Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pretty funny: Mayor Bowser "CONDOS" stickers

Last night at the Columbia Heights Metro, I spotted a funny sticker on the wood construction fence: it's Mayor Muriel Bowser's face with the word CONDOS.

Doing a little research, I found that the stickers are the work of local punk band Jack on Fire, who have songs about gentrification and development, like "Burn down the Brixton" about the huge bar on U Street.

The City Paper wrote a bit about the stickers: bandmembers say it is in reponse to Bowser killing plans for a new contemporary art museum in the Franklin School building downtown, which is beautiful and historic but has been empty for years.

Bowser administration staff said the museum had missed fundraising deadlines, while the organizers of the museum (which would also include a Jose Andres restaurant) and former DC government officials said that's not correct: there were no deadlines. They said the deadlines would only be announced when the City Council approved the project, which hasn't happened for unknown reasons. The developers of the museum also said they never heard from the mayoral staff about fundraising. The city then immediately issued a new request for proposals after canceling the contract for the museum.

To me, that sounds like Bowser never wanted the museum to happen, which was approved under Mayor Gray. Many critics were not happy with her decision. The proposals received so far include offices, a technology center, a Georgetown University arts classroo, and a hotel.

Always neat to see political art around. The sticker reminds me of other stickers like "Andre the Giant has a posse" and is kind of a funny commentary on the mayor of our fair city, and the city's love of condos. Of course, that's not unique to Bowser, the previous mayors also governed over a lot of new condo buildings in the city.

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