Almost Mayor Vince Gray told reporters gathered on a driveway outside the West Wing today that President Barack Obama is down with D.C. and wants to be more involved with his new(ish) home town.
“The president really wants to work closely with our city,” said Gray, after having a lunch meeting with the prez. “He indicated to me, he said, ‘I want to do more in the city,’ he said, ‘I want to do more for the city.'”
Gray said he and Obama talked about the District’s education reform efforts (the president supports ’em) and ways to make sure the new Department of Homeland Security HQ in Ward 8 doesn’t become some high security fortress that’s completely seperate from the residents who live nearby (the president also supports that idea).
As expected, WTOP’s Mark Plotkin asked Gray whether he’d begged Obama to add a “No Taxation Without Representation” license place to the presidential limo. Gray said he brought the license plate issue up, but Obama didn’t give a firm answer either way. The president also expressed his “unequivocal” support for District voting rights, Gray said.
Overall, Gray said the meeting went better than expected, and more meetings between Obama’s staff and city staff are to come.