In the past few months, we have had a
Councilmember indicted and our Mayor and Chairman under investigation, but that
does not mean our government is not functioning and doing its best for the
residents and businesses of the District.
We have partnered with the Mayor and his
administration on a number of business-friendly initiatives since he took
office in January of 2011. It is natural
that people are questioning the business community’s continued support with
regard to the current investigations of people close to the Mayor during his
2010 campaign; however, Mayor Gray’s leadership has proven beneficial for the
city and the business community in numerous ways:
- He introduced a Budget
proposal for FY13 (recently approved by the City Council) that introduces no
new taxes or fees on District businesses or residents. This will help make DC a more attractive
place in which to do business and allow our businesses to be competitive with
firms in neighboring states that have smaller tax burdens.
- The Mayor has introduced tax
incentives aimed at bringing new technology firms to the District. We have
already seen some success from this initiative, including Living Social’s
commitment to stay in the District.
- Mayor Gray has fashioned a
regulatory task force to look at opportunities to lessen the burden on
entrepreneurs, recognizing the problem--which the Chamber has been pointing out
for years--that DC’s regulatory red tape has made starting new businesses in
the City an enormous challenge.
- The recently announced Tax
Commission, to be headed by former Mayor Anthony Williams, is another step in
the right direction taken by Mayor Gray’s administration.
- One City – One Hire, the
Mayor’s flagship employment initiative, has recently celebrated some major
successes in its first year, boasting 3,000 jobs for District residents that
were on the unemployment rolls just a year ago, and resulting in recent
unemployment statistics that show we are employing more DC residents than
While we are very concerned about recent
actions by the U.S. Attorney, it is evident that despite the turbulence, Mayor
Gray is staying focused on doing his job—improving the city and lives of
District residents. It is of the utmost
importance that our Mayor be able to remain focused on his duty, and Mayor Gray
has proven his ability to do so.