The strength and courage of Walter Washington. The political acumen of Marion Barry. The ... um ... the ... (let's just move past the forgettable Sharon Pratt Kelly). The financial mastery of Anthony Williams. The risk-taking assertiveness of Adrian Fenty.
These are the positive qualities that the citizens of the District of Columbia wanted in their mayor.
As City Council Chairman for four years, Vince Gray showed flashes of all of these qualities. And so, in 2010, Vincent C. Gray was elected the sixth mayor of the Nation's Capital (seventh if you count Barry's mayoral tenures separately).
As mayor of this great city, Vince Gray has embodied traits of his predecessors ... all of the bad traits. His tenure thus far has been full of missteps, mistakes, mistruths, misspeaking, and Miss Greene.
The man pledged to make D.C. "One City" under an ethical, efficient, and transparent city government. So far, the mayor has delivered not one of those.
Listen, Vince ... may I call you Vince?
Vince, we're both D.C. natives. We both know that the people of this great city can be very forgiving. Why, just look at that eternal recipient of community grace on the City Council. Yes, the District residents can be very forgiving.
They can also be spiteful and vengeful. I mean, let's not kid ourselves here. The biggest reason you got elected is because Adrian Fenty was such a dick. Don't misunderstand me; he was a fine mayor. I'd argue that he was the second best mayor this city's had. But he had no people skills. And we both know that the people will not be ignored.
Or, maybe you don't know. I thought you did. But you're not doing a good job of listening to the beat on the street. You're in a deep, deep, DEEP hole right now yet you persist in digging deeper. And I, quite frankly, can't understand where this is coming from.
This person holding the Executive Pen is not the same person who wielded the Legislative Gavel. The latter person heard what the people had to say and did his best to give them what they wanted so long as it was in the best interest of the city. That person was able to articulate himself, his positions, and his decisions to the people. And when the people disagreed, he was able to help them see the big picture.
But this guy you've become ... he's a lost, hot mess. We, the people you serve, have no idea what the hell it is you're doing there in the Wilson Building. We see confusion. We see a mayorship adrift. We see the wheels spinning with nothing accomplished. And what we're seeing, if I may be blunt, scares the shit out of us. We refuse to live through A Nightmare On 14th-And-Penn 3: The Respite Is Over.
Rediscover that man who was once the City Council Chairman. Purge your ranks of those "trusted" advisers who are steering you into the rocks. Surround yourself with smart people who care more about this city then they do their own political careers. Communicate clearly with the citizens of your city. Make smart decisions. In short, get your act together. And do it quick. Because the people out here are starting to oil their torches and sharpen their pitchforks.