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D.C. Council chairman blames budget delay on mayor’s office

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D.C. Council chairman blames budget delay on mayor’s office


The chair of the D.C. Council on Monday canceled this week’s planned delivery and presentation of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s fiscal 2025 budget proposal — an unusual step that he blamed on the mayor’s administration.

Typically, Bowser (D) presents her annual budget proposal at a morning meeting, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, and then answers more questions about her proposal at a council hearing that was planned for Friday. But in an email to the entire council Monday morning, Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) canceled both of this week’s meetings and said the city’s Chief Financial Officer Glen Lee — who must first certify Bowser’s budget proposal before she transmits it to the council — still had not received it. Natalie Wilson, a spokeswoman for Lee, confirmed Monday afternoon that the budget still had not been transmitted.

A spokesperson for Bowser did not return multiple requests for comment Monday.

The delay threatens to further complicate a budget season that has already sparked discussions about potential cuts and tax increases to fill the financial gaps, as the city grips with modest revenue growth projections, an unstable commercial real estate market and some major upcoming expenses paired with expiring pandemic-era federal aid.

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To ensure a timely start to budget deliberations, council members in January voted on fiscal 2025 budget submission requirements that called on Bowser to deliver her proposal no later than Wednesday. Under D.C. law, the council has 70 days after the mayor transmits her budget proposal to adopt a final version, kick-starting its tight annual timeline to hold dozens of agency hearings, make revisions and hold multiple votes.

Further complicating the situation is that Lee this year reiterated his office’s request to have 10 days to certify the mayor’s budget once he received it before it could be presented to the council. Wilson said the CFO has always had a “pencils-down” date set 10 days before the mayor delivers her budget to the council, giving them enough time to ensure the proposal is balanced and that any documents are legally sufficient.

Lee reminded city leaders of that timeline in a Feb. 5 memo to Mendelson, City Administrator Kevin Donahue and the budget directors for both the council and Bowser’s administration, noting he’d need to receive the budget on or before March 10 to stay on schedule. In a March 11 letter to the same group, Lee noted that because the budget proposal had not been sent to his office by March 10, it could not be transferred to the council this Wednesday as planned.

In an interview, Mendelson said the delay was unusual. If the budget delivery is delayed until the end of March, he said, the council’s 70-day window to approve it would bump right up against the District’s June 4 primary election where several members are on the ballot for reelection.

“Campaigning takes full time. Considering a $20 billion budget takes full time. The last several weeks when we are voting — and we vote twice — are all consuming with the budget,” Mendelson said. “You throw in the campaign, and it becomes unthinkable.”

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Mendelson said there have also been disagreements between the CFO and legislators in recent weeks about how quickly the city must move to replenish its local reserves. He said while that may have initially slowed things down, Bowser’s administration had identified a plan last week.

“The reserves are not the issue for the delay,” he said.



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Washington, D.C

Washington, DC Tops List Of 'America's Hardest-Working Cities'

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Washington, DC Tops List Of 'America's Hardest-Working Cities'


In a nation known for its strong work ethic, some cities stand out as shining examples of the American spirit. After all, work is the backbone of the American dream. A recent study by WalletHub set out to identify the hardest-working cities in the United States, comparing 116 of the most populated cities across 11 key metrics. Who came out on top? Results point to our nation’s capital, Washington, DC!

The study offers a fascinating insight into the work habits of Americans and the factors that contribute to a city’s overall work ethic. Conducted in February 2024, researchers looked at two main dimensions: “Direct Work Factors” and “Indirect Work Factors.” Direct Work Factors, which accounted for 80% of the total score, included metrics such as average workweek hours, employment rate, and the share of households where no adults work. Indirect Work Factors, which made up the remaining 20%, considered aspects like average commute time, the share of workers with multiple jobs, and annual volunteer hours per resident.

With that said, let’s take a look at the full list!

Hardest-Working Cities in the U.S.

Overall Rank*  City Total Score  Direct Work Factors Rank  Indirect Work Factors Rank 
1 Washington, DC 76.97 4 9
2 Irving, TX 76.39 1 46
3 Cheyenne, WY 76.15 7 27
4 Virginia Beach, VA 75.79 8 11
5 Anchorage, AK 75.55 3 85
6 Norfolk, VA 75.27 9 14
7 Dallas, TX 75.21 5 32
8 San Francisco, CA 74.67 6 40
9 Denver, CO 73.93 12 22
10 Austin, TX 73.82 2 79
11 Sioux Falls, SD 73.56 11 74
12 Corpus Christi, TX 73.44 10 76
13 Plano, TX 72.84 14 38
14 Fort Worth, TX 72.14 16 30
15 Arlington, TX 72.12 15 31
16 Chesapeake, VA 71.85 30 7
17 Aurora, CO 71.68 24 16
18 Laredo, TX 70.98 23 62
19 Garland, TX 70.90 25 21
20 Nashville, TN 70.52 13 77
21 Manchester, NH 70.24 34 35
22 Omaha, NE 70.00 36 25
23 Raleigh, NC 69.92 29 29
24 Charlotte, NC 69.89 33 24
25 Chandler, AZ 69.74 20 64
26 Scottsdale, AZ 69.70 17 78
27 Houston, TX 69.24 26 51
28 Gilbert, AZ 68.75 31 50
29 Tampa, FL 68.55 19 97
30 Boston, MA 68.45 49 3
31 Fremont, CA 68.22 37 33
32 Seattle, WA 68.05 51 6
33 Atlanta, GA 67.86 32 69
34 Portland, ME 67.72 40 57
35 Colorado Springs, CO 67.43 52 17
36 Oklahoma City, OK 66.95 22 101
37 Indianapolis, IN 66.91 47 18
38 St. Petersburg, FL 66.78 28 100
39 Orlando, FL 66.71 21 107
40 Jacksonville, FL 66.42 18 109
41 Lubbock, TX 66.40 39 98
42 Baltimore, MD 66.38 71 2
43 San Antonio, TX 66.14 35 86
44 Salt Lake City, UT 66.02 66 5
45 Phoenix, AZ 65.90 41 54
46 Durham, NC 65.80 43 88
47 Fargo, ND 65.52 48 63
48 Little Rock, AR 65.32 38 115
49 Kansas City, MO 65.25 50 41
50 San Jose, CA 65.19 42 55
51 Miami, FL 64.91 27 114
52 Oakland, CA 64.67 53 42
53 Boise, ID 64.18 63 48
54 Portland, OR 64.17 83 1
55 El Paso, TX 64.13 64 43
56 Jersey City, NJ 63.89 58 37
57 Louisville, KY 63.82 57 34
58 Honolulu, HI 63.72 46 110
59 Tulsa, OK 63.57 45 111
60 Billings, MT 63.48 62 66
61 Minneapolis, MN 62.77 77 13
62 Des Moines, IA 62.75 69 67
63 Lexington-Fayette, KY 62.52 54 102
64 Wichita, KS 62.36 56 105
65 Glendale, AZ 62.34 70 47
66 Jackson, MS 62.11 60 106
67 San Diego, CA 61.95 59 80
68 Columbus, OH 61.94 65 59
69 Irvine, CA 61.62 55 89
70 Fort Wayne, IN 61.56 68 93
71 Hialeah, FL 61.44 44 112
72 Santa Ana, CA 61.29 61 87
73 Lincoln, NE 61.25 82 28
74 Mesa, AZ 61.13 72 61
75 Long Beach, CA 60.69 74 65
76 St. Louis, MO 60.65 81 36
77 St. Paul, MN 60.56 85 12
78 Anaheim, CA 60.49 73 75
79 Reno, NV 60.45 75 90
80 Los Angeles, CA 60.14 76 60
81 Chula Vista, CA 60.11 78 53
82 Winston-Salem, NC 59.59 79 92
83 Henderson, NV 59.19 80 71
84 Philadelphia, PA 58.52 98 8
85 Birmingham, AL 58.29 67 108
86 North Las Vegas, NV 58.14 84 49
87 Chicago, IL 57.71 89 39
88 Las Vegas, NV 57.28 88 58
89 Cincinnati, OH 57.23 97 20
90 Bakersfield, CA 56.29 93 72
91 Albuquerque, NM 56.16 92 84
92 Memphis, TN 55.91 91 73
93 Riverside, CA 55.36 94 68
94 New Orleans, LA 55.26 87 96
95 Greensboro, NC 55.08 96 94
96 Sacramento, CA 54.96 90 95
97 Wilmington, DE 54.60 95 81
98 Pittsburgh, PA 54.41 104 19
99 New York, NY 53.70 101 44
100 Baton Rouge, LA 53.43 100 91
101 Madison, WI 52.98 99 104
102 Milwaukee, WI 52.85 108 10
103 Charleston, WV 52.61 86 116
104 Stockton, CA 52.28 106 15
105 Tucson, AZ 51.94 102 99
106 Providence, RI 51.60 107 26
107 San Bernardino, CA 50.62 105 83
108 Columbia, SC 50.33 103 113
109 Cleveland, OH 50.00 110 23
110 Fresno, CA 48.86 109 82
111 Bridgeport, CT 48.31 112 4
112 Toledo, OH 47.50 111 52
113 Newark, NJ 43.19 113 45
114 Buffalo, NY 39.22 114 103
115 Detroit, MI 39.08 115 70
116 Burlington, VT 34.43 116 56
Note: *No. 1 = Hardest Working
With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

A Closer Look At The Top 3

So why did Washington, D.C. emerge as the hardest-working city? This is due, in part, to the city having the highest share of workers who leave vacation time unused at 64%. Residents of D.C. also work the third-most hours per week on average and are willing to take relatively long commutes to work, adding over 30 minutes to their workday. Additionally, more than 30% of the District’s residents are members of local volunteer groups or organizations, showcasing their dedication to their community.

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Irving, TX, secured the second spot on the list, largely because it has the lowest share of households where no adults work, at only 11%. Irving also ranks ninth in the country for the mean number of hours worked per week. However, this hard work comes at a cost, with Irving residents having significantly less leisure time compared to people in most other cities.

Cheyenne, WY, rounded out the top three, with residents putting in the third-most hours per week, on average. The city boasts one of the highest employment rates in the country, at over 97%, meaning nearly all working-age residents are employed. Cheyenne also has the seventh-highest rate of workers with multiple jobs, at nearly 7%. As a result, people in Cheyenne have the third-lowest amount of leisure time, on average.

Methodology

The WalletHub study employed a comprehensive methodology to determine the hardest-working cities in America. The research team evaluated 116 of the most populated cities using two key dimensions: “Direct Work Factors” and “Indirect Work Factors.” These dimensions were assessed using 11 key metrics, each graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the “hardest-working.”

The Direct Work Factors dimension, which accounted for 80% of the total score, included six metrics. The average workweek hours were given the highest weight (triple weight, ~36.92 points), as this metric directly measures the time spent working. The employment rate and the share of households where no adults work were both given full weight (~12.31 points each), as they provide insight into the overall employment situation in each city. The share of workers leaving vacation time unused and the share of engaged workers (a state-level metric) were assigned half weight (~6.15 points each), as they relate to work dedication and engagement. Finally, the idle youth (16-24) rate was also given half weight, as it indicates the proportion of young people not engaged in work or education.

The Indirect Work Factors dimension, which made up the remaining 20% of the total score, included five metrics, each given full weight (~4.00 points). The average commute time was included as it can significantly impact the total time spent on work-related activities. The share of workers with multiple jobs (a state-level metric) was considered as it reflects the need for some individuals to work more than one job. Annual volunteer hours per resident and the share of residents who participate in local groups or organizations were included to account for community engagement and additional time commitments outside of paid work. Lastly, the average leisure time spent per day (a state-level metric) was considered as it relates to work-life balance.

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To calculate the overall score for each city, the researchers determined the weighted average across all 11 metrics. The resulting scores were then used to rank-order the cities from hardest-working to least hard-working. To ensure a geographically diverse sample, the study included at least one city from each of the 50 states. It is important to note that the term “city” in this study refers specifically to the city proper and does not include the surrounding metropolitan area.

By employing this multi-faceted approach, the WalletHub study aimed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the work ethic in American cities. The methodology takes into account both direct measures of work, such as hours worked and employment rates, as well as indirect factors that can impact work-life balance and overall quality of life. This detailed analysis allows for a nuanced understanding of the factors contributing to a city’s overall work ethic and provides valuable insights for policymakers, employers, and residents alike.



