Blessed be the Peacemakers: Georgetowners welcome Vince Gray

Photo by Natalia Janetti
Vince Gray flanked by Georgetown hostess and host, Nancy Bubes and Alan Bubes
Vince Gray flanked by Georgetown hostess and host, Nancy Bubes and Alan Bubes
Georgetown’s scarce vote for Vince Gray is a thing of the past as more than 100 prominent Georgetowners gathered in a holiday spirit to greet the soon-to-be mayor at the home of Alan and Nancy Bubes on Monday night.
 
Mayor-elect Vince Gray (left) is welcomed by Georgetown Business Association President Joe Giannino, general manager of The Latham Hotel, and Jennifer Altemus, president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Mayor-elect Vince Gray (left) is welcomed by Georgetown Business Association President Joe Giannino, general manager of The Latham Hotel, and Jennifer Altemus, president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown
Georgetowners Carmen Petrowitz (left) and Deborah Sigmund, founder of Innocents at Risk, were among the 100+ well wishers at the Gray fundraiser (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Georgetowners Carmen Petrowitz (left) and Deborah Sigmund, founder of Innocents at Risk, were among the 100+ well wishers at the Gray fundraiser

The event was spearheaded by civic and business organizations as well as individuals -- all of whom thought it was a splendid idea to get to know the mayor-elect a little better before he officially takes office on January 2.  Georgetown voted heavily to retain the current mayor, Adrian Fenty, but it was not to be.  So, in that light, the event was hailed as a way to take the measure of the new man, celebrate his recent election, and raise funds for his inaugural.  
 
Vince Gray surrounded by Georgetown ANC member Bill Starrels, Lenore Rubino (far left) and Jennifer Altemus (far right). (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Vince Gray surrounded by Georgetown ANC member Bill Starrels, Lenore Rubino (far left) and Jennifer Altemus (far right).

Listed as organizers on the invitation were the Citizens Association of Georgetown, the Georgetown Business Association, the Burleith Citizens Association, City Councilman Jack Evans, Ron Lewis, Bill Starrels, Ed Solomon, Tom Smith, Tom Birch and Jeff Jones. 
 
Dr. Heather McCabe shows her joy for the Vince Gray victory (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Dr. Heather McCabe shows her joy for the Vince Gray victory

Gray, bringing good cheer, assured the gathering that he does not want to see a city divided under his leadership. “Frankly, when I say ‘One City,’ I really mean it,” said Gray.  He spoke of the challenges of the huge deficit that confronts the District, the work ahead under a new Congress to win statehood and representation for District residents, and getting the unemployed back to work.
 
(left) Susan J. Hamilton, president of Innovative Enterprise, and Elizabeth E. Webster, strike a holiday stance at the holiday party for Vince Gray (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) (left) Susan J. Hamilton, president of Innovative Enterprise, and Elizabeth E. Webster, strike a holiday stance at the holiday party for Vince Gray
Anne Lewis enjoying the merry event (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Anne Lewis enjoying the merry event

Critically central to his agenda, he said, will be programs to improve education in the city, a pledge Gray stressed throughout his campaign.
 
He assured the gathering that he reads ALL of the emails sent to him, “and I actually respond to them myself.” Then jokingly he added:  “Heaven knows, there will be some days when I will just want to keep the bed covers my head.”
 
In answer to a question from the crowd about who will play at his “One City” inauguration gala, Gray responded that, among others, will be his friend Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go, recently nominated for his first Grammy. 
 
And, to another inquisitor, Gray replied, “Yes, we will have carpet on the floor,” a reference to the previous inauguration when the convention floor was cold and bare.
Some 100 people attended the Vince Gray fundraiser in Georgetown (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Some 100 people attended the Vince Gray fundraiser in Georgetown

by Natalia Janetti