University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg called for the improvement of the city’s school system and decrease of its deficit in a speech Monday.
Trachtenberg, who also serves as chairman of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, delivered the “State of D.C. Business” address at the first ever “State of Business Summit: Setting the Agenda for Economic Growth” at the Capital Hilton to hundreds of business community members.
Trachtenberg, a longtime D.C. powerbroker, became chairman of the chamber of commerce earlier this year. The organization acts as a lobbying group for the betterment of D.C. and its businesses.
During his speech, Trachtenberg addressed the trend of “income leakage,” where people work and earn a wage in the city but live elsewhere, paying taxes in Maryland or Virginia. In 2000, 71 percent of people working in the District did not live here, he noted.
“This is a disturbing trend no matter how you calculate it,” Trachtenberg said.
Trachtenberg also expressed support for Mayor Anthony Williams’ plan to draw more residents to the city.
“The questions, of course, contain the answers. We need a larger population, we need more skilled people, we need more housing, we need better schooling in order to compete with the suburbs,” Trachtenberg said.
Trachtenberg cited the estimated $1.4 billion D.C. structural deficit, calculated by the Brookings Institute, as a major obstacle to achieving any of his goals. The District’s deficit is unusually high in part because of the tax exemptions of scores of federal