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Mayor Bowser's 2017 State of the District Address

Friday, March 31, 2017

View the 2017 State of the District Address here.

See below Mayor Muriel Bowser’s State of the District Address as delivered:

Well, hello, Washington, DC!

It’s so great to be here in the Theater of the Arts at the University of the District of Columbia.

Isn’t Jalia fantastic? Give Jalia a big round of applause.

I have to correct Jalia on one thing - she is on this stage because of her own perseverance, her own high expectations…

I also want to thank UDC President Ronald Mason for hosting us tonight. And for his tremendous leadership of our great University.

know that with students as bright as Jalia … and with a President as bold as President Mason, UDC is headed in the right direction. And I’ll be headed right there with them.

As I begin, I would like to take a moment to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the families whose loved ones are not safe at home tonight.

We will continue to do everything we can to support you in this time of need.

And we will continue to ensure that equal attention and priority is given to every child.

Last week, I put in place six steps to protect our youth so that they know that their government:

  • Creates an innovative reunification protocol,
  • Coordinates all of our efforts through a multi-agency task force, and
  • Supports non-profits that serve children and families

And most importantly, we want to remind all of our young girls and boys that we understand how tough growing up can be—many of the challenges they face are tougher than what we faced when we were their ages.

They should know that there are adults who care, and that we all want them to succeed.

We do all of this because it matters to me as Mayor, and it matters to the hardworking men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department who are bringing our missing children home.

More than two years ago, you trusted me to lead and to chart a path for our great city.

You believed that prosperity is only realized when it is inclusive.

You believed that the middle class is worth protecting and fighting for.

And you believed that every family in Washington, DC deserved a fresh start.

Over the past two years, so many moments have overwhelmed me with gratitude.

Because you place your confidence in me.

You trust me with your aspirations—for yourselves, for your children, and even for their children.

You believe that, together, we can reimagine a future that is brighter, bolder greener, healthier, smarter, safer, and stronger than even our most recent prosperous days.

I want you to know that I never take your trust for granted. And I would never seek to squander it.

Nearly 10 years ago, I took the oath of office for the first time as the Ward 4 Councilmember. And just two years ago, I swore that oath again as Mayor.

That day, I promised you that we would build a government for this city that makes all 680,000 residents proud.

I promised to knock down barriers to opportunity … to protect the things that unify us … to re-affirm the values that make Washington, DC the greatest city in the world… and soon to be the 51st state.

And tonight, I am proud to say that we have delivered on those promises and the State of the District is strong.

Without question, the past several years have been an exciting chapter in the ever forming history of Washington, DC.

It’s a growing collection of memories marked by our fight for Home Rule and now Statehood, bust and boom times, flight out of town, and flight back into town, a legendary 4-term mayor, a triathlon mayor, a bow-tie mayor, a king of the go go swing. Of blockbusting and desegregation. Of seekers of LGBTQ rights, and immigration justice.

Because of our DC values, we are the human rights capital. Our diversity alone does not make us great; our embrace of that diversity does.

That’s why, since Election Day this past November, we have worked to ensure that no one undermines our core DC values. The values are of fairness and equality, of mutual respect and justice, of falling down and getting back up, and of self-determination.

We have to ensure that no one disrupts the character of Washington DC.

I’m guided every day by President Jefferson’s words. He said

“On matters of style swim with the current, and on matters of substance, stand like a rock.”

Last November, I was only the second Mayor to meet with the then President-elect Donald Trump. I wanted to make it clear to him who we are:

  • We are a self-sufficient city, county, state.
  • We are tax-paying Americans.
  • We are no more dependent on the Federal Government than any other state.
  • We don’t want anything special, we just full access to our birthright.
  • And that’s full representation for the taxes that we pay.
  • And the only way to get there is Statehood for Washington, DC.

Now my job as Mayor is to work with the White House and the Congress no matter who holds those seats. My job is to protect and fight for the values that we hold dear and to find common ground where it may exist.

