Vincent Gray - speakerbookingagency

Vincent Gray Speaker & Booking Information

Seventh Mayor of the District of Columbia

Category: Government and Political Officials

Speaker’s Fee Range: Please Contact
Travels From: Washington, DC, USA

About Vincent Gray

Vincent Gray Biography

Vincent C. Gray was sworn in as the District of Columbia's sixth elected mayor on January 2, 2011. On November 2, 2010, he was decisively elected, receiving over 75% of the vote. During his campaign, he promised to help bring the District back together by concentrating on job creation and economic growth, a collaborative approach to school reform, safer streets in all areas, and returning budgetary responsibility to city government. The Gray Administration is making progress on the Mayor's four top priorities: ensuring a quality public education for all District children, creating jobs and economic development opportunities for District residents, ensuring residents are and feel safe regardless of neighborhood, and ensuring the city is fiscally sound. Mayor Gray is likewise committed to giving District of Columbia taxpayers sovereignty and genuine democracy, as well as to improving health outcomes. Mayor Gray, a lifelong Washingtonian, has relentlessly worked for District residents for more than 30 years. His commitment to children and their families has been a defining feature of his work in both local administration and the non-profit sector. His career in public service to the District is best summed up by a single governing philosophy: "The District of Columbia operates best as "One City." His methodical attitude to public service originated from humble roots. He grew up in a one-bedroom apartment around 6th and L Streets in New York City. Despite the fact that his parents never finished high school, they instilled in him a strong work ethic and sincerely held ideals. Mayor Gray attended Logan Elementary and Langley Junior High Schools before graduating from Dunbar High School at the age of 16, where he excelled in academics and sports. Despite being scouted by two Major League Baseball clubs, the Mayor elected to further his education by studying psychology at The George Washington University on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. During his junior and senior years at George Washington, he became the first African-American accepted to the GW fraternity system and the first individual to spend consecutive terms as Chancellor of Tau Epsilon Phi. Vincent C. Gray's professional career began with The Arc of DC (then known as the Association of Retarded Citizens). He successfully pushed for creative policy ideas on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities at The Arc, and he championed the closing of the District-run Forest Haven mental facility, which was exposed for bad facilities and patient maltreatment. Gray was nominated to the position of Director of Human Services by then-Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly in 1991. He handled the responsibilities of a 7,000-person agency and directed activities in Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health Services, and Health Care Finance as Director. In this capacity, the Mayor oversaw the execution of many projects aimed at meeting children's developmental needs. He was designated the inaugural Executive Director of Covenant House Washington, an international faith-based organization devoted to supporting homeless and at-risk kids, in December 1994. During his decade as CEO of Covenant House, Mayor Gray helped to make the organization one of the most effective of its kind in the District, and he led successful campaigns to purchase and renovate a crisis center for homeless youth and a multi-purpose center, as well as to build a new community service center in the District's far southeast community. Mayor Gray's commitment to his community and Ward 7 inhabitants spurred a successful campaign for elected office in 2004, when he easily beat the incumbent in the primary. During his first tenure as Ward 7 Councilmember, he led a Special Committee for Youth Violence Prevention and established the Effi Barry HIV/AIDS campaign. Gray campaigned for the citywide post of Chairman of the Council two years after entering the Council. Running on the theme of One City, he maintained his focus on reconciling his hometown's different racial and economic groupings. He received 98 percent of the vote in the general election. Gray was a great advocate for school reform as Chairman, and was a pioneer in attempts to strengthen the Council's operations, transparency, and monitoring capabilities. He was the driving force behind the Pre-K Expansion and Enhancement Act, which established a voluntary, high-quality pre-school program with 2,000 extra classroom places for three- and four-year-olds over the course of six years. Because of the Mayor's efforts, the objective was fulfilled in September of 2010, well ahead of the 2014 deadline. Mayor Gray has resided in Ward 7's Hillcrest area for almost 25 years. Loretta, an accomplished educator in the DC Public Schools, died of cancer in 1998. He is the father of two children, Jonice Gray Tucker and Vincent Carlos Gray, as well as two grandkids.

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