Mayor Vincent Gray leads voting rights demonstration

WASHINGTON (AP) - Thousands of demonstrators have packed the lawn in the shadow of the Washington Monument to hear various labor, education and civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Justice on Saturday is intended to drum up support for President Barack Obama's jobs plan.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray bemoaned the high unemployment rates in poor pockets of the city and the lack of autonomy enjoyed by the D.C. government. He says it's a travesty that the district's budget has to be sent to Congress for approval.

“The leaders of the Civil Rights Movement knew, as Dr. King did, that, if African Americans continued to wait patiently for their rights to be given to them, it would never happen,” Gray said. “How true that was then, and how true it still is today – when, well over 40 years later, the leaders of Congress keep telling the residents of the District of Columbia to ‘wait.’"

Among those who attended Saturday was Kathie Williams, a part-time administrator for the Howard County, Md., parks and recreation department.

She's been struggling to land a full-time job despite an active search.