Dear Neighbors and Partners,
I write to you again with a message of hope. Yes, it is true, news of intolerance and hate-filled actions bombard us almost daily. Yet the District continues to actively show other cities around the country the power of strength through solidarity. I am so proud that our values of inclusion and acceptance are alive and well, but we can do better.
As the District continues to grow into a more richly diverse metropolis we are actively working to stand together and assert respect for all of our neighbors. I have been a resident for 28 years and I know the vast majority of our residents, new and old, share in our values of inclusion. But too often I hear people say “nobody is really from here.” I swiftly remind them of the African-American families that have proudly established roots in this city for more than a hundred years. Washington, DC is a historically Black city and as allies we must not forget to honor it as a home to so many seeking freedom, prosperity and the America Dream. They built this city and we stand on their shoulders.
Our history as the "Chocolate City" can teach us. We can look to the successes of our African-American brothers and sisters who came here to build schools and businesses after breaking away from the horrible reality of slavery. They built a thriving and welcoming city that has overcome many challenges, not the least of them racism. So, I encourage you to join me, read more, listen more and learn more about our amazing city. We are stronger when can listen to one another and safer when we can lend our strength to others and stand in that gap when someone needs an ally. Mayor Bower constantly affirms these values and I invite you to join us in working daily to affirm them too.
Yours in solidarity,