The first day of the government shutdown in D.C. found mail being delivered, public libraries were open, DCPS school buses moved children through traffic as all schools were open and MPD police patrolled the streets.
The sight of trash being piled up on city streets in the 1995-96 shutdown was also compounded by a very intense snowstorm. The skies and streets in the District were clear today despite the shutdown. The most noticeable sign of the shutdown was the National Parks and the National Zoo being closed.
The DC Office of Planning announces that the Franklin Park Public Kick-Off Meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. has been postponed due to the federal government shutdown and will be rescheduled at a future date. A spokesperson will provide Examiner.com with the new date.
"The DC Office of Planning, along with its partners the National Park Service, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Downtown BID look forward to continuing work on the signature undertaking in the near future. For more information about the Franklin Park Vision and Transformation Plan, please visit parkplanning.nps.gov/Franklin Park," the spokesperson said.
For scholars and researchers the closing of the Library of Congress due to the government shut down is great disappointment. Even visitors to the Library of Congress website will find a posted alert that due to the shut down the Library of Congress website was not updating information.
In addition to the postponement of the Franklin Park Public Kick-Off Meeting, the closing of major D.C. attractions such as the Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial were all unable to provide customer service today.
However, the greatest loss was the absence of customer service normally provided by federal employees. The shutdown made it impossible for them to assist customers with applications, complaints, and information. President Barack Obama addressed federal workers with a statement to express his concern over their being unable to perform their duties due to the shutdown.
“Public service is noble. Public service is important. And by choosing public service, you carry on a proud tradition at the heart of some of this country’s greatest and most lasting achievements,” Obama said. Despite the government shutdown Obama asked government employees not to engage in partisan politics. “As one of my predecessors, President George H.W. Bush, once said, “There is nothing more fulfilling than to serve your country and your fellow citizens and to do it well,” Obama said.
The decision by Mayor Vincent Gray to keep the public libraries and other city facilities open gave DC residents the opportunity to continue research and study in the public libraries across the city. Many libraries had an increase in customers due to the shutdown. Gray will open a new training facility for MPD tomorrow.
Gray will be joined by Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, Department of General Services (DGS) Deputy Director for Construction Services June Locker and D.C. Police Foundation Co-Chair Terrence Straub to cut the ribbon to open the new Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Tactical Training Facility on 4665 Blue Plains Drive, SW.