Gray administration spent nearly $1M on outreach

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mayor Vincent Gray promised to reach out to voters across Washington, and he's done it - but the effort hasn't been free.

The Washington Post reports ( that his administration has spent nearly $1 million to hold summits, town halls and other local gatherings since 2011.

Over the past year, Gray has held 25 major, city-sponsored events.

The newspaper's analysis of city records found that most of the money went to no-bid contracts with America Speaks, a nonprofit group that specializes in large-scale meetings.

Gray's director of communications, Pedro Ribeiro, said the contracts were advertised.

He also said America Speaks is one of a few nonprofit groups in the country that can manage such events.

The city also spent $14,430 for a teleprompter, and $5,000 on a speechwriter for Gray.

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