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DC Delegation to Attend First-in-the-Nation Caucus to Join Iowa Grassroots Group Advocating for DC Statehood

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Contacts:

District of Columbia: Karen A. Szulgit, (202) 727-7890, karen.szulgit@dc.gov

Iowa: Tamyra Harrison, (515) 493-0051, DCStateNow@gmail.com

Washington, DC –United States Senator Paul Strauss (D-DC-Shadow), U.S. Senator Michael D. Brown (D-DC-Shadow) and U.S. Representative Franklin Garcia (D-DC-Shadow) will attend the First-in-the-Nation Caucus in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, February 1, 2016, to advocate for DC statehood with the support of a local grassroots group, Iowans for DC Statehood. (www.IowansForDCStatehood.com)

The non-voting members of the elected Statehood Congressional Delegation will be in Iowa promoting DC statehood beginning January 30 through the February 1, 2016 Democratic and Republican caucuses themselves.

At the caucuses, Iowans at 1,681 precincts debate the merits of each of the presidential candidates before voting on them. They also bring up issues to discuss and then vote on to get formal resolutions added to their respective party platforms, which all the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are then asked to address. (see attached) Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald said, “Washington, DC has a population larger than two other states so, as a matter of fairness, they should have the right to be represented.”

Over the past year, members of the delegation have been working to make the District’s lack of congressional voting rights and budget autonomy a topic of conversation in the presidential campaigns. “We have worked hard to make DC statehood part of the discussion in Iowa,” Senator Strauss said. Senator Strauss first visited Iowa in February 2015. Inspired by his words and passion for the cause, the Polk County Democrats passed a resolution in March 2015 in favor of DC statehood.

Since that time, public service announcements from the “51 Stars Campaign” – featuring Hollywood celebrities supporting DC statehood – have been airing on ABC5 and KWCI 23 in Iowa, generating further interest and support. Building on this momentum, Iowans for DC Statehood was formed and this grassroots movement continues to grow, picking up support from community leaders and caucus-goers throughout the Hawkeye State.

Senator Michael D. Brown said, “As the world focuses its attention on this First-in-the Nation presidential caucus, we are going to Iowa to put our struggle for equality on the national stage. It’s time to fulfill the promise of democracy for all Americans, including almost 675,000 loyal citizens that reside in our nation’s capital.”

“The Latino population has grown significantly in the state of Iowa, along with other minority groups.  I hope to see Iowa’s evolving diversity represented at this year’s caucuses,” Representative Garcia added.