- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser is moving too fast.

Ms. Bowser attended a meeting of Democratic mayors on Monday who already had agreed to support President Obama’s executive decision to treat undocumented illegals as if they had not already broken the law.

It’s impressive that she was included in the Blue Crew, officially called the Cities United for Immigration Action and held at Gracie Mansion — where prosecutor Rudy “The Red” Giuliani continued to inspire law and order after he became mayor. Other members of the Obama We Got Your Back Coalition include the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as Atlanta and Houston, and Minneapolis and Philadelphia. And, D.C.’s current mayor, Vincent C. Gray, was in attendance.

Ms. Bowser opened her mouth a bit too soon, though, mistakenly presuming that D.C. residents and stakeholders who own property and pay taxes here back her position to back the president.

In Ms. Bowser’s statement, the mayor-elect said: “[T]his is the first-ever summit with mayors from cities across the country to discuss and lay out a step-by-step implementation plan for the President’s recent executive action. Mayors across the country recognize the important contributions immigrants have made in our nation’s history — and that they continue to make in our cities every day. We applaud the Obama Administration for looking to address immigration reform in a responsible and respectful way. These new policies will ensure that thousands of undocumented immigrants in the District of Columbia are given a fair shot at the American Dream. They will also help protect families, improve our economy and strengthen our nation. I look forward to working with other Mayors who are on the frontlines addressing this issue every day, to ensure the Administration’s policies succeed.”


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OK, here’s what Ms. Bowser said without saying it:

Thank you, Mr. President, for endorsing me in my race for mayor.

I expect the Obama administration to give me money for D.C. in exchange for implementing your policies after I become mayor.

I do not expect your immigration policies to be undermined by Democratic or Republican opposition, or, for that matter, the courts.

I think the poor, uneducated and unemployed people of the District “are given a fair shot at the American Dream.”

Those are but some of the things Ms. Bowser said without saying them.

She was too quick to hail Mr. Obama’s amnesty plan, and too slow to recognize the potential backlash — on the rising costs of social services, the potential cultural unrest and the likely unemployment conundrum.

The District is an ethnic and cultural heaven, and long has been. People from other lands flock to the nation’s capital because their homeland embassies and the State Department are here, and because institutions such as the World Bank, Red Cross and International Monetary Fund are headquartered here. They also come here because they are welcomed by friends and first- and second-generation relatives. And they come because our D.C. universities and other noted institutions of higher learning. Important, too, is that they come through the front door to start a business and to continue their family business.

They say they don’t come to suck on the D.C. government teat, but it appears as though you want to, Ms. Bowser.

And know why?

The only other voice in your press release is that of a member of your transition team, Maria Gomez, who is president and CEO of Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care. Due respect to you and the work of Mary’s Center. But Ms. Gomez’s remarks proposing that you, as mayor, would give “more” opportunities to undocumented aliens speaks volumes.

Ms. Bowser, if you were really and truly merely tyring to bolster opportunities for the city’s less fortunate, then more appropriate remarks would have been centered on the District’s employment and economic fronts. And more in-the-know spokespeople from your transition team, including former Verizon executive Marie Johns, Board of Trade president and CEO Jim Dinegar, D.C. businessman Andy Shallal or even Jamaica native Joslyn Williams, the labor leader who knows the socioeconomic dynamics of the region like he knows the back of his hand.

Besides, Ms. Bowser, you’re only the mayor-elect. Immigration is above your pay grade.

You should be telling stakeholders where you stand on closing I-395, which carries an estimated 90,000 vehicles a day into the District — and with their vehicles are expendable dollars, and with their dollars jobs and growth, and lower taxes.

In other words, if their dollars bypass the District, so do sales, gas and sin taxes.

You don’t really think people are going to try to burn the night lights in D.C. if they can’t get across the freaking bridge, do you?

You left our lone, nonvoting congressional delegate hanging when she pushed back on the proposal to shut down the Interstate. Even the D.C. Department of Transportation got cute and reportedly has sent two letters to federal authorities proposing a review of the closure.

DDOT has been trying to run the District since Adrian Fenty was mayor. Now it seems as though you are either being bowled over (by the Gray administration) or you just don’t know any better.

Well, Ms. Mayor-elect, you had better get a grip. You’ve lived life long enough to know that boys — Vince Gray, David Catania, Tommy Wells, Jim Graham, among them — sometimes try to undermine girls.

Beware: Stop undermining yourself before you’ve even taken the oath and pay closer attention to what’s going on in your own back yard.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected]


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