Loose Lips

Gray: “Only If We All Work Together Can We Move This City Forward”

The District's all-but-certain next mayor, Vincent Gray, just gave a victory speech at his election night party (a mere six hours after the polls closed). Gray reached out rhetorically to supporters of Adrian Fenty's, and pushed back against anyone who might try to spin his win as a defeat for progress in the District.

"Let me say this to those who say you can't have both collaboration and reform, that they are mutually exclusive," he said. "I say, 'You are wrong!' ... Make no mistake, school reform will move forward in a Gray administration." But he said that would happen with a DCPS chancellor who "works with parents and teachers," which probably means it won't be Michelle Rhee (who spent Tuesday campaigning for Fenty). Gray's supporters, especially the teachers' union, don't generally think Rhee fits that bill.

The speech did do a nice job of encapsulating Gray's message—that Fenty had failed to bring the city together behind his reform agenda, and that Gray would reach out more. "We all need to step up to the plate to solve our collective challenges," Gray said. "After all, this is one city, right? When high unemployment ravages Ward 8, the effects are also felt in Ward 3. When some of our students fall behind, the entire community feels it. When senseless violence claims a victim in one neighborhood, none of our families feel safe."

The ballroom where Gray celebrated had a throwback feel at times; Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry held court in the hotel lobby for hours, greeting well-wishers, and former D.C. government stalwarts Fenty had gone out of his way to discard—like lawyer Fred Cooke, a Barry pal—mingled in the crowd. But Gray was gracious toward Fenty, thanking him for his service (and drawing boos from the crowd for his trouble). And he asked Fenty's supporters not to sulk.

"Hold us accountable, question us, and demand transparency from every one of us in a Gray administration," he said. "We'll work hard to make sure we don't disappoint you. All I ask in return is this: Don't sit on the sidelines, be involved. Because only if we all work together can we move this city forward."

Fenty was the only incumbent to lose his job Tuesday. Other winners of primaries: Kwame Brown for D.C. Council chairman; Phil Mendelson for Council at-large; Jim Graham in Ward 1; Mary Cheh in Ward 3; Harry Thomas Jr. in Ward 5; Tommy Wells in Ward 6; Eleanor Holmes Norton for D.C. delegate to Congress; and Mike Panetta for shadow representative. Look for more coverage for LL and other City Paper staff on Wednesday and throughout the week, including in Thursday's dead-tree edition of the paper.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • WARD4NDC

    Bye Bye King Fenty. Please take Grandpa Munster aka Peter Nickles, Gabe Klein, Ron Moten, Neil Albert, Ron Austin, Linda Argo, Janice Quintana, and Michelle Rhee with you. Maybe all will get job offers in New York City in the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    Adrian, I was there supporting you in the beginning before you were surrounded by current leaches. You have reaped what you have sowed King Fenty by disrespecting many voters and human beings regardless of race. You fired your former campaign manager 4 years ago Alec Evans, now the D.C. citizenry will fire you. Just reported on WTOP, King Fenty will concede to Mayor elect Vincent Gray.

  • http://www.amamimus.com AMamiMus

    OMG...I'm actually sitting here crying while I type. It's like a rainbow has appeared over DC after a storm, promising that the flood is over.

    Now, DC, make sure that this wouldbe Mayor sticks to his campaign promises for reform, collaboration, and accountability.

  • UNCG-grad

    oh how the mighty have fallen

  • Jennifer N

    this contest was never a choice between arrogant effectiveness (fenty) and amiable incompetence (gray). what mayor can claim success, regardless of his accomplishments -- which were not his alone in any event -- without being responsive to his constituents? gray will also deliver good results, but his decisions will be informed by his willingness to listen to the people who live in the city, something fenty didn't seem to be too interested in. if fenty wants back in some day after he has learned that lesson, he'll be welcomed with open arms.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com try2staysanendc

    God answers prayers.

  • Grumpy

    LMAO...Grand Opening, Grand Closing.

    And he has 3 main points to thank for his loss: Overt Cronyism with, Nickles, Frat Bros. and Ron Moten, Disrespect of Dorothy Height and civic support groups, Treatment of shooting victims families in 2 high profile cases.

    He managed to piss off every demographic except his developer supporters.

    Now he can bike and workout to his heart's content now...LOL.

    For a smart guy, so many dumb moves.

  • 6thGen DCNative

    @try2: Amen; @Jennifer: agree, I'd be glad to see him back if lessons have been learned.

  • http://CityDesk TONY

    Is that senior adviser MO the voice of Gray's camp?

