What happens to the District of Columbia in the event of a government shutdown? D.C. relies on money from Congress to operate, so technically, the city would shut down as well, with the exception of essential personnel such as police and firefighters.

Mayor Vincent Gray has come up with a solution to that problem. He has declared every one of the city’s 33,000 workers essential, simple as that.

It’s nice to feel needed.

Panda-Cam might go dark, but parking meters will be up and running.

Multiple states of emergency? Sounds like Washington, D.C. to us.

Did the mayor’s plan work? We’re not sure yet. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney noted that no one has ever been prosecuted under the federal Antideficiency Act, so it’s unlikely the Depart of Justice would act this time. So for the moment, everyone’s essential.