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Usually, the rigors of my day job prevent me from contributing to the Loop, but today was a special day.

I just got back from the National Press Club where former HUD Secretary’s Jack Kemp and Henry Cisneros plugged their new book about the importance of developing new housing in urban and rural areas along with Habitat for Humanity Chairman John Retsinas and former NAHB head Kent Colton.

The conference was interesting.  First, there was air conditioning in the room and the Press Club graciously offered up free delicious, precious, glorious cold water. It’s moments like these that I want a time machine to punch the Congress in the face for putting DC on the damned Potomac and not, say, in Tampa.  At least then I could wear shorts.

Anyways, the substance of the conference was pretty bland, your typical book plugging and back slapping amongst friends, but what was so interesting about the meeting was the overall sense of community and respect the men had for each other.  Two Republicans (Kemp, who was Dole’s Veep nominee in ’96) and Colton (A heavy hitting Romney supporter) and two Democrats (both Retsinas and Cisneros worked in the Clinton administration) obviously thought very highly of each other…and there was a nice sobering hue of gooey buddy-ness they left behind.

Are we really that different, the left and the right?  Is there room for exploration and moderation, for cooperation and action?

Kemp has been one of the staunchest supporters of DC voting rights, not something the GOP particularly wants to see happen, and Cisneros is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country leaving the public sector to lead Univision to it’s staggering number 5 slot in network ratings.

As a young Latino just getting started in this wide and wacky town, Cisneros has particularly been an inspiration to me…both for his professional success  and his success with the laydeez.

In any case, it was a fun day and getting to meet with some ambitious and influential people always helps remind me of why I love this town so much.

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