Vincent C. Gray (born November 8, 1942) is an American politician who is currently serving as the seventh Mayor of the District of Columbia. Prior to his inauguration as mayor in January 2011, Gray served as Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, and as Councilmember for Ward 7. In the 1990s he also served as director of the DC Department of Human Services.
Vincent Gray is a native of Washington, DC, and graduated from Dunbar High School. He earned a B.A. in psychology at George Washington University, where he also took graduate courses.
Gray was one of the first African Americans to join the Jewish fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi. While in the fraternity, he was the first to serve two consecutive terms as President. Other school activities included the Newman Club, as well as football and basketball intramurals. Gray is also an avid participant in hand dancing, a D.C.-area derivative of Lindy hop.
In 2006, when Cropp decided not to run for another term as chairman but to run for mayor instead, Gray ran for chairman. He defeated his council colleague Kathleen Patterson in the Democratic primary, 57% to 43%, and then won the general election unopposed. In 2008, Gray successfully led his Council colleagues in passing the "Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Act of 2008", a program to provide universal pre-kindergarten to every three- and four-year-old in the District of Columbia by 2014, to increase early intervention and enhancement services for student success.
Mayor of the District of Columbia
Vincent Gray formally entered the race for Mayor of the District of Columbia on March 30, 2010.
He defeated Fenty by a 54 to 44 percent margin. In order to save the District $19 million in 2011, Gray proposed to furlough most District employees. including teachers. Workers would not be paid on four holidays, namely President's Day, Emancipation Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. The District Council voted in favor of the idea as part of a plan to save over $19 million for the District. On Presidents' Day, February 21, 2011, over 200 emergency calls made to 911 went unanswered since dispatchers were furloughed. During the April 11, 2011 debates on the 2011 United States federal budget, Mayor Vincent Gray and several other D.C. elected officials joined city residents outside the Hart Senate Office Building to protest budgetary line items that restricted the city's ability to spend its own locally-raised funds.
Vincent Gray has two children, Jonice Gray Tucker and Vincent Carlos Gray, and two grandchildren, Austin Gray Tucker and Jillian Gray Tucker. Gray's wife Loretta died in July 1998. Gray currently lives in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Ward 7. Gray is a Roman Catholic.
May 27th, 2011