Diversity & Inclusion
Economics / Innovation / Small businesses / Startups

Here’s how city leadership handled the (ahem) election at WDCEP’s Annual Meeting

It was a little awkward.

At WDCEP's 2016 Econ Showcase. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

The Washington, DC Economic Partnership held its Annual Meeting and Econ Showcase last Friday at the Convention Center — that yearly event when economic partnership leaders come together with D.C. government leaders and local business owners to celebrate the past year in economic development.
The theme this year was “We Make DC,” and as such, the econ showcase was full of made-in-D.C. products from electric bikes by Riide to local vodka via Republic Restoratives and much more. This year, however, especially given that the event fell so closely after a seismic election, organizers didn’t have the luxury of making the event all about local D.C. But boy, how we all tried.
It wasn’t until Mayor Muriel Bowser’s remarks, somewhat into the program, that the subject of the election (and the new president-elect) was broached at all. “This has been quite a week, hasn’t it?” Bowser quipped, before going on to give a rousing speech about the city’s duties come January.
“The other side of uncertainty is opportunity,” she said. “We are going to welcome a lot of new folks coming to town looking for jobs, looking for housing and supporting local businesses.” The message here was clearly an attempt to say that no matter your political preferences, upset or concern, the influx of attention paid to D.C. that will come with the new federal administration will be good for business.
Still, while being supremely careful not to mention President-elect Donald Trump by name, Bowser did offer some words on the values her administration holds to. “This is not your grandfather’s Washington,” she said. “We are stronger because we are diverse. We are stronger because we are inclusive.”

Companies: Riide / Washington, DC Economic Partnership
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