So they tell me President Trump likes to do things big. So, let’s share some big ideas with him…

We call on the President and Congress to invest more in Metro. Increasing the federal government’s financial commitment to Metro would be a win for the District and the entire region. And I am confident that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is the woman who can deliver.

We call on the President and Congress to do more for Metro than hold hearings, and we also call on the Governors of Maryland and Virginia to identify a dedicated revenue rather than study what we already know..

I know Councilmember Evans agrees with me on that.

This is also the time to get a final plan in place, once and for all, that will put RFK Memorial Stadium campus back on the map.

We call on the President and Congress to expand their view of RFK and embrace a mix of uses, not just a stadium, but a more diverse plan that will ensure a vibrant future for the more than 100 acres on the Anacostia River.

We call on the President and Congress to fix federal roads and bridges. And to get the much-needed Beach Drive Renovation back on schedule,

We call on the President and Congress to fund and replace their bridges…without their help, the Memorial Bridge could literally fall into the river.

and let the District take over our Federal Parks that public private partnerships can help enliven at Franklin, Hains Point, Rock Creek, and Langston.

We call on the President and Congress to uphold our 3-sector school funding approach that enhances public education funding in DC.

We call on the President and Congress to be a part of our focus on Affordable Housing—do not eliminate Community Development Block Grants. And for the love of our great American Culture- fund the arts!

And we call on the President and Congress to help us make American cities safer by investing in re-entry programs in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This year, we will be proposing an innovative arrangement to bring our people back from the federal corrections system 6-12 months earlier to finish their terms at a DC run facility that will be ready with intense re-entry services.

As I discussed with Robert White, our goal is to bring them back home to DC, so when they return home, they succeed.

So when our friends up on the Hill from Utah or Maryland’s Eastern Shore tell you that they are concerned about DC, you tell them about their federal obligations in the District.

And I like to use Trayon White’s words. You tell them, “Don’t just stand there, do something.”

But if they ask you about our local issues—you tell them keep their hands off DC.

If they ask you about how we will advance a tax and regulate program for marijuana—stand with me and David Grosso and tell them to keep their hands off

If their intrusion on how women get access to care persists, we will stand with Vince Gray and all who care about high-quality health care services in all 8 wards, and we’ll tell them to keep their hands off DC.

And just like we did weeks ago, when they attempted to overrule our law to regulate end of life decisions –I stood with Eleanor Holmes Norton, our Congresswoman and mighty champion – give Eleanor a big round of applause, Phil Mendelson, and Mary Cheh to tell them to keep their hands off DC.

I had the opportunity to represent all of us in front of nearly a million people at the Women’s March, and I told them—if the Congress can’t help DC with our priorities, the best thing they can do is leave us alone.

We need to remind them that we are a city that believes where you are born shouldn’t determine the kind of life you ultimately lead.

And we are a sanctuary city that’s committed to protecting the rights of our immigrants, the underserved, and every single person whose contributions have been discounted or dismissed for way too long.

This is who we are. These are DC values. These are the priorities we are fighting for.

And now, my friends, is the time for a unified front.

Everyone knows I like a good fight. And just like all families, we fight sometimes.

Phil Mendelson will tell you – we go toe to toe at the Wilson Building. Sometimes we disagree, but most of the time we agree.

But let someone from the federal government or the Congress come after one of us … they better be ready to take on all of us. Isn’t that right, Washington?

So if the last several months have taught us nothing else, it is that now isn’t the time to give in to the anxiety and chaos in the air.

We’ve learned that we are stronger than we thought we were and our fiscal discipline and good government has made us more resilient than we could have imagined.

We need everyone in this room and every Washingtonian to follow the advice of a new DC resident, Michelle Obama she said:

“…don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Let’s keep hoping.

My goal tonight isn’t to diminish our collective challenges.

I share many of your concerns.

But I want you to know that we are better prepared than ever to meet the demands of this moment.

Next week, I will present to the Council our 22nd balanced budget.

