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D.C. Leaders Rally For Statehood Ahead Of March On Washington

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Supporters of D.C. statehood rallied ahead of the March on Washington.
Jacob Fenston
Supporters of D.C. statehood rallied ahead of the March on Washington.

While tens of thousands gathered on the National Mall today for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, supporters of D.C. statehood held a smaller side-rally. They say equal representation in Congress is a civil rights issue.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting representative in Congress, put it this way: "The District of Columbia is the city to come to march for your causes, but do not march around us, do not march over us."

Norton and Mayor Vincent Gray both attended the original March on Washington in 1963. Gray says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" is the best speech he's ever heard.

"While so much of Dr. King's dream has come to fruition for our country, sadly the District of Columbia still languishes without full voting rights," he says.

Among the crowd waving D.C. flags were mayoral candidates Muriel Bowser and Jack Evans. They say now is the time to renew the push to make New Columbia the nation's 51st state.

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