Hilda Mason

Emily Mulderig

Hilda Mason was a renowned advocate for DC statehood, educator, and city leader. She dedicated her life to public service and fighting for progressive causes, and her efforts have left an indelible mark on our city. 

Mason was born in rural Campbell County, Virginia in 1916. In 1945, she moved to DC, where she studied and pursued teaching. She was both a teacher and assistant principal in her 19 years at DCPS.

In 1971, Mason was elected to represent Ward 4 on the DC Board of Education, where she served for several years. She was a fierce advocate for public education, campaigning for improved schools and early childhood education in underserved communities.

Mason was appointed by the DC Statehood Party to take then at-large council member Julius Hobson’s place upon his death in 1977. She served for a total of 22 years. While on the council, Mason worked on the Human Services, Judiciary, and Local, Regional, and Federal Affairs committees and chaired the Education, Libraries, and Recreation committee. She worked tirelessly to improve housing, schools, and public transportation. 

Even after her time at the Board of Education and City Council, Mason’s investments in public education were noteworthy. She played a significant part in the creation of the UDC School of Law. 

Mason was truly a champion of a multitude of progressive causes. She opposed the death penalty and supported gun control and rent control. She pushed for womens’, childrens’, and LGBT rights, and advocated for the elderly and impoverished communities and the DC Home Rule movement, which granted the District a form of local legislature. 

Unfailingly, Mason believed that achieving DC statehood was imperative in ensuring the civil rights of the city’s residents.

In her later years, Mason called herself everyone’s “grandmother,” and encouraged kids in foster and group homes to think of her as such and know that she was supporting them. She died in 2007 at age 91.