D.C. political leaders tried to jumpstart a long-struggling effort to gain statehood for the city and its 600,000 residents with social media and a website to promote the voting rights issue.
On the steps of the John Wilson Building downtown, Mayor Vincent Gray was serenaded for his 69th birthday, which he used to appeal once again for a more aggressive push for D.C. statehood.
“If we don't wage this fight day in and day out, nobody's going to pay attention to it, ladies and gentlemen,” Gray said.
Gray and 70 others were arrested on Capitol Hill demonstrating for voting rights in Congress last spring, but Tuesday's rally was for the even more elusive full statehood, a stalled effort from the 1970s.
“It's time, frankly, for us to do something different,” Gray said. “Time for us to wage the fight.”
The city officials and local activists rented a Metrobus for three hours to unveil a new website StatehoodDC.com to bolster their cause as they get the hang of new social media language.
D.C. is a heavily Democratic city and Republicans that control the House have shown no interest in D.C. statehood.