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Gray to name transition team

By Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig
Nikita R Stewart

Update, 111:42 a.m.: Rounding out Gray's transition team in partnerships will be Karl Racine, managing partner at Venable, and former attorney general Robert Spagnoletti, heading the area of legal affairs and public safety; Georgetown University law professor Peter Edelman and Mary's Center President and Chief Executive Maria Gomez advising on health and human services; Chinatown businessman Alexander Chi and former state superintendent of education John Parham consulting on bridging the city's divides; and transportation experts Thomas M. Downs and Cellerino C. Bernardino on government infrastructure and transportation.

Going solo will be Constance Berry Newman, a Republican who has had seven presidential appointments, advising on government operations.

Original post: Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray is scheduled to announce his transition team Wednesday -- a mix of national and local leaders, including former Mayor Anthony A. Williams, public education advocate Katherine Bradley and local Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Lang -- to help him shape policy and to build his Cabinet.

As expected, friend and confidante Lorraine Green, an Amtrak executive and an expert in human resources, will shepherd the effort that has drawn more than 900 volunteers.

Gray had publicized that Williams and economist Alice Rivlin, both credited with pulling the District out of its fiscal crisis during the congressional Control Board era, would advise him on the city's budget matters. Wednesday makes it official.

Gray will introduce the leaders of his transition team at noon at the Reeves Center before holding its first meeting in new transition offices there on the fourth floor.

The Washington Post learned of other transition team members through sources within the campaign.

Signaling that education will remain a top priority, Gray also will announce prominent picks to consult on school reform: Bradley, president and co-founder of CityBridge Foundation, a nonprofit that has pushed universal pre-K, and Michael Lomax, president and chief executive of the United Negro College Fund.

Bradley and Lomax have been targets of Gray's behind-the-scenes efforts to win over philanthropists and public education advocates concerned about the departure of Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. The discussions prompted Gray to tap Kaya Henderson, Rhee's deputy, as interim chancellor to reassure influential private donors that there would be continuity.

In his campaign against Fenty, however, Gray indicated that there would be a shift to broaden the scope of economic development and to focus on job training and creation. Lang, who has been president and chief executive of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce since 2002, will share responsibilities with Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, former president of George Washington University. Gray is an alum of the university.

Gray is expected to announce eight additional leaders of the transition team, but political observers are awaiting the selection of his Cabinet.

Business interests are expected to pressure Gray to retain some Fenty Cabinet members, including City Administrator Neil O. Albert; Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier; Linda K. Argo, director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; and Gabe Klein, director of the Department of Transportation, according to sources within the campaign. But Gray is also under pressure from supporters, particularly labor unions, to wipe the administration clean of any Fenty appointments.

-- Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig

By Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig  | November 3, 2010; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election, Nikita Stewart, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray, vincent gray  
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Comments

Bob Spagnoletti is a good choice. He will bring the broad perspective of one who has served as DC Attorney General, in the US Attorney's Office, and in private practice. Plus, he is ethical and honorable, and not afraid to speak out when critique is called for.

I hope the new Amendment requiring an elected AG becomes known as the "Nickles Lsw". It would be a fitting tribute to the man who singlehandedly destroyed the respect of the appointed AG position.

Posted by: nan_lynn | November 3, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow. What an impressive group of officials.

After reading the article, I couldn't help but chucked to myself how the sky didn't fall and Marion Barry's no where to be found.

I guess Team Fenty's doomsday predictions were wrong.

Posted by: bosslady1 | November 3, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I meant "Nickles LAW", obviously. I wish there were a typo-check feature on this...

Posted by: nan_lynn | November 3, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Keep Neil Albert, are you friggin kidding me? The man who shifted 85 million tax dollars to Housing Authroity? Give me a break.

And Gabe Klein is, quite frankly, not qualified to run a infrastruture driven agency like Transportation. We deserve the best and he aint it.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | November 3, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The new Mayor really should clean house at the cabinet level. Fenty put in some really unqualified people to run some very large agencies, i.e. DDOT. There is more to transportation than bike lanes. If you want to see this incompetence in action, go to the intersection of NY and Fla. Aves. during rush hour! We could use Spagnolettie again.

Posted by: PepperDr | November 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you PepperDr!!!!

