Though I was born in Brooklyn, NY, my rearing has been in the DC area (namely PG County MD and DC respectively). I have witnessed this area morph into a cosmopolitan city complete with Michelin starred eateries, designer brands opening up shop and reality TV recognizing the star power of its residents.
Due to a faux pas of Washingtonian magazine, DC native, Angel Gregorio of the Spice Suite along with activist and author Tony Lewis, Jr. decided to create a movement that would better depict what native DC residents look like. It started with a picture and grew into what will forever be known now as D.C. Natives Day! The resolution was introduced by Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and approved on April 2nd.
No matter what side of the gentrification coin you side with, the energy felt yesterday was palpable. I simply went to get out of the house and enjoy the weather but quickly became engulfed in the spirit of the moment. There is a true love for this city, and it spreads across generations, gender, ethnicity and economic standing. I witnessed nothing but smiles, warm embraces, entrepreneurial spirit and pride for an area that has grown into a place that people looking to make roots now flock to.
As for my opinion, I love D.C. I didn’t start my #TourYourTown series for no reason. There is always something new to see – there is beauty in the history as well as the modern aesthetic. It is not without its faults (homelessness, impossible housing costs, etc.) but as long as we continue to come together to make improvements I think a happy medium can be reached.
My kids are DC Natives and I make sure they have a pride for their city. I will see to it that they do their part in contributing to its care.