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DC Statehood Now Panel with Former Mayor Sharon Pratt, Senator Paul Strauss, DC Vote’s Bo Shuff, and Jamal Holtz of 51 for 51, Moderated by Commissioner Ayanna Hawkins of the DC Emancipation Day Commemoration Commission

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Statehood Now: Mayor Sharon Pratt,Sen. Paul Strauss,Bo Shuff, & Jamal Holtz Tickets

A panel discussion with leaders from the Washington, DC community on DC Statehood, why it is necessary, how it is relevant, and how both individuals and organizations are working to level the playing field for DC’s nearly 700,000 residents. This presentation will include a Q & A session.

Former Mayor Sharon Pratt is an American attorney and politician and served as the third Mayor of the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1995, the first African American woman in that position. Pratt attended D.C. Public Schools Gage ES, Rudolph ES, MacFarland Junior High School, and Roosevelt HS (1961, with honors). At Howard University she joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (1964) and earned a B.A. in political science (1965). She received a J.D. degree from the Howard University School of Law in 1968. She was a member of the Democratic National Committee from the District of Columbia (1977–1990), the first woman to hold that position. She was DNC Treasurer from 1985 to 1989. Currently, Mayor Pratt’s consulting firm, established in 2002, does management consulting and works with federal, state, and local agencies and non-profit groups.

Shadow Senator Paul Strauss was born in Brooklyn, New York. He obtained an undergraduate degree from the American University School of Public Affairs in May 1986 and a J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law in May 1993. He served as ANC commissioner from 1986 to 1996. Strauss' professional experience includes working as an attorney in private practice. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He is an honorary member of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia's Global Committee for the Rule of Law and a presidency member of the Unrepresented Nations and People's Organization.

Bo Shuff serves as the Executive Director for DC Vote, having been promoted from Director of Advocacy in June of 2017. Mr. Shuff has spent the last twenty years on the front lines of both electoral and advocacy politics. From being a member of the Gore election team in Florida in 2000; to being on the staff of HRC; from the Lawrence decision through the 2006 Marriage Amendments, Bo somehow finds himself engaged in some of the hottest political moments. In addition to organizational advocacy work, his electoral efforts led to a progressive majority in the Washington State Senate and, as a Campaign Manager, the election of Mayor Muriel Bowser. He joined DC Vote in 2016 with an eye to achieving full equality of the 51st State, Washington, DC.

Jamal Holtz is a champion for D.C. Statehood, a seasoned community engagement strategist and community advisor who currently serves as a local engagement expert. He is a Lead Organizer with the 51 for 51 statehood campaign, focused on making DC the 51st state with 51 votes in the Senate. Mr. Holtz has extensive local government, public affairs, and community relations experience, drawn from roles at numerous statewide and local government agencies. Jamal currently serves on many organizational and corporate boards, advising executives and officials on issues related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.