Last month marked the 20th year of clean audits for the District, and the second consecutive year of no yellow book findings—which means there are no material weaknesses in our procurement, hiring, payment or any other critical system of our government.

And that’s a good government gold standard.

We’ve proven ourselves to be exemplary stewards of our government’s resources.

That means we spend what we have. And we spend it judiciously.

And that means not asking our taxpayers for a single penny more than we need or that we can use to achieve demonstrable improvements in the City’s economic growth, inclusive prosperity, or world class city services.

That means making investments that make our city better and make our families stronger

… It means advancing the largest investment in public education in the history of the District of Columbia

…It means providing quality neighborhood services that make DC more affordable for seniors, singles, and families alike.

… and it means making sure calls are answered, trash and snow are picked up, grass is mowed, boilers are working, technology systems are strengthened against cyber-attacks, systems are upgraded so that we can hire the best of the best , pay people on time, and procure products and services.

…It means connecting more Washingtonians to job opportunities that put them back on the right track— programs like the LEAP Academy, Career Connections, ASPIRE, and the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program.

And it means investing in young families.

Have you ever met someone who lived out in one of the Maryland or Virginia counties and they say to you—I used to live in DC—but then I had kids and moved. I say to them: You know, we have kids in DC, too.

Then, I add – we’ve spentbillions of dollars on school modernizations, recreation center improvements, aquatic center transformations,and baseball, soccer, and football fields in all eight wards.. Then I mention the remarkable playgrounds.

I tell them about the swelling public school enrollments and library sing, talk and read hours.

I tell them about the incredible library transformations we’ve completed – and the new MLK library life center we will open in 2020.

And then I think about what they are saying and where they could be pinched in DC- and one significant way is finding high-quality childcare options.

Last year, I sat next to a high ranking Obama official during a White House dinner.

She raved about how lucky she was to get into one of the Centers supported by the Federal Government, and if it hadn’t been for that center, she wasn’t sure what she would have done.

Things have changed in a lot of ways…when my mom and dad were raising five of us, with my mom working and going to school—right here at UDC.

My grandmother was there to help them with all of us. Now, many families cannot call on trusted grandmas for help.

To keep families in DC, we will have to attract more quality child care.

I challenged my team to design a program to incentivize the creation of 1,300 more infant and toddler childcare opportunities across DC over the next 3 years.

Private providers tell us that the costs of meeting robust early childcare regulations are high—space and build out expenses are challenging—and training and maintaining high quality staff is increasingly difficult.

We accepted Councilmember Silverman’s challenge to find and make available DC government owned or controlled space a part of the MyChildcareDC pilot initiative.

And we’re looking forward to working with all of you to get it started.

Expanding access to childcare is something we can come together on and deliver for our families.

Now I know we’ve spent the better part of two years talking about universal paid family leave, and we share the DC Value that families should have the time they need to take care of a loved one …

Now we may not agree on the best way to get there, but I am encouraged that our dialogue continues.

My hope is that the path forward will not jeopardize our expanding pool of jobs or stunt the growth of our successful small businesses.

We want to make it easier for folks to follow in the entrepreneurial footsteps of people like Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez.

After serving in Afghanistan, these two Marines had an idea: - open a coffee shop and roastery here in the city.

More than two years ago, they turned an old laundromat on Seventh Street into Compass Coffee … a shop with a simple mantra: “Real Good Coffee. Made in DC.”

Because as they explain it: “What we do is special and we’re proud of it. We’re proud to be from DC.”

So please join me in thanking them for their service and for creating jobs in DC.

So the theory goes – a rising tide lifts all boats. Now that may be true, but what we have seen is that some boats rise quickly and some hardly rise at all.

And that’s the story of DC’s prosperity—the unequal distribution of benefits from a robust economy.

Our new 5-year economic development strategy takes this head-on and aims for inclusive prosperity. The strategy sets as a goal increasing the economic prosperity of African Americans in Washington, DC, and it specifically focuses onreducing double digit African American unemployment.

While the unemployment rate has declined in the District … it is still disproportionately high among people of color and those without a high school diploma.

