SOLUTIONS/GRAHAM: Who should pay for Inauguration Day festivities?

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Perhaps millions of visitors from across the country will visit the District for this historic occasion. All of them hope to be a part of history - whether standing shoulder to shoulder on the Mall or sitting in a local restaurant.

We are privileged to be the capital city of this country. We are honored to host the inauguration of this country’s highest leader. We invite our fellow citizens to take part in the celebration. And we will do our best to make them safe and comfortable.

However, we cannot do this without being compensated. Our hospitality to the federal government is expensive. Our police force will be charged with protecting visitors who do not pay taxes here. Visitors must travel through our streets to reach inauguration activities on federal land.

Our agencies face the challenge of managing this event on the federal government’s terms. Therefore, the federal government should pay the costs of their own plans.

Jim Graham represents Ward 1 on the D.C. Council.

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