Mayor Muriel Bowser has had to juggle the ongoing pandemic, rising unemployment, an incapable President, demonstrations, and a baby. She's done it with tact and finesse.
My social media timelines have been absolutely filled with overhead shots of the street in front of the White House. In bright yellow, the words "Black Lives Matter" are now splattered across that street. It serves as a reminder to the orange man in the White House that there is a movement making sure the country finally changes for the better. The masterpiece was the result of Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser. A single mom making history, the leader has had a tumultuous spring, but she has made sure her city has come out stronger than ever before, PEOPLE Magazine reports.
Not only is she managing the ongoing public health crisis, but Mayor Bowser is also tackling the rising unemployment in Washington, DC. To add to that, she is now expertly navigating the Black Lives Matter demonstrations taking place at the epicenter of policymaking. While the protests have been largely peaceful, they sometimes receded into violence. Bowser, therefore, acted quickly, declaring an emergency and enacting a curfew. To some criticism, she even called in the DC National Guard for backup. This has been the experience of several Mayors across the United States.
However, other city leaders have not had to deal with the White House - a reminder of the nation's history of racism - and the big man with small hands sitting inside it. United States President Donald Trump, the antithesis of Mayor Bowser, has not been silent about his opinions about the continuing Black Lives Matter protests. Infamously, he has in the recent protests called the demonstrators "thugs" (in stark contrast to the narrative he painted of white folks carrying guns at Reopen America protests). He even criticized Bowser, claiming she "wouldn’t let the DC Police get involved."
She was quick to respond. Taking to Trump's favorite battleground, Twitter, she wrote, "My police department will always protect DC and all who are in it including Trump... I stand with people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of George Floyd and hundreds of years of institutional racism." The Mayor also took the opportunity to point out that the excessive security around the White House was basically a front: "There are no vicious dogs and ominous weapons [in the White House]. There is just a scared man." Shots. Fired.
As for the Black Lives Matter mural, Bowser is just happy about the mark it has been able to make despite all the backlash it may have received from those who do not actively support the movement. "There are going to be a lot of different opinions," she said in an interview with PEOPLE Magazine. "We think it’s going to have a place not just in DC history, but in American history." In addition to commissioning the mural, the Mayor quickly passed emergency legislation aimed at further reforms of the police department. Nonetheless, she said she supports a slower, more collaborative process. Mayor Bowser stated, "Allowing for community input and vetting by our residents can only serve to refine and strengthen changes to policing in the District."
Unlike other leaders in our country, Bowser is incredibly dedicated to her job. When the protests first erupted in her city, she worked seven days a week to ensure the safety of the residents in her area. As the first single mother to assume this particular position of responsibility, she remains largely mum about her private life. During the interview, however, she argued that her job as a mother is easy in comparison to other moms out there. She said, "[My daughter] still needs mom to take care of her to love her and be present [but] there are a lot of moms out there who have a lot more to deal with than I do and less resources to do it."