Seating is first-come, first-serve, though the mayor’s office is offering to reserve seat for recipients of the special invitation if they RSVP by Jan. 29.
Last year, Gray used the speech to highlight his efforts to create jobs and refocus the city economy away from the federal government and toward private industry. He also touted efforts at “earning back people’s trust” after campaign scandals dominated the prior year.
His message, however, was somewhat upstaged when dozens of firefighters protested department management by attending but refusing to applaud, and after an ambulance had to be called for D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who took ill at the event.
Gray’s address will come one week before the presidential State of the Union address, which the District mayor traditionally attends.