Mayoral inauguration invitations go to broad group of VIPs

January 17, 2013

Only a few dozen prominent Washingtonians earned invites to the Wilson Building reviewing stand. (Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post)

Mayor Vincent C. Gray has extended invitations to some of the city’s most prominent figures in business, lobbying, sports and education to watch Monday’s inaugural festivities from the John A. Wilson Building.

Gray’s office released two lists of invitees Wednesday night in response to a Washington Post request — one list of about 480 people invited to an open house in the Wilson Building, plus another, more exclusive list of about 60 invited to watch the inaugural parade from the city’s $342,000 enclosed and heated viewing stand.

Mayoral spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said not all of those invited have RSVP’d or will attend on Monday.

Among those making the VIP invite list for the viewing stand: Developers Bill Alsup, Doug Jemal, Deborah Ratner Salzberg and Sandy Wilkes; LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy and tech investor Jonathon Perrelli; lobbyist David Carmen; politically active business owners Tony Cheng, Cherie Doggett and Mark Ein; university presidents Jack DeGioia of Georgetown, Steven Knapp of George Washington University and Sidney Ribeau of Howard; D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Lee Satterfield; Washington Teachers’ Union President Nathan Saunders; community activists Carrie Thornhill, Rick Rosendall and Alex Padro; former mayoral deputies Carol Thompson Cole, Robert Bobb and Herb Tillery; and education philanthropist Katherine Bradley. Also listed, though not by name, is the “Indonesian Ambassador.” Gray’s girlfriend, Linda Mercado Greene, and family members are also on the list.

The longer list for the open house includes a couple of big cheeses in the sports realm: Wizards/Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen. Also appearing: Former mayor Anthony A. Williams and former Council chairman Linda W. Cropp; developers Jim Abdo, Michael Darby, Michelle Hagans and Anthony Lanier; lawyer/lobbyists David Julyan, John Ray, Rod Woodson and David Wilmot; labor leaders Joslyn Williams and Geo Johnson; and Gray fraternity brother and Annapolis lobbyist extraordinaire Bruce Bereano.

Previous scuttlebutt had Hizzoner also extending invitations to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and members of the Washington Nationals. Ribeiro said that invitations were extended through the teams but that the mayor’s office has not received any RSVPs.

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | January 17, 2013