Dispatch from DC: Washington’s new mayor digs RadPad

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On November 3, voters in the District of Columbia rewarded Democratic candidate Muriel Bowser with a comfortable victory in D.C.’s three-way mayoral race. A D.C. council member since 2007, Bowser is set to inherit a city during an exciting but challenging time in it’s history.

I had a chance to meet Ms. Bowser at the popular Adams Morgan Day Festival earlier in September. She asked about my RadPad t-shirt and I went on to explain how RadPad can help renters find their next place to live in the district. As a major proponent of affordable housing options as well as D.C.’s burgeoning tech scene, Bowser was intrigued to hear about RadPad’s core features and also about our fast-growing team in the district. Before we parted ways, I offered her a pair of shades, snapped this picture and wished her luck in the election. (Perhaps the shades were a good luck charm?)

After the dust settled on election night, The Washington Post had an insightful take on the election and the idea of Bowser as ‘a mayor-elect for two different D.C.s’.

“There’s the millennial playground D.C., a city of great jobs, construction cranes, bike lanes, four-star restaurants and million-dollar condos. And there’s the left-behind D.C., a city with a dwindling supply of affordable housing, a soaring number of homeless families, a stubborn unemployment rate, and a still-missing 8-year-old named Relisha Rudd, whose life and probable death exposes every unresolved social ill imaginable.”

It’s no secret that D.C. is experiencing a development boom. A number of neighborhoods across the city are undergoing rapid transition from a period of decline to a period of growth and reinvestment. Millennial-aged renters are settling in D.C. in record numbers for a host of reasons, including a strong job market, vibrant walkable neighborhoods with lots of activities and interesting things to do, and robust transportation choices that makes car ownership unnecessary.

But it’s also no secret that some parts of D.C. are being left behind, as other neighborhoods struggle with high crime, high unemployment and underperforming social services.

The flurry of new residents and development in D.C. is creating enormous wealth and value for the city. But to make the most of it for all of the district’s residents, Bowser will need to find new ways to capture this value and put it toward things like affordable housing programs, stronger schools, improving community services and providing more job training for those that need it the most.

The team at RadPad is also committed to helping D.C. become a more inclusive city for all. As we head into the winter months, we’re excited to become involved in initiatives like Hashtag Lunchbag, as well as working with landlords and property managers in some of D.C.’s lower-income neighborhoods to help make the rental process easier for them and their tenants.

And finally, we congratulate Ms. Bowser on her victory and wish her the best of luck in the years ahead!