It's the hidden gems and local neighborhoods and hot spots. It's the art, music, food, and culture, and yes even the tourists on the National Mall. The marble and stone, the cherry blossoms and sounds of the Tidal Basin. It's the Anacostia and the Potomac and the rowers on an early morn'. It's Ben's Chili Bowl and Julia's Empanadas and Mumbo Sauce everywhere. It's cheering on the Nats and Caps with friends and strangers alike. The feeling of being a small part of the history and awe of this nation, the feeling you get knowing that change happens here. It's Red Line Delays and your friendly WMATA Bus driver. It's old and historic neighborhoods filled with stories and multiple generations of Washingtonians; yet also new and modern neighborhoods with stories yet to be written.It's the people. It's the place. It's the purpose. It's Washington, DC - and there truly is no other place I'd rather be.

Watching the sun slip away late in the afternoon while enjoying the views and gentle sounds of water at the Tidal Basin never gets old, but neither does watching it rise again early the next morning from high above Rock Creek Park on the Taft Bridge, the sun’s rays weaving in and out of the trees and peppering the ground below with golden light. There are lots of beautiful places in our city, but it’s not the neoclassical buildings that house the government or the federal and Georgian style homes that residents retreat to in the evening that define DC. Nor is it the shorelines of the Potomac that carve part of our city limits. It’s our people. DC has been a catalyst for justice and equality for all. We’re a community of people who work tirelessly and protest properly for what is right. We embrace people from all around the world to come here and make DC their home too. It’s a city defined by ideas and ideals much bigger than ourselves. It’s about social justice, the words and passion of Bayard Rustin, Mary McLeod Bethune and of course Frederick Douglass. It’s about Chuck Brown and Go-Go music. It’s a city that won’t tolerate hate, racism, homophobia, or discrimination of any kind. It’s about love.

DC is more than the government, lobbyists, and contractors. It has a community full of creatives and wellness fighters that is overshadowed by the government. There is multiple neighborhoods that are blossoming with community, art, and food. It is diverse, welcoming, and understanding. I love DC and the melting pot of people that make it such a beautiful place.