For Immediate Release: 
June 20, 2017
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105

Grosso proposes re-designating government officials to bolster statehood movement, reflect D.C. status

Washington, D.C. – Today, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced legislation that would redefine District of Columbia government titles to advance the statehood movement and align them with the actual status of the D.C. government.

The “Washington D.C. Preferred Terms Establishment Act of 2017” designates D.C. as Douglass Commonwealth and redefines the Mayor as Governor of Washington, D.C. Additionally, the bill renames the Council as the Legislative Assembly with a Speaker, rather than a Chairman. Further, Councilmembers would be referred to as Representatives of the Legislative Assembly.

“As we continue the fight for statehood, it is my hope that this legislation will mobilize community advocates, organizers and residents and reinvigorate the movement as a whole,” Grosso said. “Changing these names, of course will not make us a state. However, I believe changing them can move us closer toward statehood."

One of the major barriers to statehood is that many across the country view the District of Columbia as a city. To them, statehood seems like quite a leap. But, the change put forward in this legislation can help rectify that perception.

It also aligns titles with how D.C. operates.

“The District of Columbia government acts concurrently as a state, county, and municipal government,” Grosso said. “It’s time the titles accurately reflect the work we do in the Wilson Building.”

Councilmembers Anita Bonds (At-Large), Elissa Silverman (At-Large), Robert White (At-Large), and Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1) joined Grosso as co-introducers. Councilmember Vince Gray (Ward 7) signed on as a co-sponsor.