We see a geographic divide in our city that is greater than distance.

You see unemployment in Ward 3 at 4.2% and unemployment in Ward 8 is 12.5%.

The good news is that unemployment in Ward 8 is down from 16.8% when I took office. The bad news is 12.5% is still too high, nearly 3 times what it is in Ward 3.

We can and must do better.

So when I read about this, when I talk to my agency directors about this I am reminded of what the Bible teaches us …“faith without works is dead.” Or more colloquially… Talk is cheap. Do something.

So, unless we actively find ways to address the unique challenges that our underserved communities face, we’ll never realize our true potential. Not harnessing the true talent of your entire team, is like the Wizards only putting three players on the court.

We have spent two years developing and implementing programs to help native Washingtonians and long-time residents be a part of our city’s growing prosperity.

We must stand together and act boldly to achieve this prosperity, and we look forward to doing more…

  • We will expand training programs for DC residents for DC Government jobs like the LEAP program and the Fire and EMS and MPD cadet programs … and we will require DC residency for more higher salary jobs in DC government.
  • We created the Green Book of Opportunities to list what goods and services DC government needs to procure, and procure them from DC-owned and DC-based businesses.
  • We have increased the HPAP’s maximum loan amount for first-time home buyers to $80,000.
  • We will transform our TANF system to focus on getting residents back to work … These residents are seeking a first chance, retraining, or ways out of our safety net, and we owe it to one another to get them on the pathway to the middle class.
  • We will open the In3 Inclusive Innovation Incubator to nurture underrepresented startup companies and help them attract capital and grow their businesses right here in DC

It’s time for us to take another bold step.

And I am pleased to announce that we’re partnering with UDC, WMATA, DC Water, leading infrastructure companies like Washington Gas and Pepco, labor unions, and trade associations to create the District of Columbia Infrastructure Academy.

When I was running for mayor I discussed this idea as a Public Works Academy.

We refined it and secured seed money in our recent merger settlement discussion, and now we will make the Academy a significant spoke in our portfolio of initiatives to reduce African American unemployment.

Another thing that may be on your mind…one might expect a struggling city to devote meager dollars to maintenance and infrastructure. There is no such excuse in cities thriving like ours.

I’m convinced that being born and raised here gave me a higher tolerance for bad alleys and pot holes. But 8 years of being a Ward councilmember gave me a new appreciation for tackling the city-owned infrastructure that impacts your family as soon as you leave your front door—sidewalks, lights, trees, alleys and roads. Local roads, specifically.

DDOT estimates our main roads are in pretty good shape with only 7 percent in poor condition. We estimate, however, that about 32 percent of our local roads get a poor rating.

Our residential roads suffer from a lack of consistent funding and regularly scheduled maintenance.

With the budget I will present to the Council, we will fix all the roads that have a poor rating in just 5 years.

We will take lessons learned from AlleyPalooza, where we’ve improved more than 200 alleys in 2 years; we will be smart about coordination with planned developments and utility repairs, we will separate street and sidewalk and curb projects where it makes sense, and we will commit to using sustainable building materials and practices.

And make no mistake—we’re going to fix the roads, but we’re also committed to a balanced transportation network.

We’ve made our city safer for bikers and pedestrians with new bike lanes, upgraded traffic signals, an extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, a much-improved Metropolitan Branch Trail … and we’re getting even closer to finishing the Klingle Valley Trail Project—And even I am excited to celebrate with the Sierra Club and Mary Cheh this long promised, preservation project.

Last month, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of our streetcar

Two years ago we had no streetcar, not running at least. … And it had its busiest month in January this year with almost 93,000 passengers , and in the coming weeks we’re expecting it to carry its one millionth passenger.

And this year, we’re making bus service easier and faster with $2 million worth of improvements to the Metro bus line service … and I want to send special thanks to Councilmembers Todd, Nadeau, Silverman and Evans-who pushed for new express bus service on 14th Street, which connects Wards 4, Ward 1 and Ward 2.

