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The D.C. statehood activist behind the “I Am Essential” shutdown shirts is asking people to wear the apparel today in solidarity with Mayor Vince Gray‘s declaration that all D.C. workers are “essential” and his decision to keep the local government open with the District’s rainy-day fund despite the federal shutdown.

Josh Burch, who runs the blog Neighbors United for D.C. Statehood, wrote that people should send him a photo wearing a statehood shirt or holding a hand-written note saying “I AM ESSENTIAL AND SO IS STATEHOOD.” (His email: unitedforstatehood@gmail.com.) Give him permission to post it, and he’ll put it on his blog.

“Today, we are standing together to say that we are essential to America and we believe our democratic destiny is statehood. And we are asking you, our family and friends in the 50 states, to please join with us to make statehood a reality,” he writes on his blog.

You can still buy a shirt here.

Photo courtesy of Josh Burch