Tuesday’s situational update was held right in Ward 6, on a Pennsylvania Avenue boulevard between Eighth and Seventh Streets SE.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), DC Councilmember Charles Allen, DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto (D) and Metro Police Department (MPD) Police Chief Robert Contee spoke about Wednesday’s Presidential Inauguration and the security measures put in place for the event across the District.
Bowser said she would be on the Capitol Grounds during the inauguration, representing DC residents. She said she spoke with President-Elect Biden after the events of Jan. 6.
“I don’t think he would mind me saying this,” Bowser said, asked about the conversation. “He said something to the effect [of], “Kid, you know I’ve always been there with you. You know I’ve always supported statehood”.”
Bowser said that while this year and the period following the inauguration has been challenging for Washingtonians, it is important to recognize the strength of the District.
“While we’ve had some dark days over the past year we have also realized how resilient we are,” Bowser said. “ She also suggested that security measures will remain in place through the pre-disaster declaration, but said that there is not a specific end date in mind yet.
“We don’t want fences or armed troops in out city and longer than we need them to be,” Bowser said. “But we have to be smart.”
Bowser also said she is looking into potential compensation for local businesses who have been impacted by the road closures for the inauguration.
Bowser emphasized the importance of people seeing the “real DC” outside of the security perimeter and large National Guard presence.
“The eyes of the world are on DC right now and we’re going to continue to show everyone why we’re the greatest city in the world.”
Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen spoke at the update and said he is “feeling confident” about the security steps have been taken to ensure safety.
Allen encouraged residents to get out and support local businesses despite the security measures taken and said that he knows that he communities are going to be strong.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected].