Muriel Elizabeth Bowser is the current Mayor of the District of Columbia. She inaugurated office in January 2015, before which she was a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, as a representative of Ward 4. A Democrat, she was elected to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in 2004, elected again in 2007 in a special election, and re-elected twice in 2008 and 2012. She ran for Mayor in 2014 and won with 54.53% votes; becoming the second woman to be Mayor and defeating then incumbent Mayor Vincent C. Gray.
Muriel Bowser is the youngest of six children and graduated from Elizabeth Seton High School in 1990. Bowser received a college scholarship and went on receive her bachelor’s degree in history from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bowser further mastered in Public Policy from American University and in 2000, moved to Riggs Park, Ward 4.
The first step on the political ladder for Bowser was her admission to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in which she ran unopposed representing Single Member District 4B09, which included the Riggs Park neighborhood, and again in 2006 when she ran unopposed for the position and was re-elected.
When Adrian Fenty was elected mayor in 2006, a special election was held to fill his council seat. Muriel Bowser, his campaign coordinator for Ward 4, announced her candidacy for the seat.
17 of the 19 council members attended the political forum in which Bowser was the only member present to support Fenty’s proposed District public school takeover, stating that school systems needed to change. Fenty voiced his support for Bowser which gave some critics reason to claim that Bowser would always vote with Fenty if she was elected and disregard her constituent’s needs; while others noted that developers who had contributed to Bowser’s campaign would be favored over her constituents. As an ANC commissioner, Bowser’s voting in favor of a zoning variance for a condominium development by a developer who had donated hundreds of dollars to her campaign was called a “conflict of interest” by critics.
The Washington Post’s editorial page, the local councils of AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union and Fraternal Order, and the NCA endorsed Bowser and she won with 40% of the vote.
Bowser campaigned for re-election to the Council in 2008 against Baruti Akil Jahi, Malik Mendenhall-Johnson and Paul E. Montague. Jahi was former president of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, Mendenhall-Johnson was serving as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of 4B04 and Montague was Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of 4B07. Mendenhall-Johnson and Jahi both came out criticizing Bowser stating she was a Mayor Fenty rubber stamp unconcerned with her constituents’ needs. No ballot names were announced from the Republican or D.C. Statehood Green primaries. Again, the Washington Post’s editorial endorsed Bowser as did the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club. Bowser was re-elected with 75% of the votes.
In 2012, Bowser campaigned once again for re-election and said she would not turn away corporations’ donations; her argument being that it would make it difficult to track down campaign donators if corporations were banned from donating politically. She ran against candidate Max Skolnik who criticized her for receiving campaign donations from developers and lobbyists, claiming that she would favor their interests over her constituents. The Washington Post and the Washington City Paper supported Bowser’s reelection and Bowser won the Democratic primary with 66% of the vote.
Bowser announced her candidacy for Mayor of District of Columbia in the 2014 election on 23th March, 2013. Bowser’s campaign chair was former council member William Lightfoot. Bowser cited changed that had occurred and celebrated them while also emphasizing that she had connections with longtime-residents. She was against increasing the minimum wage for large retailers’ employees only. Bowser disdained business as usual and corruption in the District’s government and voiced favor for Free Metro fare for students.
Bowser was endorsed by editorial department of The Washington Post and the EMILY’S LIST. She won the primary election with 43% votes
Bowser ran against Independents David Catania, Nestor Djonkam and Carol Shwartz, D.C. Statehood Green Faith Dane and Libertarian Bruce Majors in the general election. No Republicans were on the ballot. Bowser won with 54.53% of the total votes and took office on 2nd January, 2015.
In her 2016 budget proposal, Bowser has requested $6 million to complete the task of outfitting the Metropolitan Police Department’s with body cameras and provisions that will make footage of the cameras exempt from Freedom of Information Act.