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Mayor Bowser Seeks Third Term to Continue Quality-of-Life Agenda

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she wants to serve a third term to continue the programs that she’s initiated in education, housing and public safety — all intended to improve the quality of life for city residents.

“I am running for reelection because there is a lot more work to be done,” Bowser told The Informer on Nov. 8. “The city has come through an unprecedented time with racial reckoning and COVID-19 and we have weathered these storms together. We can definitely do more with four more years as the city’s economy recovers.”

Bowser hopes to become the city’s second mayor elected to a third term, following Marion S. Barry, Jr., who first accomplished the feat after the 1986 election. Bowser faces D.C. Councilmembers Robert White (At-Large) and Trayon White (D-Ward 8) as major opponents in the Democratic Party primary on June 21, 2022.

Improving Education a Top Priority 

The mayor expressed confidence in the direction in which leaders of D.C. public schools continue to follow.

“When I came on the D.C. Council as a Ward 4 representative in 2007, control of the schools had just changed into the mayor’s hands,” she said. “And people in my ward didn’t let their children go to the  neighborhood schools. My constituents were spending thousands of dollars on private schools because they felt that the D.C. schools weren’t good enough for their children. That has changed for the better.”

“Banneker students used to go to building that was a former middle school,” the mayor said, comparing it to the newly-built facility. “It’s a school where 99% of its students attend college. We wanted to put them in a better place and we did.”

On a personal level, Bowser said she’s researched schools in Ward 4 for her three-year-old daughter, Miranda Elizabeth Bowser.

“There are 12 schools that my daughter can attend in Ward 4 and I am comfortable with all of them,” she said. “I am not stressed about the school my daughter will attend and I am happy about that. But I am not alone. I hear parents are happier with the public schools today than in the past.”

Increasing Access to Affordable Housing   

Bowser said she realizes living in the District has become more expensive for residents but said housing exists for anyone who wants to live in the city.

“We are on target to build 36,000 affordable housing units by 2025,” Bowser said. “I want to make sure that every resident will be able to live where they want in the District. When people look at D.C., they see the U Street area and say they want to live there because of the amenities, such as access to Metro, grocery stores and good schools. My job is to make sure that every neighborhood, especially those east of the Anacostia River, has the same amenities so people will say, ‘hey, I want to live there.’”

The Difficult Task of Better Public Safety

The mayor said she understands residents’ frustration with the city’s escalating homicide rate.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Department statistics as of Nov. 8 reveal a 12% increase from last year in homicides as well as an overall increase in violent crime from 2020 at 2%.

“D.C. residents have a right to feel and be safe,” she said. “We are taking a measured, comprehensive approach to fighting crime. We need more police, not defunding the police. The council needs to put more funds into the police department, not less.”

Bowser also praised the Building Blocks DC program that targets 150 of the city’s most dangerous blocks with social services for residents and lawbreakers. Additionally, she said more resources should go into the Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement [ONSE] to prevent conflicts at the street level.

“We have 58 new violence interrupters in ONSE,” she said. “We are also looking into providing housing vouchers for those who are violence interrupters so they can live in the neighborhoods in which they serve.”

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