DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on CNN today that the Democratic Governors Association is adding her to its membership. Founded in 1983, the DGA is made up of the Democratic governors in 23 states and 3 US territories, and provides policy advice, messaging resources, and campaign support.
As a DC statehood bill makes its way to the Senate, Bowser’s inclusion in the DGA sends a message about the perceived role of Bowser and the status of her jurisdiction. Though Bowser is currently a city mayor, she’s acted in a gubernatorial capacity throughout the pandemic, setting health policy and working to secure more federal funding when DC was underfunded in the initial Covid relief bill.
In the early months of 2020, Bowser was in close conversation with Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam to coordinate the response to the pandemic. Her mayoral status presented some roadblocks in communicating with the White House, though, and Bowser complained about being left out of calls between the executive branch and America’s governors. Hogan has said he invited her to a number of those calls, but that the White House had ultimate say over who was included.