D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams
October 16, 2006 • University Club, Washington, D.C.
Anthony A. Williams
Mayor of the District of Columbia
It is truly an honor to be here as mayor, as a colleague and as a friend, to celebrate the work of this great University.
I commend you for your success in preparing a generation of faith leaders who are broadly educated, passionately engaged, and capable of translating in a complex environment the lasting values which are the hallmarks of a human, humane, and civilized world.
People of genuine faith strengthen the moral fabric of a country. I recognize that the work we do in government cannot be accomplished effectively without the faith-based community.
It's been said so many times, but I can personally attest to it - We live in a different world than ten years ago - and our environment continues to change rapidly.
All of us who lead city governments - all of us in public service - are grappling with new challenges. All of us have reevaluated how to best lead our citizens in these anxious times. I know I have.
Challenges of Leading a City
As Mayor of this great city, I fulfill many roles.
I'm the chief constable - ensuring our neighborhoods are safe.
The chief economist - responsible for attracting new businesses and jobs for residents.
The chief planner - ensuring that our city grows sustainably, with the proper mix of business and housing.
I'm also the chief housekeeper - making sure we pick up our garbage and our city runs on time.
But perhaps my most important - and most difficult - role is that of chief counselor.
Some of the saddest moments I've had were consoling:
Those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
The families of the children who died in Flight 77.
The families of the Pentagon workers who died on September 11.
The families of the postal workers who died of anthrax. Having grown up in a postal family, I especially shared their loss.
The many District residents who have lost loved ones to violence in our city.
But through it all, it is faith that has sustained us.
Challenges of leading the Nation's Capital
As the Mayor of the Nation's Capital - the challenges of leading a city are even greater.<
Washington DC is the heart of the region and a key to the region's economic and social health.
It's my job not only to ensure that the District of Columbia runs well - but that the federal government can go about its daily business - that has never been so important as now.
As we prepare to transition to a new administration, we leave the city in better shape than we found it and stronger then it ever was. While we still have more to do, we are much closer to realizing our goals.
Mount St. Mary's has earned a reputation as one of the best seminaries in the nation. Saints like Mother Seton and Mother Theresa have walked these grounds.
Jesus teaches us in Matthew that when we use our talents faithfully, we will be given more responsibility.
This university has a responsive and talented student body so I challenge you to give back to your communities - and to help make the world a better place.
Thank you and God bless each of you!