  • Neuronal

    I just hope Gray delivers . . . If this campaign provides a snapshot into what Fenty's administration looks like, then clearly he was aloof and out of touch as his critics claim. Yet unlike in the campaign, he got results for the city. If Gray makes people happy but does nothing, we'll be back to the days of Barry. But if he delivers the goods, he'll definitely have my vote next time.

    What a sad commentary on our politics, however -- as usual, substance loses out to image.

  • The Cat’s Pj

    I won't make the mistake with Gray I did with Fenty. I will hold Chairman Gray's soon to be Mayor's feet to the fire.

  • Keith

    Wow, 9 months ago I would've bet my mortgage payment that Fenty would be re-elected. My how times change.

  • Pingback: Loose Lips Daily: Gray Wins, But You Already Knew That Edition - Loose Lips - Washington City Paper

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    What a great day! Nikita's article in the Post today is right on.

    Did TH, Drez, Flernty and camp already pack up and leave to MoCo? Stick around and see real progress.

  • Old people

    Okay...Gray is a one-term mayor. It is proven that it doesn't take money to win and election but it surely takes money to be worthy of being elected. So, who's going to kiss the money-holders' hind-potts? Yeah, all of the special interests supported Gray...but being a supporter and a broke-azz will have us being the laughing stock of yesteryear. I ain't never seen so many has beens getting ready to get back to city hall... You know who I feel sorry for...that will be the Office of Technology...by the time they teach all of the old-geezers how to operate the updated technology...it will be time for another election.

    The winners' Dunbar Senior High School
    The losers' Kappa Alpha Psi
    The winners' High-yellow brothers
    The losers' bald-head brothers
    The winners' Male African-American Superintendents
    The losers' Female Asian Chancellor
    The winners' Ward 7, 8
    The losers' New York
    The winners' House Parties w/old school music
    The losers' Go-Go theme block parties
    The winners' the word disingenous
    The losers' the word disengaged
    The winners' Gray's botox injections
    The losers' Fenty's marathon running

  • Indeed

    @Old People

    I really find it strange that you think that someone who raised more than $4 million dollars wouldn't be beholden to those interests that raised that money.

    And the election is over. Let's make sure that we hold Mayor Gray accountable for his actions and not let him stonewall us like Fenty did.

  • DCzSlimmest

    Seeing how Gray's strongest support comes from the very same people that have kept Marion Barry (our former crack smoking, ex-con mayor) relevant in DC politics, the same people who feel that only a black person can educate black people (thank you teacher's union for leading DC youths to the near bottom of national education statistics), I don't see how this possibly could be a win for DC. Looks like It's time to break out my AJ jeans and "Crack Killed Applejack" sweatshirt cause the 80's are back.

  • Tformation

    Neuronal, it amazes me that after all of this, you still have not heard what the people who got rid of Fenty have been saying for 4 years. Fenty did the same thing and look how he ended up. This style over substance argument is getting tired and old.

    My issues deal with my kids school, which was a wonderful school PRE Fenty. My issues are with DMV and how when I received 8 parking tickets in a 5 minute time span while LEGALLY parked, it took three months, 4 visits to contest the tickets and two letters to the MAYOR, both which his office still hasn't responded to. All is well unless you have issues. If you do, you are screwed, if you don't, you are on the outside looking in and have no business minimizing my issue, simply because it doesn't affect you.

    My issue is with 10 million dollars given to a convicted felon who has not fdone what was required of him in order to receive said money. The Mayors response is he doesn't need the info. ARROGANT

    My issue is that under his administration, someone who FAILS the engineering exam 7 times. Can still be certified as get a liscence. STUPID

    My issue is this city is being run in the same manner that my 10 year old son TRIES to clean his room. If you stand in the doorway, it looks spotless. Open the closet door, the dresser drawer and look under the bed and it's a total mess. THAT is what this city has turned in to. All STYLE and NO SUBSTANCE!!!

    I can only hope that you will be the kind of neighbor who cares about his neighbors issue even if it is not your problem.

  • Old people

    Only time will tell...

  • Coldbliss

    I am glad Vince Gray won the election. Let's hope the economic fortunes of those living in Wards 5,6,7, and 8 improve over time.

  • Ward 5

    Any press conferences today with Ron Moten, Big G et al? Would love to hear their responses.

  • Flernty

    Adrian Bent-Me: I'm getting the boxes ready but we'll wait to see how Grandpa Vince does with the schools. It'll come down to who he hires after he fires Rhee and whether he can tell the WTU to go screw themselves sufficiently to put the kids first. I have my doubts. He has already failed to say whether he'll use IMPACT scores (or some other measure) to discipline, fire, and provide bonuses. If he dumps IMPACT and doesn't replace it with any other real measure, i.e. walk us back to the no accountability era the WTU would like to see again, then it's time for families to leave.

