Actually, Mr. President, D.C. Is Pretty Great


President Trump picked the wrong week to throw down on the District of Columbia.

On Friday, Trump complained that the city which surrounds his temporary quarters at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was run “poorly” and had inflated the cost of his coveted military parade, forcing him to postpone it.

One day earlier, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser congratulated the city’s public school students for improving standardized test scores for the third year in a row. Bowser trumpeted the good news from the foyer of a freshly modernized elementary school, price tag $68 million. It’s one of 14 schools rebuilt or renovated in the past two years — all part of the District’s $1.3 billion plan to refurbish all its public schools. Six modernized schools will open on Monday.

On the same day, prosecutors announced stiff sentences for five men taken down by D.C. cops and federal agents for selling crack, cocaine and heroin. Crime is down in the capital city—according to the Metropolitan Police Department, homicides are down 25 percent since 2007; burglaries are down 40 percent over the same time span.

While more than a few major cities battle deficits, this week, the District posted a reserve of $1.19 billion, according to the D.C. chief financial officer.

Oh, and J.P. Morgan Chase this week announced it’s expanding into Anacostia, the southeast neighborhood that in past decades was known less for piling up dollar bills than for piling up dead bodies in the District’s drug epidemic.

D.C. police started the week by managing the confrontation between 20 or so white nationalists who showed up in front of the White House and thousands of locals disgusted by the purveyors of hatred in their town. No punches thrown, no arrests, no disruption beyond downtown.

No, Mr. President, the city behind the monuments is far from “poorly” run. In fact—and it pains me as a critic of the government and its leaders to say it—Washington, D.C., functions as well as, or better than, any other major U.S. city.

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