WASHINGTON - Muriel Bowser is the first mayor to win a second term in the District of Columbia since 2002 and she is the second woman ever elected mayor in the nation’s capital. It's an honor this fifth-generation Washingtonian doesn't take for granted.
“I consider it an honor of a lifetime to be able to be mayor of my hometown,” Bowser said.
She feels she has accomplished a great deal in the last four years as mayor.
“We are very proud of the work that we have gotten done and very proud that we have been able to live up to the promise of making investments in all eight wards of the city,” she said.
However, Bowser said more need to be done, including new health care options east of the Anacostia River, quality shelters for the homeless and improved education across the city.
“Our prosperity is allowing us to invest in the people of the District of Columbia in unprecedented ways,” said Bowser. “Because while we are growing and while we are prosperous in many ways, our growth is unequal and our prosperity is unequal.”
But when she assumes the city’s highest office during her next term, she will have a new adorable family member beside her – her daughter Miranda.
When did Bowser decide that she was going to introduce a child into her busy life?
“It's been something that has been on my mind for a couple of years,” she told us. “I have dedicated probably the last 10 years of my life to public service and really focusing on how I can work day in and day out – literally long hours from my hometown. I'm proud of what I have been able to accomplish, but I also knew that I had space in my life and my heart, and an exciting life for a beautiful baby and I was blessed with Miranda.”
When it comes to navigating the career and family life balance, the mayor and single mom is still working it out.
“I have learned how hard it is,” Bowser said. “I'm lucky that I have a great family, a great set of friends. I have a great team at the office as well. We haven't dropped the ball in any respects. But I have had to learn how to get a lot packed into shorter time.”
Becoming a mother has only re-enforced the mayor’s focus on providing quality child care in the city.
“I have taken a crash course in how to manage child care and picked the right options for my daughter, and I realized how much of an excruciating, in some ways, decision that it is. You got to leave her and you got to trust somebody to love her as much, and that is not easy.”
When it comes to the legacy she wants to leave behind for her daughter and the city, Bowser’s message is one that all D.C. residents can share in.
“I want her to be able to say that my mom worked hard,” said Bowser. “She cared deeply about people. She did the job of mayor of Washington D.C. for all the right reasons – not for fame or glory, but to help the most people.
“I go to work every day to do a job that I'm proud of and I will be able to share that with my daughter.”