  • Flernty

    Coldbliss: The economic fortunes of everyone depend on education. If Grandpa Vince isn't serious about continuing to reform the schools, even if it means hurting the feelings of the WTU, you can kiss it all goodbye.

    There are an estimated 500,000 new jobs to be added to this area in the next 10-15 years. Very few of those jobs will be available to kids with a bad education - or no education. Those jobs are going to be high-tech and professional jobs primarily. "Grandpa Vince's Plan for Jobs" assumes facts that ain't true. It relies on two things the Mayor can't do - especially without school reform: (1) get high-tech jobs to commit to DC in sufficient numbers to impact joblessness; and (2) have workers who are trained for those jobs.

    If you were running a business that needed highly trained workers are you going to the city with the 40% dropout rate (DC) or the surrounding area where well-trained workers grow on trees?

    Schools come first and you have to walk before you run. Of the 30% unemployed in Ward 8 how many have a high school diploma? Let's start there. Spending a lot of money on "green jobs" and job training that require, at a minimum, a diploma isn't gonna work on it's own. The city already has job training programs and there is no reason not to expand them if there is a need. But what is the need? Are there people just clamoring to get trained that can't get it? What are the facts here?

    And training for what, exactly? Vince Gray can't make jobs magically appear. And that's the problem. I think a lot of folk suspect that Gramps can just "bring jobs" to Wards 7 & 8 - as if Ward 1 & 4 have been "stealing" all these jobs. I know that a big part of Gray's appeal is that he says he's gonna stop "favoring" one ward over another. That's a great line. Let's start with caring about keeping all the kids in safe, quality schools. Jobs will follow.

    We'll have to see how Gray does with that.

  • allseeing

    What of the people of financial lessor means in the city?
    Just a hand full of them are very nice fams. Yet, they were pushed to live in projects where they don't fit in and the projects are still bad in NW. Drugs being sold during day hours on the corner of Ontario and Columbia Rd. We saw this on election day too. Young children loud and acting like they are on crack at the so called new Jubillee housing projects, ceilings partially falling in when it rained, drunk maintenance men who try to touch the nice females, director of jubillee speaking of clients confidential health records, spanish getting special treatment yet they are on those drugs and steal from kids, it's sickening!

  • Truth Hurts

    @ ABM: Already moved my main office to MoCo (after 30 years in DC) at the end of July, about the time I realized Gray was going to win. Moved my residence to MoCo during the late 80's a couple months before my first daughter was born because of the horrible DC school system.

    But I do hope Gray proves that I've been totally wrong about him. I lived and/or worked in DC for over 40 years, and I love so much about the city. I'm not now going to root for Gray's failure as mayor. It would give me no joy.

  • Its a damn shame

    I find it funny that we talk all this bs based on emotion and not fact. First I will start with TFoundation, I hate to talk about one's kids but I feel bad for them because you as a parent should know that parking tickets don't come from the DMV they come from DPW it says so on the tickets. Reading is fundamental, hopefully you will teach your kids that lesson.

    Secondly as it relates to the members of Kappa Alpha Psi, the same Fraternity which just saw a member elected to the position of City Council Chair (that is right, Kwame brown is a Kappa as well, try to keep up) they achieve, they don't loose.

    Now back to the folks mentioned, Linda Argo has been in DCRA for 15 - 20 years and actually was there in the early and mid 90's she worked her way up and is actually one of the few agency heads who came from withing, so do some damn research before talking out the side of your ass, because you just look stupid.

    Finally, to all those who talk about how happy you are to see Adrian gone because of chronyism and the likes check out W. Chris Smith and his over $400 Million from the Council, check out the crooked loto contract and tell me this? When was $82 Million ever more than $500 Million? The only Chronyism is the fact that Vince Gray demanded that the final report come out after the election because he knows that there is a great likely hood that there will be no real problems found and that he would not have been able to campaign on his lies if they came out before hand.

  • Indeed

    @th,

    Wait, you live in Montgomery County? Are you serious?

  • SEis4ME

    "Seeing how Gray’s strongest support comes from the very same people that have kept Marion Barry (our former crack smoking, ex-con mayor) relevant in DC politics, the same people who feel that only a black person can educate black people (thank you teacher’s union for leading DC youths to the near bottom of national education statistics)" DCzSlimmest September 15th, 2010 10:24 am
    ----

    And the racial attacks continue. FYI, I'm black and know very few people who were hear doing Barry's tenure. Yet, I cast my votes for Williams, Fenty and now Gray. It's sickening to hear these DC elitists thumb their noses down at "those people" as if their only contribution to the city is their ability to ask for a handout and stall progress. Yet, that is the pervailing attitude of many Fenty supporters as well as his campaign. They have made no secret about their belief that the Gray will "take us back" in time and anyone who doesn't support Fenty is anti-education/progress.

