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The city added 9,500 jobs in the past year and expects to add another 45,000 by 2015, the mayor said.

Mr. Gray said more than 2,000 residents were hired by 440 employers through his One City One Hire program, which offers pre-screening, job training, tax incentives and wage subsidies to companies that are willing to hire at least one D.C. resident.

Mr. Gray reiterated the District’s campaign for full voting rights in Congress — garnering a standing ovation from about half the audience — and called on lawmakers on Capitol Hill to grant budget autonomy to the city without any conditions. He also thanked Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the District, for attending the speech and forging a “productive relationship” with the city.

“My friends,” Mr. Gray concluded, “let’s take advantage of this moment in our city’s history to seize our future, harness change for the better and building the elusive ‘one city’ that we all dream of.”

People filing out of the synagogue gave the mayor positive reviews.

Karma Cottman, Ward 7 resident and executive director of the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said she feels this mayor is finally taking a serious look at conditions east of the Anacostia River.

“I feel like there’s a focus,” she said.