STATE OF THE DISTRICT: Bowser wants to protect youth, Congress to stay out of city's affairs

- Hundreds of people gathered at the University of the District of Columbia for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s State of the District Address. She spoke for about an hour about her work and successes in the city as well as her future goals.

Bowser addressed a packed room with lots of enthusiastic cheers and standing ovations as she says the state of the District is strong. But she opened her speech to talk about a local issue that has made national headlines.

“I would like to take a moment to say our thoughts and prayers are with families whose loved ones are not safe at home tonight,” said the mayor. “We will continue to do all that we can to support you in this time of need. And we will continue to assure that equal attention and priority is paid to every child.”

She reminded residents of the initiatives she introduced last week to bring missing kids home.

“I put into place six steps to protect our youth,” she said. “Most importantly, we want to remind all our young boys and girls that we understand how tough it is to grow up now. The challenges they face are even tougher than the ones we faced when we were their ages.”

Mayor Bowser used her speech to tout her work since taking office in areas of public schools and public safety.

But she also called on President Donald Trump and Congress to invest more in Metro, keep funding important programs like community development grants and the arts and to stay out of D.C.’s affairs unless they are willing to be part of a solution.

“If the Congress can’t help D.C. with our priorities, the best thing they can do for us is leave us alone,” said Bowser. “We need to remind them each and every day that we are a city that believes where you are born shouldn't determine the kind of life you will ultimately lead. As we are a sanctuary city that is committed to protecting the rights of our immigrants, the underserved and every single person whose contributions have been discounted or dismissed for far too long. This is who we are. These are D.C. values. These are the priorities we are fighting for.”

Bowser also announced more funding that will be provided for more affordable housing access to the city.

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