Mayor Vince Gray has had enough with questions about the logistics of Saturday morning’s statehood rally at the D.C. World War I Memorial. Will there be enough parking for seniors? Can the troubled fire department handle medical emergencies at the rally? Will people be able to find the site, tucked next to the National Mall’s Reflecting Pool?
Don’t worry about it. “I’m going to make this happen!” the mayor said at a press conference yesterday.
One thing Gray won’t be able to change by Saturday, though, is the name of one of the groups involved in Saturday’s rally: DC Vote. Introducing DC Vote executive director Kimberly Perry Wednesday, Gray delivered a surprisingly harsh slam on the name’s focus on voting rights instead of, say, budget autonomy or statehood.
“I don’t want to say the name DC Vote isn’t broad enough, but it probably isn’t,” Gray said.
Take it as another scrap between statehood backers and voting rights activists. The voting rights push lost momentum in 2010 after the voting rights bill flopped, while Gray’s election reinvigorated statehood backers, according to Shadow Rep. Nate Bennett-Fleming. “That’s when statehood became part of the movement again,” he tells LL.
Perry says this isn’t the first time the mayor’s complained to her about the lobbying group’s name. She’s planning to follow up with the mayor to settle the naming issue. Is D.C. Statehood Budget Autonomy No Abortion Budget Riders next?
Photo by Darrow Montgomery