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Gray gets Omarosa, other celebs to tout D.C. statehood

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Fresh off the release of his highly anticipated album, “Ambition,” D.C. rapper Wale is scheduled to hit the studio for a new collaboration to boost his hometown’s fight for full democracy.

Under Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s direction, two city agencies have lined up six celebrities to tout full democracy for the District in short media spots.

The Office of Cable Television has shot four of them and began to air the spots on city cable Channel 16 on Oct. 24. They include actress Hayden Panettiere, reality TV show star Omarosa, civil rights leader Julian Bond and Days of Our Lives star James Reynolds.

Now the city is lining up shoots with Wale and R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn, who grew up in the D.C. area, so the D.C. Office of Motion Picture can pitch the package to major networks CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC by December, spokeswoman Leslie Green said.

The spots featuring Ms. Panettiere and Omarosa features footage from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial and the pro-D.C. statehood rally that preceded its dedication. Each celebrity quickly introduces herself before noting, “And I believe in full democracy for everyone.”

The mayor’s team is putting its efforts in gear while the D.C. Council readies to unveil a “more aggressive strategy” for D.C. statehood on Tuesday.

The campaign will feature brochures and calendars that tout D.C. neighborhoods outside the “federal enclave” of government buildings; large ads that promote D.C. self-determination on more than 20 buses across the city; and a coordinated effort to ask state legislatures around the country to support D.C. statehood and apply pressure on their congressional counterparts on Capitol Hill.

Council member Michael A. Brown spearheaded the efforts as chairman of the Special Committee on Statehood and Self-Determination.

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