October 16, 2014 at 9:30 am EDT | by guest columnist
Bowser: No bombast, just plain hard work
Muriel Bowser, gay news, Washington Blade

Muriel Bowser (Washington Blade file photo by Vladyslav Rekhovskyy)

By JOHN CROSS

I’ve lived on Capitol Hill for 29 years. Except for six years, I’ve been a Washington resident since 1969. I’ve lived here through the administrations of Walter Washington, Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt Kelly, Tony Williams, Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray.

In those years I’ve seen huge changes in D.C., from the time when gay bars were raided to complete support of same-sex marriage. I’ve seen the city go from avoidance and antagonism to acceptance and support. I’ve benefited from this, marrying my husband nearly five years ago, living in a diverse neighborhood, raising a now-grown daughter and watching my chosen hometown become a finer place to live.

I support Muriel Bowser. I met Muriel when she was running for the Ward 4 seat she holds now. I was immediately impressed. It was what she wanted to accomplish and how she set out to reach those goals that makes me confident in my decision to vote for her on Election Day.

There’s no doubt about her support for gay rights. She’s sponsored a bill that provides resources to LGBTQ homeless youth, drafted legislation that led to the creation of a program to address bullying, has voted in favor of every piece of LGBTQ-friendly legislation that has come before the Council, resoundingly casting her vote for marriage equality in the District of Columbia and now has Stein Club support.

Recently, I was proud to stand with 200 LGBTQ members of our community at a meet-and-greet held for Muriel and organized by her brother Marvin in Ward 2. Muriel stayed until every question was answered. It was clear then that she believes strongly in equal rights, quality schools, improved city services, more affordable housing and better transportation – for everyone.

But Muriel has more to offer. She works well with people and brings them to the table to solve problems. This is important: knowing how to work together successfully, with neighborhoods, government leadership, with you and me, and particularly with our business community.

As a business-oriented Democrat, I know supporting small and medium-sized enterprises comes hard for many politicians. Government tends to look only at the triumvirate of power: the government, the military and big business. All are easier to understand than a small business trying to grow an idea into a larger reality. Small business changes and grows. It has problems. It doesn’t fit the bureaucratic ideal. But at the same time, small business is the goose that lays the golden eggs for growth, employment and making those important tax payments. Think of our growing DC companies like Blackboard, Inc. that now has over 37,000 corporate clients, or more recently, the job growth of consulting companies like Clutch Group who’ve added 250 jobs, and Clinovations who went from seven to 72 jobs – in three years. We need more of these successes.

Muriel knows what makes businesses tick. All you need to do is look at Ward 4. Dozens of new stores, restaurants, and small businesses have opened and violent crime has plummeted. And, a plan to transform the Walter Reed Army base into a 70-acre mixed-use neighborhood center is taking shape and benefiting from a lot of community input.

Muriel understands that without development we won’t have a city that will provide what its citizens require. It doesn’t take legislative bombast to do this, just sheer hard work – and Muriel’s work has gotten the job done.

In my discussions with her, she understands that the path of business is hard, and government should do its best to make it easier for the geese laying their golden eggs to continue what they do best. That’s why my honk is for Muriel.

6 Comments
  • Thank you, Guest Columnist, for being proud enough of what you wrote to share your name here with us.

    Also, your title leaves off a few words. Should be "No bombast, just hard work and LITTLE to show for it"

  • This is such a disappointing article and ridiculous perspective. Bowser is corrupt, unethical, and unaccomplished–and the people should not be fooled. She has no major accomplishments in DC and David Catania for Mayor should ABSOLUTELY be anyone lgbt or otherwise's choice. He has a record of getting incredible things done–and that should be recognized. Bowser is an empty suit.

  • Ms. Gant–You clearly didn't read the column close enough to see that "By John Cross" was written above the very first word in the endorsement. Kinda makes your knee jerk reaction to Mr. Cross's thoughtful column look silly.

  • tmac09 TmAc, please say something positive about Bowser and what she has accomplished. Go ahead.

    I see that I missed John Cross's name, but does not invalidate my concern.

  • Chris Chocolatebearcub Capers

    Muriel isn't any corrupt than Catania and speaking of that calling Bowser and empty suit? I guess Obama was one too? Since Gentrification begun so many of these so called Hipsters have so much disdain about folks who are born and raised here and I don't understand that silliness. Catania may get some things done but not ALL. However his arrogance and his supporters nastiness as of late are just of ill repute. I'm not sold on neither. And the debate where the commentator had the nerve to question Muriel about someone not wanting to vote for Catania based on his sexuality? Well why didn't he asked Catania about the many years of shrieks of racism in the LGBTQ Community since they have to be responsible for who supports them? And gentrification has killed many working class people in DC forcing them to leave I don't see Catania trying to fix that. I mean after all his friends are the developers who develops all of the 'luxury' housing so of course he isn't going to fix that. However watch the polls on election night. Sadly as I always say just watch the percentages of whites for Catania and Blacks for Bowser and it will be the same percentages within the LGBTQ Community as well. Just stay tuned! Sad but true!

  • Chris Chocolatebearcub Capers

    Amanda just vote for Catania and move forward.

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