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Mayor: Spread Message Of D.C. Voting Rights During March Commemoration

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Thousands will flock to Washington later this month to commemorate the Civil Rights March on Washington D.C.
U.S. Information Agency, Press and Publications Service.
Thousands will flock to Washington later this month to commemorate the Civil Rights March on Washington D.C.

Leaders in D.C. are hoping to use this month's 50th anniversary of the March on Washington to push for voting rights.

It's one of the most famous political rallies in US history: Aug. 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people packed on the National Mall from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. Martin Luther King Junior delivered his "I have a dream" speech.

And with thousands expected in D.C. to celebrate the march's 50th anniversary, District Mayor Vincent Gray says its critical for city leaders to remind people about the District's lack of a vote in Congress.

"We hope to have this march be a platform for the enfranchisement of the people of this city, and that's why its hugely important that people come out," Gray says.

Gray says if a sizable number of District residents come out to support the city's push for more autonomy, it will spread the message to people all over the country. And if people don't come out, it will also send a message.

"To get 300-500 people to come out is a weak statement about whether we care about our own enfranchisement in the city," Gray says.

President Obama is scheduled to speak on the 28th at the same spot where Dr. King gave his historic address 50 years ago.

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