WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Mayor Vincent Gray ignored warnings not to discuss local issues at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday to promote D.C.’s fight for statehood on the national stage.

Gray originally intended to bring this battle to the Republican National Convention in Tampa but decided against it when he realized how much infighting he would have to prepare for within his own party.

“I will be fighting, and have an absolutely unwavering commitment to this,” Gray said before the convention at his biweekly press conference on Wednesday.

Democratic leaders included a provision for D.C. statehood in the party platform in 2000, but the District was ignored in 2004 and 2008. And there was no call for statehood again in this year’s Democratic party platform; just a call for equal citizen rights.

“We ask you, please America,” Gray pleaded at the DNC Wednesday evening, “as we work to re-elect President Obama, work with us to bring justice and equality to the District of Columbia.”

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C. was denied the right to speak at the convention on the city’s behalf.


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