D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday announced she has endorsed former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg for president.
Bowser’s announcement took place at a combined press conference and rally with Bloomberg accompanying her at the Atlas Theater and Performing Arts Center in D.C.’s H Street, N.E. entertainment district.
The Bloomberg campaign announced that Bowser will serve as a National Campaign Co-Chair, advising the campaign on “key political and policy issues.”
Bloomberg, who cited what he called his “impeccable” record of support for LGBT rights in response to a question from the Washington Blade, joined Bowser for the announcement two days after his campaign released a detailed plan to “ensure equality for all LGBTQ+ Americans.”
The plan covers a wide range of LGBTQ issues, including support for transgender women of color who face widespread discrimination and a pledge that Bloomberg would push Congress to pass the Equality Act, the national LGBTQ civil rights bill.
That same day members of the Bloomberg campaign’s National LGBTQ+ Leadership Council announced the launch of a national LGBTQ outreach program called Proud with Mike, which they said will “engage LGBTQ+ voters and share Mike’s agenda for equal rights.”
When asked by the Blade what message he has for LGBTQ voters for why they should support him in a field of Democratic candidates who have also expressed strong support for LGBTQ rights, Bloomberg cited his early support for marriage equality.
“Well just to address that one community, my recollection is…I went and got the Republican Senate of the State of New York as well as the Democratic House to pass a law permitting gay marriage in New York long before anybody else that I know who’s running for office ever even thought about it or certainly said anything about it,” he said.
“My credentials among the LGBTQ plus community I think are impeccable and would not be overstating it if you ask people from New York City,” Bloomberg said.
“We can solve the nation’s most pressing problems if we have the right leader in place,” Bowser told the crowd of about 100 people who turned out for the announcement event in a room near the Atlas Center’s main theater.
“We can turn innovative ideas and fresh ideas into reality,” she said. “And Mike Bloomberg is the only candidate who will unify our country and defeat Donald Trump and has a blueprint to rebuild America and improve the quality of life for all Americans,” she said, drawing loud applause and cheers from the audience.
Among those attending the event was Jeffrey Slavin, the gay mayor of the Montgomery County, Md., town of Somerset, who said he is among a growing number of LGBTQ city and town officials from across the country that are supporting Bloomberg for president.
Bowser said among the issues for which she sees Bloomberg emerging as a strong leader is affordable housing. She cited an affordable housing plan that Bloomberg released this week as a far-reaching plan for utilizing federal government assistance in helping cities like D.C. address the high cost of housing.
“No matter where you go in our city people are concerned about how much it costs to live here,” she said. “And what Mike announced today will really change the game for cities across America.”