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Essential News & Views — 11/4/16 — Don’t Forget, There’s A Mayoral Race In #newDC In 2018…

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Hey #newDC friends. We have a mayoral race in 2018. Given that #newDC’s population and economy is nothing like #oldDC’s population and economy, we should probably start thinking about that. Here’s five very key issues that, both dependent and independent of how you vote on this coming Tuesday are important regarding where the city is headed.

  • Willingness to work with GLOBAL industry will be important. It’s not that Zara and H & M occupy the same block near Metro Center, anymore. It’s that America’s $18 trillion in debt, in an immense economic recession, and that outside of San Francisco and Austin, DC may be one of the few recession-proof cities in the United States at-present. Whereas global investors once saw LA, Miami, Chicago, and New York City as America’s economic hubs, DC’s now squarely involved in that conversation. Being the mayor of the Nation’s Capital isn’t what it used to be anymore.

  • Does #newDC want a black mayor? It’s an honest question to ask as ALL EIGHT MAYORS in the history of mayors in Washington, DC have been African-Americans. The Democrats who seem to be running so far are incumbent Muriel Bowser and former mayor Vincent Gray. Is there a white conservative or liberal who can rise, in a manner similar to Marion Barry in 1978, to represent a not-yet-so-super-highly visible Caucasian population in the city? Here’s where the Presidential election matters. If Trump were to win, there’s a white conservative workforce who would most certainly join him here in Washington and almost assuredly all become DC residents in time for 2018. Who wants to see Donald Trump stumping for a white DC Republican at a bar on Capital Hill? It’s something to consider for certain…
  • METRO. Yes, Metro’s in debt and trying to fix itself at the exact same time. The candidate who can come up with the best solution for solving Metro’s MANY issues is one that likely stands to do the best in the polls. With DC taking such an interest in nightclubs, restaurants and storefront retail, there’s a blue collar workforce that’s travelling to these destinations that would probably do better to travel via public transportation instead of using Lyft or Uber. Of course, there will be those politicians who will want to quickly forge a relationship with either one of these companies gaining renown for their lack of shame in making politically-advantageous deals, but the easier fail-safe is just finding the private money to solve public transit’s woes.
  • Socio-economic Empowerment Zones in Anacostia. The forthcoming back-and-forth over how to “keep Anacostia black” will be something to watch. Gentrification is creeping ever-so-close to the area, and by 2018, there should be the beginnings of mixed-use condo development and high-end retail/restaurants showing up on the scene. The displacement of African-Americans across the city has been problematic, but given that Anacostia is 94% African-American and disproportionately lower class, there should probably be some sort of move made to create non-welfare related economic empowerment opportunities for those (especially African-Americans) living there who want to take them.

  • Bike Safety. There’s officially an issue in #newDC regarding the safety of two-wheeled road occupants as opposed to their four-eight-and-ten-wheeled counterparts. There’s a freelance, blue-collar, and liberal-minded class of #newDC occupant who’s very much wanting to be an active participant in the city that’s being hit by cars and generally ostracized by an unwillingness of motorists to obey bike safety laws. Onerous fines and imprisonment for breaking these laws and physically harming cyclists is likely to only exacerbate these issues. Rather, in the same way that Capital Bikeshare has used federal grant money and $75 membership fees to ensure its growth, the next mayor of DC needs to advocate for a true plan of how to ensure that DC”s residents can remain safe on the city’s ever-crowding roadways.

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