As we grow our economy, we want to ensure that our residents—whether you have been here for five generations like the Bowsers or five minutes—can afford to live in Washington, DC.

We are forging a path to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. We are transforming our family homeless system and together we will end veteran homelessness once and for all.

But we know we must do more to protect and preserve affordable housing.

I ran on a promise of committing $100 million annually to the Housing Production Trust Fund. Our next budget will be the third one where we realize this commitment, but we are not just squirreling this money.. We are putting it out on the street.

For every $100 million we invest, we are constructing and preserving more than 1,000 affordable housing units in all 8 wards.

But sometimes when we talk about the numbers, we can get lost in them, so let’s remember that those numbers represent a family or a senior who now has a safe, affordable place to live.

Today, I am committing an additional $10 million dedicated solely to preservation in a new Housing Preservation Fund. This fund will leverage private investments yielding nearly $40 million dollars for preservation efforts.

Because Anita Bonds will tell you: preservation means families who are here, can stay here.

I thank the Housing Preservation Strike Force for their recommendation about this fund.

To compliment the additional investment, we will also establish regulations for the District Opportunity to Purchase Act.

DOPA as we call it, will give the District of Columbia government the right to purchase –purchase, not take – units or buildings in order to preserve their affordability. This will be the first time we have a strategy in the rules, and the funding in the District to use DOPA.

Along the way, we’re continuing to fulfill our commitment to make DC more accessible for residents of every age.

We started Safe at Home, and we’ve completed more than 334 projects that are helping seniors age in place. These construction projects make the difference between someone being able to stay in their home and looking for some place else to live.

Like you, I was horrified to read residents’ complaints about apartments in buildings owned by Sanford Capital. Now, DCRA has inspected all of their buildings.

The good news is it doesn’t look like any buildings have to be shuttered and people made homeless.

The bad news is there are lots of violations, years in the making that need immediate attention.

They will have a choice … FIX the violations … FACE nearly half a million dollars in fines … or SEE us in COURT. Lawyers in Karl Racine’s office are primed and ready to go.

And this year we’re going to make sure DCRA has more tools...we’ll strengthen DCRA’s resources to address vacant nuisance properties and buildings where people live that do not meet our standards.

As Mayor, I cannot promise you that bad things won’t happen in our city.

But I will commit to you that I lead the government to solutions that are transparent and effective.

I will be the one to tell you the bad news, and how we will fix it, and how we will help the most Washingtonians.

That is why I became an ANC Commissioner, a Councilmember and now your Mayor. It is a DC value that I learned from my parents who served their neighbors and taught me that regardless of where I worked or what my title: Serve with integrity.

Your word and your good name are all that you have, so always do what you say you’re going to do.

You’ve heard me say this before and I will say it again, it was our dogged commitment to two things that turned our city around—public schools and public safety.

Last year we bid farewell to two outstanding leaders who led an urban school district and a big city police force longer than most of the counterparts and they were more successful than most.

Kaya and Cathy set the bar high, attracted the best teams, and drove up student enrollment and graduation rates and drove down mistrust and crime. Antwan and Peter will take DCPS and MPD to the next level.

They’re with us, stand up and recognize Chancellor Antwan Wilson and Chief Peter Newsham.

At DCPS, we’re focusing more on middle schools, investing in teachers and staff, and engaging parents. At MPD, we’re focused on training up the next set of police leaders and new officers, and continuing to build trust among our force and our neighborhoods.

I am so thankful that Chancellor Wilson and Chief Newsham are on our team. I ask you to give them the trust, the candid advice, and the elbow grease you’ve shared with me for the last 10 years.

Now, if a 10-year focus on transforming our schools and making our force the best in the country changed our trajectory—What do we expect the next 10 years to look like?

Wilson has embarked on an All-8 Ward listening tour. Community meetings. Student Leader meetings. Principal Meetings. Teacher Meetings … All to help shape his thinking about our next 5-year strategic plan at DCPS.

