The local political implication of Black maternal mortality raises questions about the extent to which city leaders, especially Black females, can influence policies to improve outcomes for Black expectant mothers. The case of Mayor Muriel Bowser, the second Black female mayor of Washington, DC, is examined to demonstrate the connection between intersectional identities and substantive representation through an examination of how she has attempted to reduce Black maternal mortality in the district. Data including press releases from her office, newsletters, accountability reports, and budget proposals are assessed. Other data including news reports from nonprofit organizations as well as local media are examined to provide a comprehensive understanding of how stakeholders in the community have reacted to actions taken by the Bowser administration. Currently serving her second term as mayor, Bowser has pursued actions that attempted to reduce this racial health disparity. Solutions pursued by Mayor Bowser have ranged from symbolic proclamations to substantive legislation as well as programs created through executive agencies as part of her administration. It is also worth noting that some of her actions appear to be in response to legislation approved by the city council. Bowser’s racial/ethnic, gender, and partisan identities strongly align with the actions she and her administration have taken to address Black maternal mortality in Washington, DC.
Death in DC: An Examination of How Mayor Muriel Bowser Has Attempted to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality
Natasha Altema McNeely; Death in DC: An Examination of How Mayor Muriel Bowser Has Attempted to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality. National Review of Black Politics 1 April 2022; 3 (1-2): 17–32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nrbp.2022.3.1-2.17
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