Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and I met years ago, when he came out (as Councilman) for the citywide opening of our Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center, Washington, D.C.-Anacostia, on Good Road Road (a partnership with E Trade Financial). Years later, we have made a substantial impact in the area, and he is about to.
Mayor Gray, I believe, is just what the District needs. He is humble, steady, substantive, serious, yet does not take himself too seriously, and cares deeply about the everyday residents of the District. Soon after he was elected mayor, he and his wife were spotted leaving an event, with no security in sight, just walking down a local residential street in the District. This was a powerful statement about "a new way to lead," humbly and simply delivered to all.
Mayor Gray and I met up and reconnected at the dedication ceremony for my late friend Dr. Dorothy I. Height, during the dedication for the Dorothy I. Height Post Office in Washington, D.C. Dr. Height would be so very proud. She once called me, "a dreamer, with a shovel in my hand." I believe the same could be said by the new mayor. I believe the best is yet to come. Let's see.
Onward and with HOPE,
John Hope Bryant
John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama