Even though District of Columbia leaders and some residents expressed a cautious attitude towards Donald Trump’s victory, others unapologetically proclaimed their discontent for the next president of the United States.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is willing to give President-Elect Trump the benefit of the doubt. (Courtesy Photo)
Trump (R) was elected on Nov. 8 even though he did not get as many votes as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D). Nevertheless, District leaders and residents are prepared to move forward and deal with the reality of a Trump administration.
“I have a wait and see attitude,” former D.C. Council member Sandy Allen, who represented Ward 8 from 1996-2005, told the AFRO. “People from all over the country spoke . We have to really live and with and work with their choice.”
While Trump managed to get more than 270 electoral votes, he did it without the help of the District. Clinton carried the District with 93 percent of the vote, winning all of the city’s eight wards and all of its precincts.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) worked hard to see Clinton get elected but said she is willing to work with the Trump administration. “I want to congratulate President-Elect Trump,” Bowser said on Nov. 9 at a news conference. “Many of our residents are anxious about his term in office and we will be studying his policies and programs.”
The District of Columbia government participates in the inauguration of the president and Bowser said that Trump’s festivities will be no different.
“I do intend to participate in the parade and we will be working with his presidential inauguration committee,” she said. “I also want the new president to know what we do in D.C.”
D.C. Statehood Representative Franklin Garcia (D) said that he will work with the Trump administration, despite the sometimes hurtful tone of the billionaire during the campaign. “We are extending an olive branch to him,” Garcia told the AFRO.
“We want to look at ways that we can reach common ground and try to negate the negative messages about immigrants and Latinos that he expressed during the campaign. We are cautiously optimistic that we can work with him.”
Others, even though they will make the best of the situation, are still questioning how the Black community will fair.
“Now, we must pick ourselves up, get back in the race on our terms, and rely on God Almighty for where we go from here,” E. Faye Williams, president of the National Coalition of Black Women said in a statement. “As Black people, we have been down before and we have worked together to find meaning for all that happens to us. Life has gone on because we are survivors.”
Clinton’s loss to Trump also highlights an undertone of bias not only towards Blacks and other minorities but also towards women.
“Now we face a period of uncertainty with a President-Elect who won his election that appears to have expanded the racial and gender divide in historic fashion,” said Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. “This election has revealed the unfinished business of race in America and also showed that some women, especially White women, were not ready to elect the first woman president of the United States.”
Eugene Puryear, a leader with the ANSWER Coalition, wants to make it clear to Trump that not everyone will be happy to see him take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017.
“Progressive people from all over the country will be descending on Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017, to stage a massive demonstration along Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day,” he said.
Ward 8 resident Joshua Payne said he worries that Trump will face violent retaliation before or slightly after Inauguration Day.
“I think he will be assassinated before he takes the Oath of Office or within the first 100 days of being in office. I don’t wish him dead, but I do wish him out of office, even before he gets in,” he told the AFRO.
D.C. Editor LaTrina Antoine and Shantella Sherman contributed to this article.