Muriel Bowser is running for D.C. mayor again so she can either best so-called Mayor for Life Marion Barry. Or hang onto her seat long enough to wipe homelessness off the city’s to-do list. Or usher in statehood and become the city’s first bona fide U.S. senator.
Wish her luck, if you will, because to stiffen her bona fides the mayor is pushing her anti-crime and anti-motor vehicle plans.
The mayor upped her “traffic enhancement” ante Monday, announcing her reelection efforts at Van Ness Elementary School near Nats Park.
“Ensuring our young people have everything they need to succeed means keeping them safe before, during, and after school. Whether that’s through Safe Passage, through the shuttle bus program, or through enhanced traffic enforcement, we know it’s a community-wide effort,” the mayor said. “We also know that our young people have a unique perspective on what’s happening in our city and incorporating their insights and their perspectives into our work is critical to building a safer, stronger D.C. I encourage our young people to share their ideas and make their voices heard at the upcoming Youth Summit.”
The plan calls for Metropolitan Police and Transportation Department officials to crack down on distracted driving, speeding, stop-sign violations and pedestrian violations.
Also, school resource officers — remember them? — will distribute traffic safety info to motorists, parents, students and neighbors to obey the law.
As for listening to the young people at the Youth Summit, Miss Bowser and police Chief Robert J. Contee III won’t exactly be handing over their earbuds to McGruff the Crime Dog, although the goal of the traffic program is to take regular bites out of crimes like the ones committed by a driver who struck a dad and his two daughters on their way to school in October. The suspected driver has not yet been arrested.
The mayor said the purpose of the Youth Summit, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Eastern High on Capitol Hill, is to help law enforcers and other city officials “be more effective in addressing racial, social, and economic disparities and inequities.”
Intriguing. Enhance the voices of the youths. Many of the car thieves, gun-toters, drug dealers and substance abusers are young people.
Indeed, just last week, Miss Bowser and other city officials confirmed the D.C. homicide rate had hit 200 lives, the highest count in 18 years. To combat the high rate, the mayor said: “We are literally throwing every resource at this issue at our disposal. We know that COVID-19 has upended so many parts of our lives, and unfortunately, it also upended the very fragile public safety ecosystem in our community.”
So now the mayor’s blaming violent crime on the “ecosystem” in “our” community?
What’ll be the culprit in 2022? Climate change?
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.