What the effect on Washington will be when Donald J. Trump moves into the White House is hard to predict. But many Washingtonians fear the worst. Among them is Vincent Gray, the city’s mayor during much of the Obama administration.
“I’m worried about people not wanting to come here because of the image they have of the Trump administration,” Mr. Gray said.
Now a member of the City Council, Mr. Gray said the engagement of Mr. Obama and his family with the city has been “tremendously uplifting.”
“Their presence in the city brought a level of dynamism that just wasn’t there before,” he said.
“D.C. is going to take a really hard hit, culturally, socially, everything. We were really finding our footing; we weren’t second to New York,” said Jazmine Johnson, a graphic designer who said she now planned to move to New York.
Others around town signed up for free tension-relieving sessions at yoga studios, or meditated on emails from their progressive rabbis reminding them of the Jewish mantra “Od lo avda tikvateinu,” or, “We have not yet lost our hope.” Reports abounded of federal workers and nonprofit employees crying at their desks, scanning the web for out-of-town rentals or accepting the free hugs on offer in Farragut Square.
Mr. Gray said he worried that a Trump administration could set the city back because the federal government still controls its purse strings and could enact abortion restrictions, cut vital investment and relax gun control laws.
But Democrats now in the government and thinking of leaving it, and young people who had hopes of joining it, have a more immediate concern — a job.