This is guest post by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
From climate change to gun control to issues of equity and access, cities around the world have a great responsibility and an even greater opportunity — we have the structures and resources to think globally while acting, and impacting, locally.
Today, on the International Day of the Girl, we remember why the work to continue building a safer and more equitable world is so important. We are reminded that every girl, every woman, and every person deserves a fair shot to live up to their full potential. And we commit to finding new ways to overcome old challenges.
Just this week, Washington, D.C. took another step toward becoming a more equitable city when we ended the practice of charging sales tax on menstrual hygiene products. This tax is an unfair burden on women and transgender and nonbinary people for whom these products are not a luxury, but a necessity. With this change, Washington, D.C. joins a growing list of states that have passed laws exempting menstrual hygiene products from sales tax, including Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York.
We know — when girls and women have equal opportunities for economic prosperity, education and access to health care, not only do their outcomes improve, but so do our community’s. We recognize that every investment we make, every policy we create, and every project we take on is one more opportunity to uplift women and girls and give more residents a fair shot.
In D.C., we’re investing in our women and girls by making historic investments in education and in the creation of high-quality, affordable child care seats; focusing our city’s attention on maternal and infant health care; enhancing our workforce development programs so that D.C. residents can get D.C. jobs; providing financial support to underrepresented entrepreneurs, ensuring they have pathways to start and grow businesses in our city; and, as our city grows and prospers, we’re building affordable housing at record levels.
With political will and the right investments, we’re making real change that impacts the day-to-day lives of women, girls and families across our city. Today, we commit to celebrating our progress while always looking for ways to do better.
About the author: As mayor of her hometown, Muriel Bowser is committed to building pathways to the middle class and making sure every Washingtonian gets a fair shot. Washington, D.C. is a growing and prospering city— now 700,000 residents strong. To keep up with this growth, the Bowser Administration remains focused on making D.C.’s prosperity more inclusive, advancing D.C. values, and building safer, stronger, and healthier neighborhoods across all eight wards of the District. Sworn in on January 2, 2015, Mayor Bowser pledged to bring a fresh start to the District of Columbia and foster a culture of inclusion, transparency, and action. Prior to her time as Mayor, Bowser served as the Ward 4 councilmember on the Council of the District of Columbia — first elected in a special election in 2007, and re-elected in 2008 and 2012.