Mayor Anthony Williams to Receive History Award

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is proud to announce that the Mayor Anthony Williams will receive the Making D.C. History Award for Distinction in Civic Leadership at the Making D.C. History Awards on Friday, October 7, 2016.

Over the past four years, the Historical Society has honored sixteen Washingtonians and D.C.-based organizations whose enduring contributions to our community have helped create, define, and keep our city’s heritage. On Friday, October 7, 2016, the Historical Society welcomes five more history makers to the growing list of distinguished honorees, recognized for their contributions to the fabric of life in Washington, D.C.

About Mayor Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams made his debut as a D.C. official in 1995, when Mayor Marion Barry appointed him Chief Financial Officer. The position was created when Congress gave authority over the city’s spending, financial planning, borrowing, hiring, and contracts to a presidentially appointed District of Columbia Financial Control Board. The federal board was similar to panels established to guide New York and Philadelphia through earlier fiscal crises. Not only would the panel limit the city’s self-government, but it would also have authority to overrule decisions of Mayor Barry. The Control Board stipulated that the city had to restore services, pay off its debts, improve its credit rating, and balance its budget. If it balanced its budget for four years, the Control Board would be dissolved.

Mayor Anthony Williams, Executive Director, Federal City Council

Mayor Anthony Williams, CEO and Executive Director, Federal City Council

When Barry decided not to seek re-election in 1998, Williams ran, encouraged by Washingtonians who were impressed with his success at restoring the city’s financial health. Williams, a transplant from Los Angeles with degrees from Yale and Harvard and job experience in Boston, St. Louis, and the state of Connecticut, served two terms as mayor, between 1999 and 2007, and shepherded the city out from under the Control Board’s supervision.

Mayor Williams is credited with bringing Major League Baseball back to Washington (in 2005), paving the way for the new Walter E. Washington Convention Center, reducing crime, spurring commercial real estate development, restoring the city’s revenue base, and slimming down the D.C. government. Since 2012 Mayor Williams has served as chief executive officer and executive director of Federal City Council, an organization of civic leaders that works with public officials to solve key challenges facing the city.

Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/08/us/congress-creates-board-to-oversee-washington-dc.html; http://cfo.dc.gov/page/history-ocfo; Carol Ross Joynt, “Former Mayor Anthony Williams Recalls the Struggle to Get Baseball Back in Washington,” Washingtonian Oct. 12, 2012; Joe Heim, “Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams looks back on his life as a politician,” Washington Post Magazine, Oct. 29, 2015; Jonathan O’Connell, “D.C. Council, Tony Williams would like a word with you,” Washington Post, Mar. 4, 2016; http://www.federalcitycouncil.org/

About the Making D.C. History Awards
The Making D.C. History Awards is an annual event that supports the mission of the Historical Society and honors it as one of the city’s most important locally focused cultural institutions.

Friday, October 7, 2016
Presented by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in the historic
Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.

Honoree Reception
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Champagne and hors d’oeuvres with complimentary valet parking

Awards Presentation
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Seated dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Wendy Rieger, NBC4 News

Flashback D.C.
9:00 – 11:30 p.m.

Open bar & entertainment

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Other honorees includes:

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Policewoman directs traffic at 7th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW, ca. 1918. Photo by Zaccheus Spratt. (ZSI 132A)