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Holding rallies and staging acts of civil disobedience are incestuous affairs that have proven ineffective toward reaching the goal of full unadulterated D.C. statehood.

Advocates need to exploit this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray rarely misses an opportunity to invoke the lack of statehood and full voting representation in Congress at press conferences and other news-making events.

Still, D.C. officials get the cold shoulder from Democrats and Republicans alike, including the city’s duly elected nonvoting congressional delegate begging for a speaking spot at her party’s own convention.

Meanwhile, the “shadow senators” and “shadow representatives” are a cruel joke, calling Congress racist in its approach to statehood and, in their latest undertaking, erecting billboards of powdered-wigged forefathers with “Support DC Statehood NOW!” in bold red lettering.

What a waste of political capital.

Amending the U.S. Constitution takes bold leadership, something the D.C. statehood movement lacks.

Supporters should lay out a strong, forthright state-by-state strategy to rally the people’s voices and votes.

Until then, dispense with the dog-and-pony shows. Americans have far more timely and important matters on the front burner, like deciding whom to elect for president in November.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at