WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Mayor Muriel Bowser may have won the democratic primary for mayor of Washington DC, but the race isn’t over yet.
She now heads to the November general election, which means four more months of defending her record in office.
“I was the first mayor re-elected in 16 years. And what I have seen looking back over these four years, what I know we’ve been able to do with having consistent leadership is really implement,” she said.
However, critics say the mayor has not done enough to address the recent rise in violent crime or homelessness while in office.
DC News Now asked Bowser about this.
“After it was announced you won, there was a lot of criticism and frankly mean comments on your social media. People saying you haven’t done enough to address homelessness or the rising crime rate. How do you respond to that?” said reporter Mariel Carbone.
“We take all comments and critics very seriously, but I know in the aftermath of an election, people feel sad their candidate didn’t make it,” said Bowser. “Now is the time for Democrats to come together. That’s what we do.”
According to city data, there have been 98 homicides so far this year in the district. That’s up 17% compared to this time last year. In addition, violent crime as a whole is up 11%.
The mayor said she has a comprehensive approach to addressing crime, which includes adding more police officers to the force.
Plus, “focusing on the people who are most likely to use guns in our city and target them with services and also with enforcement if that’s what necessary,” said Bowser.
Regarding homelessness, Bowser said her office had made progress over the last two terms.
“We’ve been able to really implement a plan to make homeless rare, brief, and non-recurring in our city. We’ve driven down family homelessness by 78%. We closed DC General,” she said.
Bowser won roughly 50% of the votes in the Democratic primary. She’ll face Republican opponent Stacia Hall in November.
In a Tuesday statement, Hall said, “Washington DC residents are currently facing many challenges. Our city has seen the most horrendous crime rates in decades, causing our people to demand more police. But, our local government refuses to act.”
“DC residents need a change. We must restore our city to the thriving metropolis that it once was,” she said.