We’re sharpening our focus on teaching foreign languages, creating hands-on experiences, and STEM and global education … because we believe that the next generation of big thinking leaders, scientists, engineers, researchers, and innovators are being born right here in Washington, DC.

We’re bolstering our investment in our middle schools and our high schools with stronger algebra and afterschool programs to ensure our students enjoy a well-rounded education.

We’ve expanded our incredible partnership with the Fillmore Arts Center … today, students in every part of our city can access high-quality arts education right in their own classrooms.

And we will put more technology in classrooms and in the hands of teachers, students and parents. So, students, if you don’t turn in your homework … your dad’s going to know about it.

And none of this would be possible without our teachers in DCPS and our public charter schools. I value their professionalism and their dedication to our children.

I am proud to recognize them from big stages like this, and in classrooms throughout the year.

And I will be even prouder to be the Mayor who after 6 years of trying can hammer out a new agreement with our teachers. We are so hopeful that that agreement will continue to make our teachers the best paid teachers in the region, and the most valued by their management and fellow Washingtonians.

So I will keep working with our union to keep pushing for a deal. Join me in giving our teachers a big round of applause.

Our new school buildings are things of beauty – the new ones. The taxpayers of the District should be proud.

Since 2008, we’ve completed more than $3.4 billion dollars of work and we have about $1.5 billion to go.

Our current capital improvements program funds a completion of:

  • All our comprehensive high schools with Coolidge starting this year.
  • All of our middle schools are also included in this Capital budget, including Jefferson and McFarland Middle schools being completed.
  • The transformation of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and the opening of the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts.

This year, I am also proud to further increase the public charter school facility allotment by 2.2 percent, and lock that increase in for the next four years. Adding millions more to the school facilities all across the District. And we add to the new public buildings that we will make available for public charter school use.

Now, the other pillar of the District’s renaissance is public safety.

Last year, after a spike in homicides in 2015, I told you we would drive down crime by working together and with Safer/Stronger DC initiatives. And we did.

Many big cities can’t say the same.

In 2016 alone, we saw a 10% decrease in all violent crime city-wide, with a 17% reduction in homicides and a 13% reduction in robberies.

Last year, I told you we would take over all of DC Jail. And we did.

For the first time in 20 years, there’s no private entity running any part of our jail.

And soon we will replace thejail with a facility that focuses on the type of re-entry services that will make us all safer.

I told you we would add more ambulances and improve the training of our first responders. And we did.

For the first time, we are getting the right resources to the scene and we are dispatching those resources more quickly.

told you we would double down on technology use. And we did. We’ve outfitted all of our patrol officers with body worn cameras, and hundreds of DC property owners received a rebate after installing security cameras on their residence or business.

I told you that we agreed with Councilmember McDuffie that prevention, mental health co response, and quick access to DC-sponsored employment programs had to be a part of the solution. Many NEAR Act activities are underway, and now we will focus on mental health co-response.

And I told you we would combat the expected retirement bubble at MPD with strategic investments in recruitment and retention. And we have implemented successful retention programs, and we have more on the way.

We won’t, however, compromise our standards, our vetting, or the professionalism of our force. We’ve come too far to risk backsliding at MPD.

Our continued recruitment programs will include more slots for DC residents in our Cadet Program.

We will recruit and retain new officers in those early years when they are more easily wooed by competing jurisdictions. We’ll compete because we will offer housing help and tuition forgiveness.

We will continue our successful Senior Police Officer program for retirement eligible or newly retired officers who still have that fire in the belly to serve DC residents.

we should not forget the best retention tool we have: Appreciation. If you see an officer on their beat, in a business, or in your own time of need – say thank you.

In Chief Newsham’s talks with the officers some commented on needing more light weight and easy to wear uniforms and gear and more attention to their locker rooms and facilities.

These investments are just small symbols of how much we value the risks they take to keep us all safe.

So we’ve done the things we’d said we’d do, so I know you will believe me when I ask you to do more.

