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Gray Administration Kicks Off Start in September Effort to Green DC


(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced today the kickoff of “Start in September,” an ambitious initiative to create a comprehensive sustainability plan for the District. It includes the launch of a sustainability website designed to encourage residents to provide their ideas on how to make the District a greener, healthier, more livable city. The website address is

Through the new website and associated Start in September events, District officials hope to inspire dozens of community-led conversations that will gather ideas and goals for a more sustainable DC This will include an emphasis on: the green economy, energy, climate change, water, transportation, waste, food, the built environment and the natural environment.

“I want to make the District of Columbia the most sustainable city in America,” said Mayor Gray. “Through conversations had in kitchens, cafes, and conference rooms, we will be getting a broad range of creative ideas from our residents -- truly a group brainstorming session occurring across our One City.”

Earlier this summer, the Mayor announced his plans to convene a “Green Cabinet.” The DC Office of Planning (OP) and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) were selected to spearhead this effort.

The website offers DC residents a place to discuss their vision for a sustainable D.C., see what others are saying and vote on their favorite ideas. The website also offers resources to help residents facilitate their own discussions with family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends or classmates. These resources include a calendar featuring Start in September events around the District, a discussion guide to facilitate conversations about sustainability in DC, and an option to sign up for more updates throughout the sustainability planning process.

“By hosting or attending a Start in September conversation, residents are able to directly contribute to DC’s sustainability planning,” said OP Director Harriet Tregoning. “We are counting on the creativity and knowledge of the whole city to develop a solid foundation for the sustainability plan.”

“DC is a green leader in many areas, including green building, transit ridership and renewable energy, said DDOE Director Christophe Tulou. “But we still have plenty of room for improvement. Start in September is an easy way for residents to suggest new ideas and comment on others’ ideas to get DC to the next level.”

Start in September is just the beginning of this process. Over the next six months, the District government will gather more thoughts and ideas on how to make the District a more sustainable place to live, work and play. This feedback will be used to develop a city-wide sustainability plan for the District.

To host a Start in September conversation, or if you have any questions about Start in September or the overall goal of a sustainable DC, contact Laine Cidlowski ( or 202-442-8809) or Brendan Shane ( or 202-535-1907).