WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Monday morning, Mayor Muriel Bowser was sworn in for a historic third term as the District’s mayor. Looking ahead to the next four years, she talked about her plans to address things like housing equity, crime, and education among other goals.
“What is it they say about the third time? It’s a charm.”Mayor Muriel Bowser, during her inauguration speech Monday morning
DC’s Mayor says she’s picking up right where she left off. One of her top priorities is early education over the next four years. She explained during her inauguration speech that the District already has the best free pre-kindergarten program in the country. But there is more to be done for young children in the District.
“Now, we will build the best, most robust free before and after-school program in the nation,” Mayor Bowser said.
Parents like Nicholas Warmington and Chloe Brown hope Mayor Bowser stays true to her word. Brown and Warmington’s daughter, Zoe, is currently enrolled in Pre-K in Ward 5.
Warmington completed his public education in the District and acknowledges that not every school in the DCPS system is the same, especially when comparing different areas of the district.
“I hope not only for my daughter to have those opportunities but for every child in DC to have those opportunities, no matter your zip code,” Warmington said. “Because it does seem to be determined on your zip code is where you’re actually going to end up in life and it shouldn’t be.”
Mayor Bowser also revealed a new goal to bring thousands of people back to downtown. She explained that 25,000 people live in downtown DC and she’s building on the previous goal to grow the District’s population by 100,000 which was set by former Mayor Anthony Williams in the early 2000s.
“Here’s our goal: we will add 15,000 residents over the next five years, and 87,000 before it’s all said and done,” Mayor Bowser explained.
But the push to revitalize downtown doesn’t sound appealing to everyone. Some community members highlighted the high living costs as well as the frustrations around parking and public transit.
“It’s really difficult to park, the ticketing and everything is pretty insane,” Ward 2 resident Ben Duhoski explained.
Isabel Werman is worried that more people living in downtown will only drive up the already high rent costs.
“If the mayor is trying to bring more people into the city, that’s gonna raise the rent and make it more difficult to find places where you can live at an affordable rate but also like in a comfortable space that’s desirable to live in,” Werman said.
Alongside the Mayor, a number of DC Councilmembers also took their oaths of office as well as the new Attorney General Brian Schwalb.