D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser continues to gain nationwide attention as she goes to bat for her city just a week after having a section of 16th Street near the White House painted with the words “Black Lives Matter” in bright yellow.
Bowser also had a section of the street — located near the White House — renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
District officials said the decision to paint and rename the street was a show of solidarity for demonstrators who have been rallying against police violence since the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
“We wanted to make it a place of healing and safety and a place where Americans could come to address their government,” Bowser told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly on “All Things Considered.”
Some activists have criticized the paint jobs, however, while others have questioned the mayor over funding in her budget for the Metropolitan Police Department.
“I’ve been mayor for five years,” Bowser said in response. “We’ve seen police spending increase 12% in those five years. At the same time, our population has increased and our calls for service have increased. If you look at our safety net programs, they have increased 75%. And I’m talking specifically about human services and homeless services.”