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Economy

Why Washington, D.C. Is Leading the Way on Partnering With the Private Sector

President Donald Trump has soured on public-private partnerships to achieve his infrastructure plan. But in his own backyard, the city is doubling down on collaborations that defy the typical stereotypes.
A construction shot of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, an office tower in Fairfax County, Virginia, built through a local government public–private partnership.
A construction shot of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, an office tower in Fairfax County, Virginia, built through a local government public–private partnership.DavidMadisonPhotography.com

Haunting pictures of children bundled up tightly in freezing Baltimore classrooms drove a national conversation about the city’s crumbling facilities and government incompetence. It is beyond banal to say that there’s no easy solution. But what if it were somebody’s job to make sure that every classroom was warm?

Not somebody’s responsibility. Taking care of schools is already a lot of people’s responsibility. Somebody’s job: as in, if the temperature at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School dips below a cozy 68 degrees, somebody doesn’t get paid.