My Thoughts This Week
Dear members and friends in our community,
I spent most of the past week, like many of you, consumed with worry for our region and our country. Tensions were already high after several months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest economic and public health crisis any of us have ever experienced. Then, the tragic murder of George Floyd ignited an explosion of anger at ongoing racial inequity and injustice. Communities across our region are hurt, disoriented, and fractured.
We understand and support the desire to be heard through peaceful protests, recognizing we have a shared responsibility to remedy the underlying causes that have persisted for too long. And we all sincerely hope for a lasting end to the violence that has swept our nation over the past several days knowing this will not unite us in moving forward.
I want to thank the many government, community, and business leaders who have worked for years to address inequality and justice issues across our region. I also want to acknowledge everyone currently determined to bring about the healing we require. We need to turn this dark time into a clarion call for constructive action. We need to invite honest dialogue, listen to residents’ concerns, embrace accountability and transparency, and implement permanent solutions to make our diverse communities more equitable.
We have a long way to go and it won’t be easy. It is no secret that our region is plagued by deep racial divides ranging from income inequality to gaps in life expectancy. Access to many basic daily necessities is often uneven—including transit, healthcare, jobs, housing, safety, education, technology, and food. We must reverse such disparities, ensure fairness, create equal opportunities, and embrace our different stories.
We must strive for a country and national capital area in which all people are supported and protected—and we can make that vision a reality by refocusing our efforts on inclusive, equitable communities and economic growth.
At the Greater Washington Board of Trade, we know that an inclusive and equitable region is healthier, more vibrant, more competitive, and more productive. Achieving equity isn’t only the right thing to do, our collective future prosperity depends on it. We will continue to listen and are committed to working with our members and partners to be part of the solution. Our region and our residents deserve nothing less.
President & CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade