Washington, D.C. — Last night, 51 for 51 and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) unveiled a new mural in the Shaw neighborhood to advocate for D.C. statehood and uplift the critical intersection between statehood and fighting the climate crisis. The mural, designed by local artist Cesar Maxit, features a call to action for statehood and honors D.C. statehood and climate leader Josephine Butler. At the unveiling ceremony, activists from 51 for 51 and LCV spoke about the urgency for statehood, and were joined by Jerome Foster II, a climate justice activist and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
The mural sends a strong visual ahead of the Senate’s historic hearing on D.C. statehood on June 22nd — showing the power of the movement after recent statements of support from President Biden, Leader Schumer, and 46 Senate supporters to make D.C. the 51st state.
Photos and videos of the mural available for public use here
“We’re painting the streets so the whole District knows we’re not going to stop fighting until all 700,000 of us have a vote in Congress,” said Jamal Holtz, Lead Organizer of 51 for 51. “This isn’t stagnant art — we’re showing solidarity with D.C. residents and sending a call to action that our democracy is incomplete without the voices of D.C. residents. Washingtonians need a vote on all crucial issues, including the climate crisis, and we need to honor activists who have paved our way, like Josephine Butler. ”
“Low-income and Black communities have historically suffered the consequences of pollution and public health risks, and D.C. residents, more than half of whom are people of color, have experienced this environmental racism for generations — yet have been denied the full representation in Congress needed to address it,” said Justin Kwasa, Voting Rights Program Manager, LCV. “Josephine Butler deeply understood the connection between environmental justice and D.C. Statehood — and 100 years after her birth we have the opportunity to honor her legacy, establish Washington D.C. as a state and finally grant power to the people, where it belongs. It’s time for the Senate to right a historic wrong and fully enfranchise the people of Washington, D.C.”
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