D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is a busy woman: She is deftly balancing life as a high-profile elected leader, and, as a single mother, she is also taking charge of a new baby.
Bowser, 46, is perhaps the only big-city mayor who has adopted a child as a single mom while still in office. She is the first single mother to serve as the District’s mayor.
She adopted her daughter, Miranda Elizabeth Bowser, in May, and said she didn’t have any issues adopting as a single woman.
“I did feel like that part of me was missing, and I knew that I had a lot of love to pour into a child. And I didn’t know how long the process would take,” Bowser said during a recent appearance on NBC’s Today.
“The message I hope to send is that families are made in all kinds of ways and they are all special,” Bowser said. “And we should celebrate family in whatever way that children are loved.”
Bowser won re-election on Nov. 6 and a second term as D.C’s mayor.
Bowser is well liked in D.C. but she took some light-hearted criticism from District residents last week when she expressed her exasperation about a beloved condiment in the nation’s capital called mumbo sauce.
Dear Mayor Muriel Bowser,
Mumbo sauce is a quintessential D.C. offering, much like go-go, Madness, Marion Barry and Chuck Brown. Let’s not get carried away & be loud & wrong about a D.C. urea staple: https://t.co/tDKH6rtohe pic.twitter.com/kxzFtsHjTy
— The Root (@TheRoot) November 21, 2018
“Is anybody else annoyed by Mumbo sauce ? I wish people would stop suggesting that it is quintessential DC. I’m just saying I was a full grown woman before I had heard of mumbo sauce! So there, I’ve said it,” Bowser wrote on Facebook.
I’m not even from DC and I don’t even really like mumbo sauce and I’ve been cringing for 2 hours pic.twitter.com/w9KcpmRtw5
— Dad (@fivefifths) November 21, 2018
Mumbo sauce is a sweet and tangy barbeque sauce served at many D.C. takeout restaurants and often eaten with chicken wings.
The social media backlash about Bowsers comments came fast and furious.
“And you claim you’re from DC?!” one resident posted.
#GoodDayDc how can the mayor say she’s from Washington DC and she have not heard of Mumbo Sauce until she was an adult that is totally crazy ijs
— mr.S.E dc (@TURK11766836) November 21, 2018
“Next term DC should vote Mumbo sauce for mayor over you,” another D.C. resident wrote.
Another Bowser critic wrote, “Hi Facebook, how do you delete someone else’s post.”
A spokesperson for the mayor tried to clear up the humorous controversy.
“The Mayor wanted to provide DC residents something to discuss on Thanksgiving beyond the midterm elections, backup quarterbacks and holiday shopping deals. All may participate in the debate; however, DC residents must lead the mumbo sauce portion,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, one of Bower’s first legislative actions in 2019 will be to lobby Congress to legalize recreational marijuana sales in D.C. The District legalized marijuana use in 2015, but Congress blocked the city from regulating marijuana sales.
They are dragging Muriel bowser for disrespecting Mumbo sauce
— i have to laugh (@lowkeij) November 21, 2018
But Bowser said she feels there is a new chance for Congress to approve legalization after Democrats took control of the House in the November mid-term elections.
“We have the ability to possess marijuana but no legal way to buy marijuana,” Bowser told reporters. “As long as we have the ability to possess marijuana, which is our law, we also need the ability to procure marijuana legally. Which we don’t have now.”
Under the city’s current law, marijuana can only be consumed in private homes. It is illegal to smoke, eat, or drink marijuana in any public space in Washington. A 2014 ballot measure allowed adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, grow no more than six marijuana plants at home, and gift up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults. Money, goods, or services cannot be exchanged for weed.
What Bowser looks like to us that do eat Mumbo Sauce pic.twitter.com/VRZxGY8yRw
— Green Bunk (@GreenBunk) November 21, 2018
The D.C. Council could approve marijuana sales in D.C., but the final decision would still be in the control of Congress, which oversees finances, laws and policy in D.C.
Bowser will now have to juggle controversial policies and a new baby. Even with a demanding job where she is never truly off the clock, there was a void in her life.
“I did feel that part of me was missing,” Bowser said about her decision to adopt a child.
“The moment that really sticks out to me was literally looking down at Miranda and those just, those eyes looking back at me, and knowing that I was her entire world,” she added. “And when I had that feeling, I knew that we would be together forever.”
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