rule Act granted DC residents the ability to elect a mayor and council, Congress retained the power to overrule local legislation and DC residents remained without a vote in Congress. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the DC Home Rule Act, Mayor Muriel Bowser released the following statement.

“In the 50 years since achieving limited Home Rule, we have made significant strides in moving DC forward. We built a strong local economy, and today we are a donor state and give more to the federal government than we get back. In just the past 20 years, DC went from junk-bond status to having a triple-A bond rating. We have transformed our public education system, and today we have the most students enrolled in our public schools since we began our system-wide count. We lead with strong DC values, and time and time again, we have led the way on important civil and human rights issues. We have strong, vibrant neighborhoods across all eight wards. And we achieved all this without a single vote in Congress.  

“This year, we look back with gratitude for those who came before us and fought for Home Rule, and we keep pushing for a future where we have full access to American democracy. We know that full access means DC statehood. It means we have voting representation in the House and two senators representing us in the Senate. It means a more perfect democracy for our country – one where Americans living in the shadow of the Capitol, who have all the responsibilities of citizenship and who go to war to defend our freedoms, have representation in Congress. Our future is one where our Home Rule is not limited – where DC residents have full representation, full autonomy, and full access to our fundamental rights as American citizens.”