DC mayor: ‘Disenfranchised’ DC can relate to Occupy movement [VIDEO]

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray told The Daily Caller that his city has “tried to respect what the Occupy DC movement stands for” but he is “increasingly concerned” about the health conditions at their McPherson Square site. Gray also said that the district can relate to Occupy since it “often times” feels “aggrieved” over the “disenfranchisement” it experiences.

“The Park Service, of course, is the one that will have to make the decisions,” Gray told TheDC during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting on Jan. 20, “because on Freedom Plaza, where they’re located, that is a permit that was issued by the National Park Service.”

“McPherson is also Park Service-controlled property, so those decisions will be made by the Park Service but we’ve certainly tried to respect what the Occupy movement stands for,” Gray said.

“You know, we are a city ourselves that often times feel aggrieved because we are not paid attention to like we should in terms of the disenfranchisement we experience so we’ve tried to work closely with them. We have said that we believe they ought to be consolidated over at Freedom Plaza because I think it would really improve the health conditions. We’re increasingly concerned about the health conditions in McPherson.”

TheDC also asked Gray if he is disappointed that President Obama has not pushed harder for D.C. statehood.

“We certainly believe that we ought to at least have control of our budget, that we ought to be able to have the approval authority for our local laws, we obviously would love to be a state, but frankly it isn’t just the president,” he said.

“The Congress has to step up on this too. The Congress has to provide leadership on it so we want to see leadership at the national level that will support our moving forward with greater autonomy in the city.”

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Nicholas Ballasy