Mayor Muriel Bowser told hundreds of attendees at the convention center at her swearing in for her second term that she was proud of her accomplishments during her first term but that there is still much progress to do in her second.
“While we are making progress, we have much more to do,” she said calling for “a fair shot for every single D.C. resident. Period.”
“We are the face of Washington, D.C.,” she said, “not the current resident of the White House.”
Among the problems she cited facing the District and many of its residents are the poor maintenance of many federal government parks in the District which would be better served under local control, the problem of immigrants residing here “living in daily fear,” “a growing affordable housing shortage” and “early learning in kindergarten and the first two grades.”
Among the accomplishments she cited during her first term was the prevention of “more than 6,000 people from becoming homeless,” continuing the string of 23 consecutive balanced budgets, spending “$100 million in the Housing Production Trust Fund every year” of her term, 2,000 fewer violent crimes in 2018 than in 2015, having 60 days worth of financial reserves, having an AAA financial rating, reducing the city’s unemployment rate from 7.5% to 5.6%, and growing the investment in the University of the District of Columbia.
Among her goals for her new term she named reducing crime in all our neighborhoods especially reversing “the spike in homicides.”
“We are committed to a focus on law and order,” she said. “Shooting and gun play will not be tolerated.”
She also called for making the University of the District of Columbia “first class” and having stronger two-year and four-year programs.
In a letter on the program she wrote, “It will not be easy to end homelessness, to close the achievement gap, or to rid our streets of illegal guns. But, as I like to say, with political will and the right investments, we can overcome just about any challenge. Over the next four years, let’s think big.”
While the District’s financial level is strong, she said at her swearing-in, “We must be prepared for what might occur.” During the 2008 ‘great recession’ District revenue fell by 10%. If that were to happen now, it would mean a reduction of $800 million. While the city has reserves to cover 60 days of spending, another great recession could cause a major problem.
Thankfully, she added, “We are less federal government reliant” than we have been, but she added, “We must resist cashing checks that we can’t cash in the next recession.”