The Town Hall brought out all the politicos. Of course CM Alexander was one of the first to arrive as the host Ward CM. I know I'm tough on the CM, but I will give her props for one of the best lines of the night. "We must use our political power to move Ward 7 forward." Vincent Orange sat in the front row. CM Thomas walked in as part of Gray's entourage. CM M. Brown snuck in through the side door. CMs Alexander, Thomas, and M Brown sat on the pulpit. For whatever reason it reminded me of a scene from "Coming to America" (don't ask). I was told CM K. Brown was a no-show, because he was attending the DC Vote banquet. Mike Panetta and his DC Vote peeps were in attendance as well.
Gray started out with a speech about his plans as Mayor. I'll be honest to say I zoned in and out, because he's stated these talking points before. Despite the repetitiveness, I give Gray props for giving a consistent message since the start of his campaign. He spent most of the time talking about education. I don't have kids in the school and I have yet to hear a plan for getting young professionals without kids engaged in the school system, so I tuned out. It's not that I don't care, but my level of care is a lot different than someone with kids. I did retain some highlights:
- Hillcrest and Palisades connection is model for how we can become One City
- Many public safety workers don't live in DC. Personally, I think affordable communities such as Fairfax Village are IDEAL places for MPD, EMS, Fire and even teachers. Our community needs more homeowners living in their units (but that is a blog post for another day)
- 37% of adults in DC are functionally illiterate. With all the improper grammar and mispronunciation of words I heard at the Town Hall, apparently adults can't speak either. I want to take this time to thank my dad for teaching me the "King's English".
Someone mentioned a non-profit that does HIV testing and some other things (sorry, I have a short attention span and he was just blabbing) is moving into the 2900 Block of Minnesota Ave SE. In my head I was thinking, "I sure hope he's working with the ANC, because if they catch wind it could be the death of the organization at that location."
During the Town Hall, I tweeted the Gray campaign to request they ask some questions people submitted prior to the Town Hall that are less personal. Soon after my question was read "Let's fast forward to the end of this four year term. What does Ward 7 look like?" Gray responded that he would like to see more restaurants, Skyland and Penn Branch Shopping Centers would be completed, and other developments would be moving forward. "People will feel good about living in Ward 7". Me likes that answer. Whether it happens or not, he at least has a vision for the Ward.
One woman stood up to give Rhee props. She was promptly greeted with "Sit down" followed by booos. The meeting ended with three gentlemen from the local electricians union asking what the City will do to enforce the First Source Agreements to hire DC residents. Gray seems to be committed to ensuring jobs for DC residents.
Well that was the Town Hall through my eyes. Thankfully, Miss V didn't die from heat exhaustion and I wore my sport performance deodorant.