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With Republicans looking to strip the Districts limited voting power in Congress, new Mayor Vincent Gray says it's time for District residents to get engaged and fight against efforts to limit home rule.
Gray traveled to Capitol Hill with other voting rights activists to deliver the message in person.
With one hand gripping the podium and the other waving forcefully in the air, Gray didn't hold back as he blasted the Republicans plan to strip D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Nortons vote in the Committee of the Whole.
"It is an absolute, outrageous insult," says Gray. "And it is time for the people the District of Columbia to stand up, lie down, box, fight, whatever the case may be. Because Frederick Douglas said it best: 'Power concedes nothing without a struggle.'"
And after Tuesday's rally in the Rayburn Building, Gray told reporters he's willing to lead by example.
"We can't ask our citizens to go out and sit in, and fight and...be arrested, if the leadership isn't," says the new mayor. "I'm willing to do whatever it takes."
But will Gray actions measure up to his fiery rhetoric?
After the speeches, Gray, at the last second, declined to join the activists, who were going to lobby the office of incoming House Speaker John Boehner.
The mayor says he talked it over with Norton and the two will instead call and make an appointment to speak with Boehner in person.
Video of Gray's speech at the protest: