Washington's mayor said Wednesday that he is considering staging a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention in a last-ditch effort to include statehood for the District in the party's platform.
At a Wednesday news conference, Gray said that he wanted to see support for "the state of New Columbia" in the Democratic platform for the first time since 2000.
"The issue of statehood should be addressed in the affirmative in the platform of the Democratic Party," Gray said. "It is something, I believe, [that] should be done."
Asked if he would push for a statehood provision from the floor of the convention, scheduled to begin in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, Gray said he was reviewing options with local party officials, but he did not rule out such a strategy.
Gray has routinely pressed the District's statehood cause since he became mayor in January 2011. He visited New Hampshire in January to urge lawmakers there to get behind the city's quest, and he was among a group of D.C. officials arrested last year at a highly publicized Capitol Hill protest.
"We pay federal taxes just like everybody else," Gray said Wednesday. "We send our sons and daughters and relatives off to fight in these wars -- ironically enough -- for democracy in other countries that don't have what we have in this country, except for the District of Columbia."
Gray is scheduled to attend the Democrats' convention as a delegate. Although he weighed traveling to Tampa, Fla., to push for statehood at the Republican Party's gathering, he said Wednesday that he had decided not to attend. He said he thought traveling to both conventions would take too much time away from his official duties.