DC Mayor Vincent Gray and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) attended the DC Vote 2013 Champions of Democracy Awards Gala, Wed., Oct. 10, 2013. Guests joined in the annual event at the Mayflower Hotel hosted by DC Vote, a national educational and advocacy organization. Before honoring a group of DC veterans, Mayor Gray remarked on how the federal shutdown only served to magnify the ramifications of District disenfranchisement. "The District of Columbia is not a federal agency," Mayor Gray declared, eliciting applause and cheers from the audience. "And we're not asking anybody for federal money. We're simply asking for the authority to spend our own dollars."