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New Day for District Residents As Vincent Gray Wins Democratic Nod for DC Mayor

Today, Vincent Gray, claimed the Democratic nomination in the race for mayor of the District of Columbia. Gray, who received near unanimous support from the community of organized labor in DC, defeated incumbent Adrian Fenty. The primary victory virtually ensures Gray’s election as the next mayor of DC. The city is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Under the banner of “One City”, Gray was declared the winner in the Grand Ballroom II of the Washington Court hotel, directly adjacent to AFGE headquarters, where backers cheered as the early returns were reported. The location of the event carried some symbolism as AFGE had been one of Gray’s earliest supporters among the labor community in the city.

“We knew from the beginning that this election was an opportunity to change course, and take our city back,” Dwight Bowman, national vice president of AFGE’s 14th district. “As Chairman of the City Council, Gray has operated with a sense of openness to discuss the issues at hand with area residents, city workers, and the community of Organized Labor,” said Bowman. 

 “Mayor-elect Gray understands that city employees are not the problem and that blind privatization is never the answer. Public employees work in their chosen careers because they have a commitment to public service and because they love the District of Columbia.”

AFGE launched a major campaign to educate the public about the misdeeds of the Fenty administration and mobilize working families to reclaim their city. Through the “Take Back DC”, AFGE worked with other like-minded organizations to mobilize events throughout the city aimed at educating the public about the assaults on public employees’ due process rights. AFGE took to the airwaves with a targeted radio ad campaign, titled, “We Have a Problem with Our Boss.” And, AFGE went viral with YouTube video’s educating viewers about former mayor Fenty’s anti-worker attitude.

Gray’s election marks a sea change in the attitude of the city hall, after four years of one of the most anti-worker administration’s the city has had in recent memory.

The Fenty administration had exercised a systematic campaign to dismantle the city’s public employee unions and push working families out of the city. Throughout the campaign Mayor-elect Gray signaled that he viewed public employees and their union representatives as essential to making sure the city was responsive to the needs of all its citizens.

Over the past few years, working families and public employees have watched as the District of Columbia has transformed into a place where most working families can barely afford to live. The city’s public services were decimated through mass layoffs and outright privatization. Public employees attacked to score quick political points.

“We congratulate mayor-elect Gray and look forward to working with him to rebuild public services in the nation’s capital.”

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