Last night’s ANC2E meeting had a higher attendance than was usual, due to a visit by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. “We’ve had a standing invitation for months,” said Commissioner Ron Lewis, and it happened that last night’s meeting fit Gray’s schedule. By the start of the meeting, all of the seats in seats were filled, a sizable group of people stood in the back.
Mayor Gray took the podium to a loud round of applause after being introduced by Councilmember Jack Evans. The Mayor thanked Evans, and quickly remarked on the “Taxation Without Representation” sticker on the laptop of Commissioner Jake Sticka. Gray went on to reiterate his stance on Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan. “I support the community,” he said, followed by applause from the attendees.
Mayor Gray then described his four priorities in detail—fiscal stability, commitment to education, safety, and turning around unemployment in the District.
For the city’s budget for the 2012 fiscal year, Gray stated his desire to build a budget with “structural integrity.” “We won’t spend any more money then we take in,” he said.
As for education, Gray described how he supported universal pre-K services and made Washington, D.C. the only city in the country with them available. He wishes to extend the program to infants and toddlers. “If I could get a fetus into a program, I would,” he said.
Gray wishes to hire 300 new police officers this year to both replace an estimated 180 officers who will leave, and add an additional 120 officers to the force. He added that homicides were down 17% in the District, and were on track to be at a 42-year low.