    Tell you what ask a DC Teacher whether they did or did not appreciate WTU's involvement in their contracts. I wager that most wanted their prescence.

  • SEis4ME

    Stop the presses! Did TruthHurts (Fenty loyalist) just admit that he/she is not a DC resident and hasn't been since the late 80's? Well why don't we all just support candidates in cities/states we don't live and comment on their local blogs. Yes, that makes sense.

    @Flernty, still attacking Gray's age hunh? I actually agree with your comments about what having a lack of education brings and it highlights one of the main concerns I had with Fenty appointing Ron Moten as his senior campaign strategist, in his failed attempt to reach the "young, black, and disenfranchised." As i was headed home yesterday, I engaged a Fenty supporter on why should I support him. After he rattled off the same list of talking points (schools, dog parks, rec centers and lieburries) and ended with saying "he go look out for us," I asked him what he meant. He explained that he was working on finishing his GED and felt that Fenty would help him get a job. Now reality check.

    Where did he get the idea that Fenty, as opposed to Gray, would help him find a job? To cut the narrative, I explained to him that if you don't have an education and stay out of the system, neither Fenty NOR Gray will be able to do much to help you. But he couldn't accept that as an answer and started citing the work Peaceoholics does with the youth. And that is why this 22-yr old was supporting Fenty.

  • SEis4ME

    @DamnShame, let me his this nupe out.

    I have checked the whole lottery contract and WCS issue and here are the facts.

    Gray is a good friend of WCSmith's founder. Smith's Son, did work on Gray's home (Gray footed the entire bill). WCS, which owns vast swaths of land in Wards 7,8 got a 300 million dollar contract from the DC Gov't.

    Emanuel Bailey's company received a lottery contract from DC. His mother worked with Gray during the early 90's when Gray headed DHS.

    So there you are, the facts. You can spin them as you wish. That's if you understand what they are in the first place, which based on your post, I seriously doubt.

  • Flernty

    SEis4ME: I think there are plenty of people like that 22 year old to go around in both camps. Like I keep saying, I voted for schools and schools alone. I think that Grampy's speechifying about the WTU and his refusal to commit to enforceable standards, whether that's IMPACT or something else, is more than troubling - it's a sign that he believes that the WTU's interests trump the kids. That's gonna bring scores down, drop-outs up, and any hope of the jobs, jobs, jobs that Gray dangled across the river will evaporate like a morning mist.

  • SEis4ME

    Yes, that could be true. However, I did note that most of the young (18-20) Fenty supporters I encountered were similar to this 22-yr old. This explains the appeal to go-go, the Big G controversy, and off all things great and inarticulate, Ron Moten. I can say that I did not witness a similar effort in the Gray camp.

    He's not even the elected mayor and you want him to forecast his commitments? Saying that Gray will cower to WTU is an opinion based off nothing but speculation since there is no demonstrative evidence to back your claim. I hear people all the time opining about how the US is going DOWN DOWN DOWN now that Obama is in office. So it doesn't surprise me that many will say the same things about Gray. It's par for the course.

    And like you, the situation @DCPS was a big issue in deciding for whom to vote. I wanted Michelle Rhee outta here and cast my vote accordingly.

  • Old people

    I do think Gray's goal is to have vocational ed make a phenomenal return. Hence, if you train students to do blue collar work...they will in turn will have viable job options. All I can say is that Gray is 67 and this is not 1967...get with the times or in 4 years we will be chasing a 30 year old down to take your job. Hey, Fenty become a teacher or better yet become the practicing attorney for WTU. Why heck you can speak on educational reform as being involved with it first hand.

  • Flernty

    What blue collar work? Hello? You been watchin' the news?

  • downtown rez

    Sad. So sad. Tragic, even.
    Without someone who is willing to change the game we will be having this same pointless bullshit conversation 10 years from now.

  • Mayor 4 Life

    People talk about the Mayor 4 life (Marion Barry) but he was the best Mayor the District of Columbia ever had. Even though he was on CRACK he ran the city better than the so call frat boy Adrian Fenty. Believe it or not...Fenty was on something!!!

  • http://washingtoncity.com Mayor 4 Life

    People talk abt the Mayor 4 life (Marion Barry) even though he was on CRACK he ran the city better than frat boy Adrian Fenty. Believe it or not...Fenty was on something!

...