Billionaire H. Ross Perot, saying the nation’s capital has some of the nation’s worst schools, urged local business leaders Tuesday to pitch in and help fight the city’s murder, drug and crime epidemic.
“Get out of your fancy house,” Perot said. “Get down there where the rubber meets the road . . . and say, ‘Let’s fix this; let’s help these folks.’
“It’s pure self-interest, if I can’t get you excited any other way, because you’re helping the tax base,” he said.
Perot, a colorful and controversial Texas businessman, spoke to more than 500 Washington-area business leaders who support the Salvation Army at the charitable group’s annual district luncheon. He cited Washington’s surge in drug-related slayings, which have given it the highest per capita murder rate in the nation.
“You say, ‘What can I do?’ Here’s what you can do. You can clean up the schools in this town. You can clean up streets in this town. You can make it a safe place for people to live.”