District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser will attend the State of the Union Tuesday as a guest of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.
Bowser confirmed Thursday afternoon she will be attending the president’s annual address, a spokesman for Norton’s office told CQ Roll Call. In 2011, then-Mayor Vincent Gray attended the address as Norton’s guest. But when Gray was invited again in 2012, he reportedly skipped the event to attend his girlfriend’s birthday party. President Barack Obama endorsed Bowser in her mayoral campaign, but, if past speeches are any indication, he is not likely to address issues pertaining to the District in his address. Activists are hoping the president, who supports D.C. statehood, will address the effort to make the District the 51st state in his speech. Josh Burch of Neighbors United for DC Statehood even started a White House petition urging him to do so. The petition only has around 1,200 signatures so far, and needs 100,000 to garner a response from the White House.
Last year, D.C. autonomy advocates were disappointed that the District once again was not acknowledged by the president. “The president has neglected once again to find three or four words to say about the disempowerment of the District of Columbia,” Norton told CQ Roll Call after the 2014 address.
The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.