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Democratic Mayoral Hopefuls Commemorate March On Washington Anniversary In DC

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In celebration of civil rights, Democratic mayoral hopefuls made the trip down to Washington D.C. on Saturday for the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

It was a transformative moment in American history, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech and called for an end to discrimination in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

Now, 50 years later, Americans celebrate the legacy of that speech.

For many of the Democratic mayoral hopefuls, Saturday's commemoration and march was a must-attend event.

"Dr. King was absolutely pointing us in the direction of equating economic justice and social justice, and that today is like a clarion call, and I think that's what I'm feeling today is that we need to pick up his instructions, his vision and apply them in our time," said Bill de Blasio.

"To be here and just look up and see that statue of Lincoln and think about, you know, a man who was really a prophet, who stood here and gave us the gift of his wisdom, his words, his courage and his life, it's uplifting," said Christine Quinn.

When we asked about the civil rights issues of today, some of the candidates cited voting rights and income inequality as the most important issues.

Others say, in New York City at least, it is the New York Police Department's practice of stop, question and frisk, a tactic that disproportionately affects blacks and Latinos.

"Clearly what is on everyone's mind is stop-and-frisk, and the court decision that said that that was unconstitutional, the way that stop-and-frisk was used in the city of New York," said Bill Thompson. "So, you don't have to go far from New York."

The democratic mayoral primary is just over two weeks away.

Polls have shown a tight but shifting race in terms of who is in the lead.

One-time front runner Anthony Weiner also made the trip to Washington D.C. to mark the anniversary.

"Every so often we get reminded of the fact that the civil rights movement is not over, it's kind of a continuum, and we have these anniversary moments where we all get together and really focus on it," Weiner said.

Of the major Democratic candidates for mayor, only John Liu and Sal Albanese did not attend Saturday's events.

Both Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer, however, the two candidates for New York City comptroller, were present.

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