D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray used the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial yesterday to pressure Congress and the White House to give District residents full voting rights.
Thousands of people from across the U.S. traveled to D.C. for the formal dedication of the memorial. Gray used the nationally televised ceremony as a perch to call on federal officials to give District residents full voting rights. He told the crowd there's a disconnect between what King stood for and the rights D.C. residents live without.
"We gloriously honor Dr. King's legacy and his dream, but sadly for the 601,000 residents of the District of Columbia that dream remains unfulfilled," he said. Gray called it unjust that D.C. doesn’t have a vote in Congress while still needing the approval of federal lawmakers for the city’s budget and local laws.
“The nation’s capital is the last remaining battlefront of the American Revolution," Gray said. "Residents of the District of Columbia live in what our founders rightly called a state of tyranny: taxation without representation."
In his remarks, President Obama didn't respond to Gray's call for him to push for full voting rights for D.C. residents.