Loose Lips

Vince Gray, International Man of Mystery

Vince Gray, International Man of Mystery

Mayor Vince Gray felt the need today at his sparsely attended news conference (half of Gray's cabinet was there, but few reporters) to tout his efforts at promoting international relations.

Gray regularly meets with ambassadors and officials from around the world. So far he's met with ambassadors of the European Union, Namibia, Albania, Japan, Turkey, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Israel, Italy, and Qatar. He's also met with the mayors of Taipei, Seoul, and Brussels, and plans on meeting next week with the mayor of the Tshwane Metropolitan Authority in South Africa. He's also met with local lawmakers from Baghdad, Bangkok and Seoul.

Gray also recently signed a sister city agreement with the mayor Rome.

At his presser, Gray said building international relationships is "incredibly important" and will raise the District's profile, stimulate the local economy and create jobs.

According to city staff, Gray's international calendar is substantially more packed than former Mayor Adrian Fenty's. The last mayor's meetings with international officials were "very seldom," says a staffer who worked in the last administration. (Except when he was on vacation, that is.)

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Typical DC BS

    Sure Vince, I'm sure you're going to drum up LOTS of business for the city in South Africa. What a joke. You and the other 10 - 20 mopes you decide to bring along.

    Why doesn't he just stay here in DC rather than fly off on some BS junket? Cause he can, that's why. And who's paying for it? Probably someone that has his hand in their pocket.

  • Five To Go

    Mr. Mayor is doing the Fiscal City Council's bidding, this mayor does not have his own voice.


    A classic case of damd if you do and damd if you don't. You just can't please some of the haters but keep plugging Mr. Mayor, we need what ever help we can get at this point.


    A classic case of damn if you do and damn if you don't. You just can't please some of the haters but keep plugging Mr. Mayor, we need what ever help we can get at this point.

  • Tom

    Alan, maybe you can do an post on what exactly we get out of all these "sister city" agreements. It sounded cool at first when there were few, but now its doesnt seem special at all. Are DC residents given some kind of tourism perks, incentive to travel, etc? Who needs a sister anyway?

  • drez

    Fenty helped get Qatar to fund City Center, which groundbreaking Vincent Gray recently attended. Who knows? Perhaps Gray will be able to score some development dollars also.
    It can't hurt to try.

  • noneof yourfuckingbizness

    da mayor needs to get his pockets lined with some of that foreign $$$, just like his predecessors....

  • Southeast Ken

    Vincent Gray is a loser and I'm sorry I voted for him. All the dam violence going on in DC and his yellow behnid has been silent and invisible.

    I hated former King Fenty!!!! We are doomed DC voters...

  • Joseph Martin

    There is considerable sovereign wealth invested in DC.

    Clearly there is a significant base of people from all over the globe who work here in DC, some from the diplomatic corps, and others who settle here temporarily and permanently.

    A significant number of businesses here and considerable amounts of real property are owned by foreign nationals and people from other lands living here permanently.

    It is smart for Mayor Gray to put some focus in this direction. Not doing so would be counterproductive. It would be smart for Mayor Gray to engage in some international travel to promote doing business in DC.

    All mayors have engaged in international travel to promote DC. and DC has benefitted.

  • Drez

    Joseph Martin is correct.
    If our own financial markets will not lend the necessary funds to enable development and jobs, than it is proper for any Mayor to seek those funds elsewhere.
    Not doing so only hurts the DC economy.
    I'm not a fan of Gray, but he seems to be doing the right thing here.

  • jayson

    Read people. These are LOCAL meetings ith Ambassadors based here in DC at the request of the embassy. This is what big city mayors do and this is the Nation's Capital. Is Bloomberg not meeting with dignataries? We know the answer to that. Let's think people!

  • CocoNutMilk

    I think it good that Gray is making strides in this area...though he will never be looked at as a player in the Intl political arena...funny.

    I agree with "noneofyour...bizness" that Gray is looking for that foreign dollar. After all, if he is to do anything to pad his future, he might as well do it now since he won't be elected again, not in his lifetime which is at its end.

  • http://deleted leeshato

    I want some of the negativity to stop. If he is promoting our city that is a good thing. I voted for him and I was very disappointed at the Suliman Scandal. I also know he has a long history of doing good in this city.I still would not vote for Fenty nor do I want him to return in any shape or form.