Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles on the candidates running for D.C. mayor in 2014. Click here to read all the profiles.
A fifth-generation Washingtonian, Muriel Bowser has served on the D.C. Council since 2007, when she won a special election to fill the seat vacated by newly-elected mayor Adrian Fenty.
Before her time on council, she was a member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B. Bowser chairs the D.C. Council’s Committee on Economic Development and is the council representative on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Board of Directors.
She grew up in North Michigan Park and now lives in Riggs Park.
Bowser outlined her positions on several issues in a recent interview with WNEW D.C. Bureau Chief Matt DelSignore.
“Alice Deal for all” is the phrase Bowser uses to encapsulate her plan to improve D.C.’s public schools. With the Tenleytown middle school serving as a model of a “great building” and a “safe building” with a “vast array of offerings,” she hopes to “accelerate middle school reforms across the city.”
While Bowser believes the current administration has “corrected course” in the fight against homelessness, she says, “Women and children should not be sleeping in recreation centers.”
The chair of the Committee on Economic Development has reservations about the proposed land swap that would result in a new stadium for D.C. United at Buzzard Point and put one of the District’s largest municipal buildings in the hands of private developers. “We can’t give away our Reeves Center.”
If the Redskins were to move their home games back inside the District, Bowser thinks RFK Stadium would be the best location. And though she would like to see redevelopment at the site, saying the people who live nearby “deserve some action,” Bowser hopes to get proposals for its future both with and without a stadium.
She voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana; when it comes to legalizing marijuana, taxing and regulating its sale, Bowser says, “I think we’re gonna get to that point.”
POLICE AND FIRE LEADERSHIP
Calling her the “best police chief in the United States,” Bowser strongly supports the work of MPD Chief Cathy Lanier. She would not keep Fire and EMS Chief Ken Ellerbe.
Bowser is closely associated with Vincent Gray’s predecessor, Adrian Fenty. She was a coordinator in his 2006 campaign and was supported by Fenty when she ran to fill the newly-elected mayor’s vacant seat on the D.C. Council in 2007. Would a Bowser administration be similar to Fenty’s?