Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

NEWSLETTER
Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Bowser vows to help D.C.’s middle class

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in her State of the District address Tuesday that she hopes to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Paige James | Hatchet Photographer
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in her State of the District address Tuesday that she hopes to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Paige James | Hatchet Photographer
This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Kendrick Chang.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s State of the District Address Tuesday centered on the middle class.

On Tuesday Bowser said her administration is committed to help D.C. residents to thrive throughout the District – vowing to further raise the minimum wage and improve educational opportunities. There need to be more opportunities for D.C. residents to enter the middle class, she said.

“I am focused on delivering the fresh start we promised for every single Washingtonian, making sure that no one is left behind,” Bowser said.

Ward 8 resident Khidar Abdul Shakur introduced Bowser at the event, which was held at the Mead Center for American Theater. He said his rags-to-riches story was due to the mayor’s efforts to create job opportunities.

“Before I used live paycheck to paycheck and now I forget when it’s pay day,” Khidar said. “It’s beautiful, the kind of job training programs we have here.”

Here were the main themes of Bowser’s speech:

1. A higher minimum wage

Bowser said she will introduce legislation next month to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2020. D.C.’s minimum wage currently stands at $10.50 per hour which increased from $9.50 per hour last July.

“In a city as prosperous as ours, we can level the playing field and we can make sure our residents are paid a good wage so fewer families are forced to leave,” Bowser said.

2. ‘Equitable investments’ across the city

Bowser discussed her plans to create short-term transitional housing facilities for homeless residents across the District to replace D.C. General, the city’s largest homeless shelter. Last fall, Bowser signed a measure to shut down the shelter, which has been plagued by maintenance issues, in September 2018.

If the plan moves forward, there will be short-term housing facilities built in each of D.C.’s eight wards with staggering completion dates through 2018, Washington City Paper reported.

Bowser also highlighted the city’s progress in improving schools, public safety and infrastructure by “making smart and equitable investments.”

“We will continue to invest in schools, and parks, and libraries to benefit our residents today while setting us up for success tomorrow,” Bowser said. “We will keep investing in our public transit network, to make sure that metro is safe and reliable.”

3. A string of accomplishments

Bowser also used the speech to rattle off the accomplishments of her administration. She noted the millions of dollars spent modernizing D.C.’s schools and extending the end of the school year to mid-July.

Bowser will release her fiscal year 2017 budget later this week.

“With this budget we will make the largest investment in public education in our history, with a $75 million increase in funding over last year,” she said.

Bowser also said the implementation of a body camera program for police officers is on track to have every officer wearing a camera by the end of the year.

“By the end of this month, more than 650 police officers will be equipped with a body worn camera,” Bowser said.

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet