DC’s Mayor Bowser outlines 3rd-term goals, seeks ‘big ideas’
As she gets ready for years nine through 12 after winning re-election Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is looking for new ideas to improve the city.
The idea that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser would even need a transition might sound kind of strange, considering that she has already held office for eight years.
But as she gets ready for years nine through 12 after winning re-election Tuesday, Bowser said Wednesday she is looking for new ideas to improve the city, even as she conceded there’s no need for a “fresh start.”
The mayor acknowledged all the unexpected turmoil that filled her second term — from a racial reckoning that lead to protests throughout the city to a pandemic that’s still impacting downtown.
Now, while bracing for the possibility that a Republican takeover of at least one chamber could lead to more meddling, Bowser intends to mainly focus on the biggest problems facing the city.
“We’re focused on ending gun violence that is destroying families and upending communities, but we’re also focused on reimagining our downtown and our corridors, investing in our middle class, and getting young people back on track,” said Bowser.
Much of the news conference Bowser held focused on a spike in youth crime, as reporters pressed her on what she intends to do about the uptick in arrests of juveniles, who are also increasingly becoming victims of violent crime.
“If I see a teenager who has been shot, it’s more than likely it’s a teenager who did it,” Bowser said. Her administration spent Election Day not at the polls but discussing ways to address that issue, she said.
“We’re looking at everything related to juvenile crime,” said Bowser. That discussion involved changes that are needed both in the near and longer term.
“Anything and everything that can work, we’re going to implement,” she added. “We’re spending millions upon millions of dollars.”
But it’s not just public safety that will be reviewed as her transition team focuses on a third term.
The transition will be led by former D.C. Council member and outgoing Department of Energy and the Environment head Tommy Wells, as well as former DC Health Officer LaQuandra Nesbitt. It will involve consulting with the heads of all city agencies on how things have gone and how things can improve.
She described it as an “interview process where our cabinet members will be talking about their big ideas, the challenges in their agencies, and how we’re going to tackle them in the next four years,” said Bowser.
The mayor also wants to hear from city residents, and announced the launching of a new website asking residents to offer up their “big ideas” to address the challenges facing the District.
“We’re asking for anybody who has a big idea to submit that big idea,” said Bowser. She also announced a hiring blitz to fill vacant city jobs.
“There are incredible opportunities in D.C. government, and now is the time to ask yourself if you want to be part of our team,” said Bowser. Expect a social media and broadcast campaign aimed at encouraging people to apply.
“We’re going to build on our big successes recognizing that we still have challenges,” said Bowser.
“While this isn’t like a new administration where we’re starting completely fresh [and] we have to hire a whole new team — we’re not doing that.”
“But we will spend our time really saying: ‘Can we do things better here with an organization? Can we tweak this better here? Which people do we need to recruit?’ So we’re able to do all of those things.”
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