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Gray: Support for statehood reaching a peak

Saturday - 8/31/2013, 2:08pm  ET

WASHINGTON - The argument for D.C. statehood is decades old, but Mayor Vincent Gray says that local support for the idea is reaching new heights, and got a national boost this week.

Speaking at a gathering of business and community leaders this week, Gray moved the topic from jobs to statehood, saying, "It's time for the people of this city to get their hearts into this endeavor. ... Nobody is going to fight our battles for us."

Gray also says a statehood rally during last weekend's commemorations of the March on Washington, attended by several thousand people, only inspired him further.

"We've never gotten to this point before," Gray says. "We had more people down to the statehood rally than we ever had."

President Carter added to the discussion during Wednesday's commemoration of the March anniversary, saying, "I think we would know how Dr. King would have reacted to the people of the District of Columbia still not having full citizenship rights," to cheers.

WTOP's Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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