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Lenox Memorial Middle High School Students Explore Washington, D.C.

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Lenox Memorial Middle High School Students Explore Washington, D.C.


For immediate release

LENOX — Principal Jeremiah Ames is pleased to share that more than 100 Lenox Memorial Middle High School students recently traveled to Washington, D.C.

For four days in March, 105 LMMHS sophomores and juniors explored the nation’s capital. The annual Washington trip has been strictly for juniors in the past, but moving forward it will be a sophomore trip. This year, the transition year, LMMHS allowed both classes to participate to ensure no student missed the opportunity. 

The trip is designed to augment the broad spectrum of curriculums offered at LMMHS. Most often, at least half of a group attending this trip has never traveled to the capital.

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Students visited a variety of museums and monuments including the White House and National Mall, WWII Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Institution Museums, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, and the U.S. Museum of African-American History and Culture, among others. 

The D.C. trip was coordinated by LMMHS staff members Sara Hamilton, Robin Getzen, David Pugh, and Lisa Wespiser.

“This trip to our nation’s capital is an event that our students look forward to each year,” said Principal Ames. “Not only is it a wonderful opportunity for Lenox students to get out of the classroom and experience the world outside of Lenox, but the trip allows our students to take what they’ve learned from the curriculum and apply it to real-world experiences. Thank you to all of the trip’s coordinators and everyone involved in making the D.C. trip successful!”



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‘Magnificent’: Japan gifts more cherry trees to Washington as token of enduring friendship

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‘Magnificent’: Japan gifts more cherry trees to Washington as token of enduring friendship



Japan sent the 250 new trees to the United States as the National Park Service rehabs the Tidal Basin. The trees also are arriving in time for the United States’ 250th birthday.

Japan plans to help adorn Washington, D.C., with even more of the capital’s famed cherry blossoms, a gift the Asian nation said will continue to serve as a token of an enduring friendship. 

President Joe Biden confirmed news of the 250 new trees on Wednesday after welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida back to the White House. 

“Like our friendship … these trees are timeless, inspiring and thriving,” Biden said at the ceremony. The gesture is meant to commemorate the United States’ 250th birthday in July 2026. 

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Prime Minister Kishida is in town for a visit and state dinner, and to “celebrate the deep and historic ties” between the two countries.

Here’s what we know.

Bond will continue to grow, just like cherry blossoms

Prime Minister Kishida said he decided to send over the trees as soon as he heard that some of the existing trees at the Tidal Basin would be replaced as a result of a multi-year rehab project by the National Park Service. 

The trees also were sent to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, he said. 

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“It is said that the cherry trees planted in this area have a lifespan of about 60 years … (yet) the trees have shown their strong vitality, blooming beautifully for more than a 100 years without wane,” Kishida said.

It’s a sentiment he is confident can be applied to the Japan-U.S. alliance, saying that it will continue to “grow and bloom around the world, thriving on friendship, respect and trust of the people of both countries.”

Cherry blossoms connect both countries, first gifted over a century ago 

The White House says they welcome the gesture, one that is set to support the rehab project for Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park.

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“It’s spring in Washington. The sun is shining. And every spring, cherry blossoms bloom across this city thanks to a gift from Japan of 3,000 cherry trees from over a century ago,” Biden said. “People travel all over our country and the world to see these magnificent blossoms.” 

The cherry trees, Biden says, were first gifted by Japan in 1912, are “an enduring reminder of the close bonds of friendship between Americans and Japanese,” according to The White House. It’s estimated that the trees draw about 1.5 million visitors to the D.C. area every year.

Biden said that he and First Lady Jill Biden and the Kishidas “took a stroll down the driveway, across the lawn here at The White House to visit three cherry blossom trees.

“One that Jill and Mrs. Kishida planted together a year ago and the other two are part of the 250 new trees that Japan is giving to the United States,” he said.

The new trees are set to be planted at the Tidal Basin not far from the Martin Luther King memorial, Biden said. 

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“May God bless the Japanese and American people,” he said.



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