Ward 7 Councilman Vincent Gray (WI file photo)
Ward 7 Councilman Vincent Gray (WI file photo)

Ward 7 Councilman and former Mayor Vincent Gray has never sat still — not when it comes to trying to improve the quality of life for District residents.

He’s been outspoken about St. Elizabeths Hospital, and was one of the first to respond to reports of a meningitis case at Burrville Elementary School.

Among Gray’s most recent pieces of legislation, the council member seeks to move an anti-vaping bill to discourage young people from the practice amid rising nationwide fear related to rising vapor-related illnesses and death.

Gray has no plans to quit. He’s announced his reelection campaign where he hopes to have more of an impact in Ward 7.

“When I launched my campaign four years ago, I said, ‘The hope and promise of Ward 7 cannot slip away,’” Gray said. “By working together we have reinvigorated communities. Projects that were stalled are succeeding now. Progress is no longer something we wait for, it is something we are seeing. Residents of Ward 7 and people across the District deserve more.

“I have dedicated my entire career to serving and uplifting District residents, especially those with the greatest needs,” he said. “For every person who we’ve helped, for every achievement we’ve celebrated, there are countless others that require our commitment. Our work is not finished.”

Recently, after bacteria was detected in the water at St. Elizabeths, Gray, the chair for the Committee on Health, immediately began working with the Department of Behavioral Health to correct the situation which was cleared shortly after.

“I am very pleased to learn that…the water system at St. Elizabeths Hospital has been successfully treated and all bacteria has been eliminated,” Gray said.

In response to the case of bacterial meningitis at Burrville Elementary earlier this year, Gray reached out to the Department of Health and school officials, who immediately worked to assure the safety of all students and staff.

“While I am relieved to learn that DCPS and DC Health acted swiftly to inform affected school families as soon as DC Health was alerted of the meningitis case, I am extremely concerned that the rest of the Burrville school families received no communication about this critical and potentially fatal health matter,” Gray said in October.

Carrie L. Thornhill, a longtime resident of Ward 7, will chair Gray’s campaign.

For a number of years, Thornhill has been actively engaged in public education reform, community development and social action. She serves as the chair of the Dunbar High School Alumni Federation and she has served as chair of the Washington East Foundation, vice president for Youth Investment and Community Outreach with DC Agenda, president of the Committee on Strategies to Reduce Chronic Poverty, project manager for the DC Kids Count Collaborative, CEO of Pre-K for All DC and a mayoral appointee to the District of Columbia Board of Education, the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the University of the District of Columbia.

“Before taking office in January 2017, I convened a Ward 7 summit that was attended by more than 400 residents and stakeholders,” Gray said. “The agenda that emerged from the summit has shaped my work on behalf of Ward 7 residents.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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