Early this month, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her run for mayor for a third term for 2022. Her announcement includes a variety of solutions for building affordable housing, alleviating the city from the ongoing pandemic and pushing for sustainable health care.
Bowser has served in the elective office in D.C. for 17 years, her knowledge of the city’s government affairs set her apart from other candidates, she believes.
Reflecting on her time as Ward 4 advisory neighborhood commissioner, Bowser told the Washington Post, “I ran my first campaign in 2004, where I asked Riggs Park residents to trust me.”
“And that’s what I’m asking D.C. residents to do again: Trust that I know where we are as a city better than most, and that I can execute a vision to bring the city back,” she said.
Robert C. White Jr. and Trayon White Sr. are both D.C. council members who have declared to run for the Democratic Mayoral Primary in opposition to Bowser.
Bowser has a long history in politics, serving her first mayoral term in 2014 after two terms serving Ward 4 on the D.C. council. She has become nationally recognized for her efforts for paving the way in aiding D.C.’s recovery with COVID and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Bowser has been known for her strong stances in defense of the city’s roadmap to recovery during the pandemic, but criticized by some D.C. residents. Residents say that early vaccine rollouts last spring were difficult to obtain due to a frequent system change.
Last year D.C. had the highest number of homicides, 198, which was the highest it’s been in 15 years. Residents are calling upon Bowser to do something effectively and immediately.
Bowser has responded to the concerns of residents, and she plans to revisit her 2022 budget proposal to use more police enforcement. Some residents in Wards 7 & 8 are cautious of a higher police presence given the history between the Black community and police.
Liberty Jones, an active community member in Ward 7 says, “The increase of police does not solve anything but perpetuate police brutality on the community, generating more tragic hashtags.”
Rhonda Wilkes has lived in Ward 7 all of her life and says, “Our Black boys and girls are dying by guns and our mayor seems absent,” in relation to the increase of gun violence.
James D. Williams is scared to raise his two teenage boys in a neighborhood (Ward 8) that he says, “is getting worse by the day.”
The Hilltop reached out to Bowser’s campaigning team for comment, but they did not respond in time for publication.
On June 7, Bowser released a $59 million investment in reducing gun violence and building safer neighborhoods. The investment is said to lead to better opportunities and services for the most at risk communities.
In addition, Bowser has been critiqued because her last campaign was funded by large corporation donations and her campaign was being described as “too cozy” with developers. Bowser’s decision making has also come into question in connection to her initiative to have children return back to school in person.
In the midst of all of the criticisms, some even charged by her fellow candidates, Bowser reassures her support for communities in need.
Bowser points to her efforts to build a $375 million hospital set to open in 2024 in St.Elizabeth’s East in Ward 8. Residents of Anacostia River will be able to benefit from the resources allocated in Ward 8, additionally serving low-income residents.
If Bowser were to win a third term, she would have the second-longest mayoral run of D.C. This would be the first mayor elected for a third term since ‘Mayor for life’ Marion Barry’s victory in 1986.
Copy edited by Jasper Smith