Vince Gray talks safety at Georgetown reception

Photo by RJ Smith
Vince Gray with Dr. Karyne and Gary Messina
Vince Gray with Dr. Karyne and Gary Messina
A reception at the Burleith home of Dr. Karyne and Gary Messina gave mayoral candidate Vincent Gray the opportunity to pledge that when he is elected he will expand police presence in the communities.  He further stressed that to be hired, law enforcement officers and firefighters must reside within the city. 
 
Guests listen to Vincent Gray (Photo by: RJ Smith) Guests listen to Vincent Gray

Gray noted that a large number of police and firefighters now reside outside the District.  One detriment to crime in neighborhoods is an increased presence of police cars and officers at night, he stressed.
 
Georgetown resident and attorney, David Harrison (Photo by: RJ Smith) Georgetown resident and attorney, David Harrison

The two-hour event drew some 50 people who questioned Gray on several topics ranging from education to how to unite people throughout the city.
 
On the issue of the future of education Chancellor Michelle Rhee, he said that after he is elected, he would very much like to “sit down to see if we can work together,” but he added that he doubts she would be receptive to the idea.  
 
Education reform has to be about more than one person. Even Michael Jordan could not win all by himself.”
 
“I am very committed to education reform. There is no turning back. But you just don’t ram things down peoples’ throats,” he said in a not-so-veiled reference to how he thinks it is being done in the current mayor’s office.
 
Gray spoke very favorably of Metropolitan Police Chief Kathy Lanier but said that it is premature to make any firm commitment on retaining her until after the election.
 
Dr. Karyne Messina and daughter Kiki (Photo by: RJ Smith) Dr. Karyne Messina and daughter Kiki

In a reference to the local polls showing a racial split between how black and white voters view the candidates, Gray said he finds this factor “very troubling” and pledged to bring this city together again.  As chairman of the City Council, Gray’s motto is “one city” and he wears a label pin designed by his son, Carlos, with that precise message.
 
Among the guests was Virginia E. Hayes Williams, the mother of former mayor Tony Williams.   “ Virginia has adopted me, and she’s about to be restored as the First Mother” of the city,” Gray said.
 

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Bob Lewis

Interesting: I found this link on TBD.com - nice overall comments for the city but what will he do for GEORGETOWN?