- The Washington Times - Friday, January 10, 2014

WHO:Vincent C. Gray

WHAT: Re-election campaign launch

WHERE: 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE

WHEN: Saturday at high noon

WHY: Details and commentary to come in my column Monday.

Now that the Washington Redskins have taken the mystery out of who will be driving the bus for the next few years, D.C. stakeholders get to read and hear why Mr. Gray thinks voters should give him another shot.

Not that he’s done anything particularly extraordinary.

The budget has been balanced all three years that he’s been mayor — but that’s been the case since the control board years of the late 1990s.

The trash and the recycling get picked up routinely — but that’s not startling either. In fact, city workers have been doing such a bang-up job that they handled similar chores for the federal government during the 2013 shutdown.

The schools seem to be more effective — or at least there have been no major education-related scandals.

Economic development continues to boom — thanks largely to plans that were put in place long before contractors were hired to print red-white-and-blue yard signs urging Vince Gray for mayor in 2010.

And while much of the hand-wringing over first responders these days is politically driven, homicide rates remain on the decline. (So praise the heavens, not the politicians.)

Also, neither the gay, immigration nor marijuana-legalization activists have much to complain about, as the mayor and others running City Hall are tending to their every request — by any means necessary.

Other voting blocs, such as the elderly, disabled and veterans, are getting special attention, too.

Unemployed and underemployed D.C. residents? Not so much.

Indeed, if Mr. Gray has an obvious shortcoming (other than the federal probing of his 2010 campaign), it’s abating joblessness among residents.

All politicians talk about human capital, but mostly the chatter comes in the form of scooping out public coffers.

The timing of Mr. Gray’s re-election launch, with fresh numbers announced on Friday, presents a most perfect opportunity for him to literally stand head and shoulders above the Democratic pack and detail where the employment buses are heading.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected].

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