Like so many of you, I was never more proud of MPD when they kept our city safe during the 2017 Inauguration and Women’s March.

Literally hundreds of thousands of people safely exercised their First Amendment rights.

Some of them had on red hats, some of them had on pink hats, all made safer by our officers.

I thank Charles Allen for rallying the Council to acknowledge MPD and all of our first responders with the “Presidential Inauguration excellence in duty” resolution presented at the Council

They faced challenging circumstances and they performed with great distinction.

And I’m equally proud of the brave men and women of our DC Fire and EMS Department who work alongside MPD.

better support them and everything they do to keep us safe, we invested $12 million into that department.

This is the single largest investment in EMS reform in the city’s recent history.

And tonight I can tell you we can build on this progress by creating a Nurse Triage Center at the 911 Call Center. Until recently, our FEMS fleet, staffing, training and protocols have not kept up with our explosive growth.

Chief Dean and his fantastic team have laid out a path to excellence for EMS.

When seeking approval from the Council for more ambulances, we also promised a closer look at 911 callers and what the actual needs are.

We know that not every call to 911 requires an ambulance.

And we know that, sometimes, callers would be better served by seeing their own doctor and not going to the ER.

A nurse at the 911 Call Center can make sure everyone who needs an ambulance gets one, and that those who do not are referred to insurance provided transportation and community-based non-urgent care centers.

Our calls to 911 are wildly out of proportion to our population, which compromises emergency services for everyone. We can’t wait any longer to fix this problem.

Chief Dean also told me about an initiative that we had to do if he came to DC.

In an emergency, your family member, your co-worker or your friend is likely to be the closest one to you.

That’s why we launched Hands on Hearts, which trains people in hands-only, not mouth to mouth, hands-only CPR.

And more than 17,000 people have been trained.

Danette Purvis is one of them.

Last October, she enrolled in a training session.

It was Danette’s first time learning CPR.

And the very next day, she came to the aid of a co-worker who went into cardiac arrest.

She used her CPR training to save his life. Danette told us she doesn’t feel like much of a hero.

However, she knows if something like that happens again, in her words: “she’s prepared to do even better.”

Danette is here today … Let’s give her a round of applause.

Ladies and gentleman, tonight, it’s been my pleasure to tell you about the strong standing of Washington, DC.

I know we haven’t agreed on everything. I know there’s so much more to do.

And we all know that our victories didn’t happen overnight. And the next ones won’t eiter.

And they certainly don’t come easy.

And because we’ve fought for so long to get here, I know we will work even harder to protect our prosperity and our progress.

I can say this with certainty because I see it all over DC.

I’ve seen it in the young middle school student who just discovered her love for math and is now encouraging other students to find their passion.

I’ve seen it in the small business owner who is not only excited about growing her business, but is even more excited by her ability to employ people and change their lives and the opportunities available for their families.

I’ve seen it at Bunker Hill Elementary School with the orchestra students performing their hearts out with YO YO MA and having their minds and imaginations transformed by the performing arts in school.

I see it in the 8 year old girls all the time when they look at me and ask: what do you have to do to become Mayor?

I know there are so many more success stories out there … and many more waiting to be born.

That’s why in the days and weeks ahead, we must work together to ensure our city does even better and does better for everyone.

We’ve celebrated so many achievements over these past two years.

But everything we are … everything we stand for … wouldn’t be possible without the extraordinary efforts of DC government employees.

33,000 strong they show up for work every day, sometimes in tough conditions, always under the spotlight of being in the nation’s capital.

From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my senior team—Beverly, Rashad, John, Mark—and my entire cabinet, I want to thank each of you for your unshakeable commitment and your enduring dedication to the residents of Washington, DC.

You make the nation’s capital the truly amazing city that it is.

And to everyone here tonight and across the city, thank you again for granting us this opportunity … for your honesty and your generosity … your enthusiasm and your candor.

I couldn’t be more proud to serve as your Mayor.

I want to say thank you. And God bless all of you. And God bless the District of Columbia.

Thank you.