WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) — Thousands took to the streets for the March on Washington 2021, over half a century after the 1963 civil rights march, where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Who would have thought that 58 years later we would be fighting for the same exact thing?,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman.
Activists, residents and government officials from across the country gathered near the steps at the Lincoln Memorial to call on Congress to pass voting rights legislation.
Bowman called on the Senate to pass — and President Biden to sign- –the Democrat’s federal voting rights bills, which have passed in the house.
“We need for President Biden to hear from us every single day,” said Bowman.
Democrats want the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act signed into law, which will restore parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to ensure everyone can cast a ballot.
Bowman called on citizens to let their voices be heard to create change.
“Revolution and evolution and transformative change is in our DNA,” said the congressman.
Granting Washington, D.C. statehood was also at the forefront of the march, with Mayor Muriel Bowser saying Washingtonians deserve the right for representation.
“We have all of the responsibilities of statehood and citizenship, except we don’t have all of the benefits,” said Bowser.
The mayor says D.C. has a right to become the 51st state, paying federal taxes and a population of over 700,000 residents.
“We are standing here, not begging, but demanding what is our birthright and that is statehood for Washington, D.C.,” said the mayor.
Thousands of people also participated in the March on for Voting Rights in major cities across the country on Saturday.