When our country’s founders chose a location in 1790 for the new capital city, there weren’t many people living here. That has changed and today there are over 670,000 residents of Washington DC -- more than the states of Vermont and Wyoming. We’re a diverse group, too: 48% of us are African American, 44% White, 4% Asian and 11% are of Hispanic origins. Just about every ethnic group you can imagine is represented in our cultural “melting pot”.
We’re proud to live in the Nation’s Capital, but the truth is that most of us lead everyday lives quite separate and apart from the monuments, the government agencies, the embassies and the museums that constitute official Washington. We are everyday Americans.
We Work for a Living
· Most District residents (69%) work in the private sector, not in government.
· The vast majority of these work in various professional, scientific or technical services. Residents are also plumbers, painters, carpenters, electricians, and other skilled workers. Our offices get cleaned, our trash picked up, and our children taken care of by many hard-working men and women.
· A sizeable minority work for trade, professional and other associations. The good works of these non-profit associations extend way beyond the Beltway.
We Educate Our Children and Ourselves
· 123 public schools including 52 public charter schools and 92 private schools teach our children.
· 7 major private universities and our own public university, the University of the District of Columbia provide post-secondary education.
· 25 public libraries serve the District.
We Defend our Country
· Almost 10,000 men and women serve in Active Duty Military, more than are serving in 28 states.
· National Guard Duty: We have a National Guard contingent like every state.
· We’re home to some of the oldest, largest and most beautiful churches including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Washington National Cathedral.
· Virtually every denomination and faith tradition is represented here in hundreds of places of worship throughout the city.
We Take Care of Our Communities
· Non-partisan “Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners” and civic associations volunteer their time to improve our neighborhoods.
· A long history of boy and girl scouting continues today and serves youth across all four DC quadrants.
· Over 20 public community gardens and numerous neighborhood garden clubs work to beautify our residences and public spaces.
· Over 900 acres of athletic fields and playgrounds include 40 swimming pools and 73 recreation centers for the good health and enjoyment of our residents.
· Plus, 12 dog parks provide for the good health and enjoyment of our furry friends!
· Major professional men’s and women’s sports teams plus a variety of Little League teams are available.
· Book clubs, hiking clubs, singing clubs, golfing clubs – we have clubs enough to serve just about any interest or hobby you can imagine.
· And, we celebrate the seasons with spring house and garden tours, summer outdoor music events, fall Oktober Fests, and winter Christmas caroling.
Many of Us Are Long-Time Residents
§ Although young people are flocking to DC in record numbers (our population has grown by 100,000 in the past 10 years), nearly 40% of DC residents were born in the District.
§ Many families date their connection to the District to the Civil War and earlier.
§ The Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of Washington, DC, founded in 1865, is still very active.
Just like you, we raise our families, pay our taxes, serve on juries, fight for our country, and work together to create strong caring communities. Just like you, we deserve the rights and representation enjoyed by all Americans.