Tuesday was a great day for our city, country and indeed the world. The initial election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was a historic and exciting event, and his reelection under- scores our ability to remake our government so it lives up to the highest ideals of our nation, both at home and abroad. His reelection brings both possibilities and responsibilities. The continued problems in the world’s financial systems pose distinct challenges to both our national and local economy. The responsibility of providing our residents with health care, an education, jobs, and real opportunities are high on the agenda. The threat of terrorism and war is something that can render any or all other priorities asunder.
I still believe Barack Obama’s pledge to create a new political framework in this nation, to reach across lines that have divided us to find solutions, is the right approach to finding practical solutions to the problems we face. As a region and a city we also have an agenda to pursue with the federal government – not the least of which is the question of full statehood and voting rights in Congress for the District. We also need to work to ensure the federal government partners with us to stimulate the economy – particularly by locating federal agencies right here in the District rather than in neighboring states.
At the local level, I believe it is important to bring people together again to work through problems we face here in the District. From days past, particularly in 2002-2003 when we faced budget challenges more severe than we do today, it was imperative that all the major stakeholders come together. While I know we won’t always agree on a plan of action, I look forward to having more dialogue with my col- leagues, the Mayor, and members of the community on budget and policy issues.
In Ward 2, I am, of course, excited about my reelection, and thank you to everyone who supported me. Our city and nation face some very interesting times ahead, but after last week’s election I have renewed energy, hope, and faith we can meet the challenges ahead. I heard unfortunately of a number of instances of inefficiencies or other problems in polling places – please let me know of any experiences you have had, positive or negative, that I can convey to the Board of Elections. On a final note – please be patient as we take down all our campaign signs – and if you see any that are still up after a week or two, please let me know.