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In November, "concern" won’t cut it for Bowser

Muriel Bowser has won the Democratic nomination for DC mayor. Do you know what she stands for?

Photo by weeviraporn on Flickr.

Bowser, who represents Ward 4 on the DC Council, has won what's typically the District's highest-profile race while generally minimizing the amount of discussion on her vision for the city. Sure, she supports better education, jobs, lower crime, affordable housing and a functional government. But every other candidate in the primary backed those things, too.

Bowser was quite adept at citing facts and figures but also showed a real talent for framing issues in a way that sounded good to everyone. She generally praised many ideas in the abstract but remained noncommittal as they became concrete.

Continue reading my latest op-ed in the Washington Post.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Well said, David.

Whoever becomes the next mayor could and should immediately set in work a process and/or policy which can save Anacsotia's Historic District from further neglect and thus endangerment.

Tough choices need to be made and action taken. Not the same old, same old.

by John Muller on Apr 12, 2014 5:01 pm • linkreport

Meanwhile, I see that Sabrina Eaton has followed you there to gripe about EYA's building plans at the Takoma Metro. At least she's consistent.

by GM on Apr 12, 2014 8:06 pm • linkreport

One hopes that the media forces here in DC can make Bowser come up with something resembling a concrete vision for her term as mayor.

by MLD on Apr 12, 2014 9:41 pm • linkreport

Last week I wrote about the general election, now nearly seven months away, noting we may not see mayoral candidate debates on critical issues until September. Five whole months. Why?

by Tom Sherwood on Apr 13, 2014 7:52 am • linkreport

I agree it's up to the press to 'press' her on what she will do and how.

by Thayer-D on Apr 13, 2014 10:46 am • linkreport

LOL @ the photo. Wish that could be printed in the Post along with the op-ed.

by Grant on Apr 13, 2014 12:54 pm • linkreport

Great question, Tom. I hope the media can push Bowser on giving more details, whether at a forum or in whatever other venue.

by David Alpert on Apr 14, 2014 7:02 am • linkreport

@Tom Sherwood: Perhaps a small number of debates in a concentrated period of time would leave more people informed.

How small would the number of debates have to be for NBC4 to televise them all live during prime time?

by JimT on Apr 14, 2014 7:53 am • linkreport

On voting strategically. They released the voting totals from the absentee ballots on Friday (voter turnout was actually 27% when those are counted).

What's interesting is if you compare the ballot-box results to the absentee results

Bowser 44.2% 38.9%
Gray 32.3% 34.3%
Wells 12.6% 14.0%
Evans 5.0 5.3
Shallal 3.3 3.4
Orange 1.9 2.6
Lewis 0.4 0.9
Allen 0.1 0.2

The only person who did better on election day was Bowser. Since absentee voting is generally done earlier and thus is harder to do strategically, one explanation is that as the last polls came in and the momentum built, that more people saw Bowser as the best chance to beat Gray and so voted for her.

Another theory is that she just closed well and really made her case to the voters. Or perhaps there is some self-selection here.

by David C on Apr 14, 2014 9:05 am • linkreport

Umm, by not having much experience living in the city outside of the highly white core, you might be a lot less in touch with the electorate than you think.

by Richard Layman on Apr 14, 2014 10:16 am • linkreport

Umm, Tom Sherwood, have you written anything criticizing the Council's move of the election to April rather than to a later date like June or July?

e.g. I raised the issue a couple years ago and continue to do so, and criticize those councilmembers, including Muriel Bowser, who didn't agree to the change in the date proposed by CM/Chair Mendelson.

by Richard Layman on Apr 14, 2014 10:56 am • linkreport

I prefer a person who can understand all the issues and know both sides of the issues so well they could make persuasive arguments either way. That's a person whose final opinion and leadership I trust more.

I think someone who simply checks all the desired boxes on a questionnaire and repeats back the intended audience's own position blindly is just a panderer.

At any rate in an $11B government it's the team of a dozen or so top administrators who really set policy. There wasn't much difference between Gray's and Fenty's and I doubt there will be much under Bowser.

And a nine-month lame duck mayor is ridiculous.

by Tom Coumaris on Apr 14, 2014 12:04 pm • linkreport

It's so funny how biased people are toward Bowser. Her "vision" for DC is no less obscure and noncommittal as the other candidates who were/are running. It's politics as usual. And Bowser's campaign site gives a lot more details about her top priorities/plans than Catania's.

by Burd on Apr 14, 2014 1:25 pm • linkreport

To JimT - I doubt than any of the TV stations would commit to airing more than one forum, if that, and likely not in prime time. But I'll ask.

Richard Laymen: I wrote in my Notebook extensively about the early April Fool's date and reported on it with several TV stories.

by Tom Sherwood on Apr 14, 2014 3:27 pm • linkreport

Catania has failed to investigate the school tests cheating scandal.

by dcblogger on Apr 14, 2014 4:24 pm • linkreport

Bowser is the platitude princess. She won't debate because she's an empty suit. This school parent -- and Democrat -- is enthusiastically voting Catania!

by Alf on Apr 15, 2014 12:09 am • linkreport

Tom S -- I only have intermittent access to the Current, so I guess I missed your pieces. (Don't watch a lot of tv "news" except in the a.m. Maybe WRC could repeat your evening stories in the a.m.?)

by Richard Layman on Apr 15, 2014 11:05 am • linkreport


"She won't debate because she's an empty suit. "

Why should she be expected to debate Catania, who may or not be on the ballot?

by Burd on Apr 15, 2014 4:31 pm • linkreport

Catania is running, and he may win by large margins in Wards 2 and 3, especially among parents of school-age kids.

by Alf on Apr 15, 2014 8:08 pm • linkreport

Catania can run all he wants, but he's not officially on the ballot.

by Burd on Apr 16, 2014 11:19 am • linkreport

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