Statehood activist asks \Where's My Star?\

WASHINGTON - One activist is trying to inject some new life into the fight for D.C. statehood.

Mike Panetta is D.C.'s Shadow Representative -- or as he calls it, "super-advocate, cheerleader, chief lobbyist."

"The D.C. Voting Rights movement has been all carrot, no stick for a long time," he says. "What I'm trying to do is rattle the cages."

While some statehood activists like to re-enact the Tea Party, Panetta has different tactics, like trying to rename Nationals Stadium "Taxation Without Representation Field."

Leaders, Families Rally Against New D.C. Gun Bill

City leaders, anti-gun groups and families touched by gun violence all rallied against new legislation Wednesday in the District.
The "Second Amendment Enforcement Act," proposed by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), would repeal the District's ban on semi-automatic weapons. It would also authorize District residents to buy guns and ammunition in Maryland and Virginia, and it would repeal registration requirements.

Gray and Obama Discuss Voting Rights, Education

WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray discussed bringing jobs to the District and the city's quest for congressional voting rights during a lunchtime meeting with President Obama Wednesday at the White House.

"The first thing that I asked the president was to reinforce his support for voting rights, and he was unequivocal in his support," Gray says.

The meeting was the first time Gray and Obama have met since Gray defeated current Mayor Adrian Fenty in the District's mayoral primary.

D.C. Considers Renaming Part of Pennsylvania Ave.

WASHINGTON - The D.C. Council is considering a name change for the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue between the 1300 and 1400 block. The change would reflect the city's ongoing quest for statehood.

"Our city hosts streets named after all the states in the country, yet the residents of those very streets are denied the full democratic rights that Statehood offers. Let this potential renaming be a reminder to all those who visit the District of the rights still lacking in the nation's capital," says At-large Council member Michael Brown in a statement.

Three Mayors, One Message: Voting Rights for D.C.

WASHINGTON -- Just days into the Vince Gray administration, three former mayors of the District appeared together Friday on the Politics Program with Mark Plotkin. And despite their disparate records as the city executive, all agreed from the outset on one particular issue: D.C. statehood.

Former mayors Anthony Williams, Sharon Pratt and Marion Barry all said the current administration and the general population should be giving greater attention to voting rights.

Gray, Norton Lead Hill Protest Over Plan To Strip Vote

WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and advocates for the city are protesting a Republican plan to take away power from the District's sole representative in Congress.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington's delegate to Congress, has never been a full voting member of the House. But under Democratic control, Norton has been allowed to vote in the House Committee of the Whole. That allowed her to vote on proposed changes to legislation, though not on its passage.

D.C. Gets Representation - In Statuary Hall

D.C. is a step closer to getting representation -- in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

The House Wednesday night passed a bill that allows the nation's capital and U.S. territories to erect one statue in the hall.

The 50 states each have two statues.

The two statues that D.C. had hoped to install in Statuary Hall now reside at Judiciary Square.

They are of abolitionist and D.C. native Frederick Douglass and the original architect of the nation's capital, Pierre L'Enfant.

The District will have to decide which of the two to send to Statuary Hall.

Cardin: Obama should push harder for D.C. voting rights

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has been calling for democracy in Egypt, but a U.S. senator says the president should be doing more for voting rights for D.C. residents.

"I think all of us need to speak out, and certainly the president needs to do that," said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., on Friday's Politics Program with Mark Plotkin. "He lives in the District, I think he should be speaking out about it."

Cardin is chairman of the U.S Helsinki Commission, or the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Gray: Federal Shutdown Threatens D.C. City Services [VIDEO]

WASHINGTON - A shutdown of the federal government could cause a chain reaction and lead to the loss of many D.C. city services, the District's mayor says.

Speaking Tuesday on NewsChannel 8, Mayor Vincent Gray says the District is treated as a federal agency in the event of a shutdown because Congress has to approve the city's budget.

He says much of the D.C. government possibly would have to follow suit and shut down if the federal government goes that route.

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