Posted by: wardt30 | November 3, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Reuben Charles the director of Gray's transition team? He owes $236,620.74 in unpaid taxes to Illinois. So maybe Gray's appointments need to be cleaned up.

Posted by: nmoses | November 3, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Neil Albert should be shown the exit ASAP.

Posted by: 2belinda | November 3, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye Clarence Carter, Valerie Santos, Xavier Beltran, Barry Krisworth, Robin-Eve Jasper, and hopefully many others!

Posted by: Sunni11 | November 3, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Pepper is right on the money
If I was Gabe (DDOT), I will take exit like Rhee to save himself more embarrassment and go back to his hot dog selling joint, that’s where he belongs and not in transportation, this dude has no clue, changing the entire city road instead of decongesting the road he has f d of the roads with wrong traffic pattern and bike pattern, someone should do an eval on the N Y ave NE and Florida traffic that his crew changed, it’s a mess. Not even 1 more day ,

Posted by: irohmax | November 3, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

one city, how could gray keep neil albert who said kwame brown was the worst legislator this city has ever seen. not only did he say this but he said it to the washington business journal and they printed the quote. this will be the first test of how kwame challenges gray and how we really see grays respect for the incoming chair....stay tuned.

Posted by: real5 | November 3, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Neil Albert needs to be shown the exit. He shifted the contracts to Fenty's friends and has corruption written all over him...Gray's advisors need to do their homework, why trust someone who managed to survive 2 administrations?

Posted by: newday3 | November 3, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse


@Concernedaboutdc,

Gray knows that The Wash Post should be used as butt wipe and not for reference. Klein, Albert and Ago were Fenty's cohorts and would not work with council. During numerous city council hearings they arrogantly exhibited their disrespect of the will of the residents of the District of Columbia.

Also, add Valerie Santos to that, “GET THE HELL OUT OF DC” List.

Posted by: GoldCoast | November 4, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

It isn't often I agree with Concernedaboutdc, but I couldn't have said it better "re" Gabe Klein.

I mean, the man has been one embarrasment after another. His qualifications prior to this was working for a failing car rental agency, then after that he started a food truck catering service that catered then Mayor Fenty's birthday party. Two months later, he was head of DDOT.

Transportation directors typically have some level of transportation experience. An engineer of some sort, a traffic or infrastructure person, heck, maybe even someone with some level of infrasturure construction experience. But no, we had a guy whose previous job was that of a street vendor.

His "speedbump for anyone who wanted one" program failed miserably and had to be retracted as hundreds of speedbumps started going in all over NW DC without 5 minutes of study, until 3 council members started spending all their time dealing with the thousands of irate DC residents.

Gabe's version of smart, cost effective and efficient transportation policy is "bike lanes for everyone".

Spending enormous resources on these statistically underused things. 1-2% of all commutting trips in the city are taken by bike (on nice days of course) and yet he has spent tens of millions per year putting hundreds of miles of underused bike lanes in, taking travel lanes away from already crowded streets.

15th street? Immense failure. As of today, not even a year after it was installed they've demo'd the cycle track to rebuild it because it wasn't working properly. The PA Avenue bike lanes? National joke. Spent millions on it without study, without engineering to then scrap it 2 days before openining, having to completely redesign it.

I don't care who Gray picks for DDOT, as long as it isn't this hot dog vendor.

Posted by: Nosh1 | November 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Vincent Gray needs to clean house and wipe out all of the people who worked in the Fenty's administration.

Posted by: jcvirgo2000 | November 4, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Nosh1,

Also add New York and Florida Avenues to Klein’s list of DDOT debacles.

Posted by: GoldCoast | November 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Add Jesus Agirre from Parks and Recreation. Getting a permit has become the worst nightmare and considered yourself lucky if you get a response from anyone in his administration. Councilmember Thomas and Mayor Gray need to do some major clean up in DPR starting at the top.

Posted by: Gorty | November 6, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Add Jesus Agirre from Parks and Recreation. Getting a permit has become the worst nightmare and considered yourself lucky if you get a response from anyone in his administration. Councilmember Thomas and Mayor Gray need to do some major clean up in DPR starting at the top.

Posted by: Gorty | November 6, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

CLEAN HOUSE

Posted by: dsbnupe | November 7, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

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