Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayoral nominee who beat current D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in the primary last week, may have just solidified her credentials among women and young voters — or at least, made a valiant effort.
The Ward 4 City Council member on Tuesday introduced legislation targeting anyone who willfully distributes sexually compromising images without an individual’s consent, something that’s come to be known as “revenge porn.”
Bowser, for one, is hip to the lingo. Her proposal, termed “The Relationship Privacy Protection Act,” would make distributing such images a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. (California and New Jersey have already passed laws criminalizing the act.)
That revenge porn mostly targets women (and often young women) shouldn’t come as a surprise. “There aren’t popular revenge-porn sites with pictures of naked men,” The Guardian‘s Jill Filiopvic explained, “because, as a society we don’t think it’s inherently degrading or humiliating for men to have sex.” Young women, in particular, are less likely to be in a committed relationship and by extension, most vulnerable.
“Revenge porn is the kind of abhorrent behavior on the Internet that we must do all we can to stop,” Bowser said in a press release. “Protecting our residents from serious harm and maintaining their privacy on the Web is an important priority of mine. This bill provides significant penalties that we hope will deter this offensive practice. I look forward to working with my colleagues for its swift passage.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Bowser’s defeat of Gray. She will face David Catania, a Republican-turned-independent, in the November general election. Although the Democratic primary winner has gone on to triumph in every general election since the District began electing a mayor, Bowser will face a credible challenger in Catania, a 16-year veteran of the D.C. Council.
Roughly a quarter of Democratic voters who’ve registered since September 2010 have forgone party affiliation, with 29,055 registering as independents. Those recently added voters are thought to be part of the wave of young people moving to the District, and they comprise a particularly desirable constituency for Bowser.
“I think the reason we are seeing an uptick in new independent voter registration is because so many young millennials are moving into the city,” Michelle Diggles, a senior political analyst for the D.C.-based centrist think tank Third Way recently told The Washington Times. “This has become an incredibly young city.”
What We're Following See More »
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.
Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.