Business Organizations Call On D.c. Officials For Urgent Measures To Stop Violent Crime

Dozens of business trade groups have urged D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council to take decisive action against repeat offenders responsible for the surge in violent crimes in the nation’s capital.

In a letter addressed to the mayor and lawmakers, 70 national groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are urging action to address a pressing issue that not only threatens the safety and prosperity of our community, but also the well-being of our employees and their families.

In a joint statement, the groups emphasized the urgent need for the City Council to address the issue of violent offenses. They urged the Council to take immediate action and focus on targeting the small group of organized and repeat criminals who are predominantly responsible for these crimes.

The letter was also signed by prominent organizations such as the National Retail Federation, American Bankers Association, and American Public Transportation Association. Additionally, trade groups representing industries including airlines, hotels, clothing, travel, groceries, manufacturing, and life insurance also added their signatures to the letter.

According to reports, Washington, D.C. is standing out on a national level when it comes to the increase in crime. Recent incidents of carjackings, homicides, and random acts of violence have contributed to this alarming trend.


The letter highlighted various recent incidents that have garnered significant attention. One such case involved the tragic shooting of Mike Gill, a prominent local business leader and former Trump administration official, who lost his life in a carjacking incident on K Street just last month.

The Chamber of Commerce has officially confirmed on Monday that Drew Maloney, a member of the organization and president of the American Investment Council, took the lead in drafting the letter following Gill’s passing. Maloney, who was a close friend of Gill’s, played a crucial role in spearheading this initiative.

“The need for collective action is essential to solve this problem, and that’s why the U.S. Chamber, along with Drew Maloney and downtown businesses, has come together to send a clear message to the D.C. government. We believe that change is necessary to effectively address the rising crime rates and ensure the safety of our city,” stated Tom Wickham, a senior vice president at the business lobbying group, in response to The Washington Times.

According to the letter, police statistics reveal a concerning trend: homicide rates in the District rose by 35% from 2022 to 2023. In contrast, during the same time frame, cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix experienced a decrease of over 10% in their homicide rates. These statistics highlight the need for urgent action in the District to address this alarming increase.

According to data from the Metropolitan Police Department mentioned in the letter, there was a significant increase in armed robberies in the District, with a 70% jump from 2022 to 2023. Additionally, overall violent crimes saw a 39% increase during this time. Carjackings also more than doubled, reaching a total of 950 incidents last year.

According to a study conducted by the MPD and National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, the recent surge in gun-related violence can be attributed to a small group of “200 individuals” who have a history of repeat offenses.

The letter highlighted a series of prominent incidents that posed a threat to the District’s reputation as the notorious “murder capital” it was in the 1980s and ’90s. Along with Gill’s tragic death, these events were deeply concerning.

Vivek Teneja, the CEO of a local tech company contracted by the federal government for cybersecurity services, tragically lost his life last month when he was assaulted by an unidentified man just a few blocks away from the White House. Despite ongoing investigations, the attacker remains at large.

Last fall, Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, had a harrowing experience when he was targeted in a carjacking incident on Capitol Hill.

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested by the D.C. police on first-degree murder charges for the shooting that took place last summer. The incident involved the tragic death of Nasrat Ahmad Yar, a Lyft driver and a father of four who had previously worked as a translator for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. The fatal incident occurred during an attempted carjacking after Ahmad Yar had completed a late-night trip in Northeast.

On Valentine’s Day last month, a shooter injured three police officers in Southeast.

A man has been arrested by the police on charges of carrying out six armed robberies at a single Walgreens store in Chinatown over the course of the last six months.

The letter also cautioned that relocating the Washington Capitals of the NHL and the Washington Wizards of the NBA from their current Chinatown arena to a new location in Northern Virginia could potentially worsen the already rapid decline of downtown D.C., leading to an increase in violent crime.

Tensions between federal officials and the D.C. government have escalated, making the arrival of the letter all the more significant.

In March of last year, President Biden took action by signing a congressional resolution, led by the GOP, to overturn a crime bill in D.C. The bill had proposed reducing the maximum penalty for specific crimes, such as carjackings.

The D.C. Council is gearing up for a second vote on Tuesday to consider the “Secure DC” crime bill, which has been revised to include several key measures. These include the expansion of temporary drug-free zones, the reinstatement of pre-pandemic restrictions on wearing ski masks, and granting police the authority to engage in car chases in order to apprehend dangerous individuals.

In January, Council member Brooke Pinto, a Democrat representing Ward 2 and Chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, introduced the legislation. At that time, Mayor Bowser expressed her support for the proposal.

“In 2023, we witnessed the positive impact of this legislation on our city,” Ms. Bowser emphasized. “Now, we have the opportunity to solidify these provisions and shift our focus towards implementing long-term strategies and policies that will further enhance the safety of our city.”

The business groups, in a letter on Thursday, acknowledged the vote and stated their willingness to work together with the council. They emphasized the importance of implementing effective measures to reduce crime and improve the overall safety of the city.

“Our organizations are fully dedicated to reintegrating our employees into our physical office locations in downtown and across the District. This initiative will not only contribute to the city’s tax base but also provide a much-needed boost to the local economy,” emphasized the letter. “By working together, we can establish an environment that cultivates economic growth, prosperity, and security for all.”

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