Michael Christian Woods, a junior majoring in Political Science and Africana Studies, has joined a roster of Democratic challengers to incumbent Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has been in office since 2015 and has a 67 percent approval rating according to a Washington Post poll.
Woods explained that his decision to run for mayor was motivated by support that he received from his family and friends to “continue [his] life as a public servant.”
One issue that Woods intends to address is the concept of “D.C. statehood” and ending the District’s notorious “taxation without representation.” Woods said that he plans to work with D.C.’s shadow Representatives, officials who are elected by District Residents to promote efforts to gain full congressional voting rights for the District.
He also accentuated the importance of initiating projects to improve D.C.’s infrastructure. In 2016, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave infrastructure in the D.C. area a rating of C-minus. The categories with the lowest ratings included transit, roads, and levees. According to the ASCE, the D.C. Department of Transportation needs four times its current budget to improve and maintain the city's transportation infrastructure.
While Woods is younger than other mayoral candidates, he believes that he is prepared and qualified for the position. Regarding the campaign process, Woods noted that he has held leadership positions in organizations “for the past several years” which involved campaigning. He is currently active in the GW chapter of the NAACP as part of its Political Action Committee.
Woods emphasized that his abilities to “empathize and connect with people from all walks of life” and to “proactively tackle D.C.’s most significant issues” will distinguish him from other candidates. He explained, “I hope that the citizens of D.C. will have confidence that I will govern in their best interest and elect me to be the next mayor of D.C.”