D.C. Delegates Push Agenda despite DNC Snub

9/5/2012, 8:51 p.m.

But critics of the DNC steered clear of any comments that might suggest they weren't going to support the party or the president's re-election.

"We're not changing the guard but we're protecting the guard," said Julianne Malveaux, an economist and political activist. "We have to get out here and vote and we have to be our own advocates. People have to ask themselves, 'what are you going to get from Romney?'"

But, Malveaux said she believes it's unwise to summarily dismiss the District.

"It's shortsighted for the Democratic Party to write off the District of Columbia. I'm glad there is a robust delegation that is continuing to advocate for that."

Democratic members of the D.C. City Council joined the nearly 55-member D.C. delegation at the convention to fight on behalf of the District. Council members included Michael A. Brown (At-Large), Jack Evans (Ward 2), Yvette Alexander (Ward 7), Vincent Orange (At-Large), Muriel Bowser (Ward 4), and Marion Barry (Ward 8). Shadow Senator Paul Strauss and Michael E. Brown also participated in the Statehood outreach efforts.

D.C. Statehood activist Anise Jenkins said those she spoke with inspired her. "[It's] heartening to talk to people from all over the country who support us. They know about Delegate Norton and they support her. A lot of people are familiar with our plight; more than I thought."

Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson commended Norton.

"[She] is a great leader and her voice deserves to be heard and D.C. Statehood needs to be put forth front and center."

"The refusal to acknowledge [the issue] is not a departure from the norm, but what we've got to do is to continue to raise our voices," he said.