WASHINGTON - D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser joined us on election day eve to talk politics, the city's search for new leadership, and the push for D.C. statehood!
Bowser said there has been a record numbers for early voters in D.C. The District surpassed early voting numbers from the last presidential election. Bowser reminded voters that polls in D.C. are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling place here: https://www.dcboee.org/default.asp
"We have a special responsibility in Washington, of course, we're going to host the Inauguration," Bowser said. The mayor said city leaders have been meeting for months to prepare for the big day.
"My job as mayor is to work with the president on the issues that matter to D.C. residents. Statehood is top on our agenda," Bowser said.
She said that D.C. will be able to work with either a Democrat or Republican President and said that she expects to work with new leadership on the city's statehood bill, investments in infrastructure and transportation, Metro funding, and to confirm a Supreme Court justice.
"Our residents are going out and voting 'Yes' on 'Referendum B' to send a clear message to the next president; to the next congress and the whole country - that D.C. residents want to be treated just like every other tax paying American."
District of Columbia leaders have come up with a new name for the city in the event that it becomes a state. Earlier this year, the D.C. Council voted unanimously for the state to be called the "State of Washington, D.C." The "D.C." would stand for "Douglass Commonwealth," in a nod to abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who lived in the District.
"Our new constitution actually lays out very similar to how the city runs now. The mayor would become governor and our city council would become a state legislature." Bowser continued, "The biggest difference about governance, however, is our relationship witness federal government. So we would go from having zero votes to three votes."
"We need Metro to work. We can't grow and be able to accommodate the people that live here right now - and the hundred thousand people who move here in the next 20 years if we don't have functional transportation system," Bowser said.
"A working system has to be safe. It has to be reliable and it has to serve the needs of the region," she added.
SCHOOL CHANCELLOR / POLICE CHIEF
Both positions - Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor - need to be filled.
Bowser said her that her office is actively recruiting for both but will probably make the decision for Chancellor first. She added that she is confident in their interim leadership while the search is being conducted.
And while Bowser is happy for people of Chicago being able to celebrate the Cubs and their World Series victory - she says D.C. is ready for its own parade.
"We're rooting for the Nationals, the Capitals, the Wizards, and our football team!"