The mark of any great leader is to leave office with having left the office better than it was at the start of his administration. The frequently asked question to the citizens served is life better than it was when the leader took office. It only takes a drive across Washington, the District of Columbia, to see new schools, recreation centers and small business developments in every ward.
From a business and finance vantage point there are few people who can argue that Mayor Vincent Gray’s four years in office has not seen one of the most incredible economic developmental recoveries of any leader in the nation. While several cities in America went bankrupt in the four years since Gray accepted the position to serve the residents of the District of Columbia, the city has grown to 650,000 residents and record achievements in economic development and financial solvency.
zoomdune.com has covered every major event of Gray’s economic development achievements since a promise was made on April 29, 2010, to cover the city with fairness and honesty regardless of who was in office. Over 500 articles later zoomdune.com kept that promise. Mayor Gray kept his.
From the opening of the ChalleNGe Academy, which is helping African-American boys to avoid the horrible “Pipeline to Prison” successfully, to the incredible opening of 40 new or renovated recreation centers to keep the children of the District of Columbia safe, Mayor Vincent Gray has served the city well since he took the oath of office as leader.
His enormous energy has left much younger people struggling to keep up with him as he has blazed across the city from one new small business opening to the next. The building cranes that once dotted the city skyline were so numerous it appeared as if they were part of the natural order of things.
“Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new year and the last full day of my four-year term as Mayor of the District of Columbia. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished together over the last four years. Thanks to hard work by thousands of people, the District is – in a host of measurable ways – stronger than it has ever been. Since I took office four years ago, we have made significant progress on issues as diverse as fiscal stability, affordable housing, and jobs for District residents, education, economic development and equality for all – and I know that 2015 will be another great year in the history of this world-class city,” Gray said.
When asked if it was important to treat the residents of the District with respect while leading them, Gray made customer service one of the staples of his administration by creating a program to grade all city agencies on the way they offered good customer service. He never declined to answer this journalist’s questions or photo requests. He was always a gentleman.
As the sixth elected mayor of the District of Columbia he saw his role as a servant of the people. He said that serving the city was both a pleasure and an honor. “It has been my sincere pleasure to serve you as the sixth elected Mayor of the District of Columbia. This is the best job in the world, and I will cherish forever my time spent serving you. I wish the incoming administration well and promise to continue to serve residents of my hometown in the future. Finally, as 2014 comes to an end, I wish you a safe and festive New Year’s Eve spent with loved ones and a prosperous and healthy 2015,” the mayor said.
For those African-Americans who lived in the South in the 50’s it is easy to remember the daily indignities that required American citizens to ride on the back of the bus or to be denied entrance to schools paid for with taxpayer dollars. Gray not only lived through this period but was able to watch as the District was transformed into One City where all people are treated equally.
The list of his accomplishments are two numerous for this page. However. All DC residents who want to see his achievements and the record of his service are asked to go to VinceGray.org to see what Gray and his team did to help the citizens of Washington, the District of Columbia.
As Mayor Gray leaves office the words of one District of Columbia resident are most appropriate. “Thank you, Mayor Gray.”