10 episodes

Join Kojo and resident analyst Tom Sherwood on Fridays at noon for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Each week Kojo and Tom help make sense of legislation, hold elected officials accountable and provide in-depth analysis of local issues and elections. The Politics Hour is also a vital forum for Washingtonians to engage directly with their local leaders.

The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi WAMU 88.5

    • News
    • 4.7 • 36 Ratings

Join Kojo and resident analyst Tom Sherwood on Fridays at noon for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Each week Kojo and Tom help make sense of legislation, hold elected officials accountable and provide in-depth analysis of local issues and elections. The Politics Hour is also a vital forum for Washingtonians to engage directly with their local leaders.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser discusses crime, the Commanders, and her 'Comeback Plan' for downtown

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser discusses crime, the Commanders, and her 'Comeback Plan' for downtown

    On Friday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the show to discuss the future of the RFK Stadium site and a major crime bill.

    Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passeda bipartisan bill allowing D.C. to redevelop the old RFK Stadium site. It's a major step in potentially bringing the Commanders back to the District.

    While it still has to pass the U.S. Senate, Bowser said the move brings the District a “step closer to being able to control our own destiny.”

    She said the site would be an ideal place for a mixed-use development that could include housing, retail, restaurants, parkland, and possibly a home for the District’s NFL franchise, the Washington Commanders.

    “What we have right now is a broken down stadium, a sea of asphalt, and reduced access to the Anacostia River, and a blight in our community,” said Bowser. “Yes, I do think an NFL stadium could be there.”

    Bowser also talked about the massive crime bill that the D.C. Council is set to vote on next week. She praised Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto for introducing the legislation and encouraged the council to vote yes on it.

    However, she took issue with two amendments included in the bill prior to the first vote in early February, and asked councilmembers to reverse them

    The first amendment makes the pre-trial detention provision temporary to allow time to study its impact on curbing crime. The provision would make it easier for judges to hold adults in jail pending trial for violent offenses if they have a history of committing violent crimes.

    She says the expansion of pretrial detention first introduced in the emergency public safety bill enacted this past summer is one reason crime rates are down by about ten percent over the first two months of this year.

    “I firmly believe part of the reason we are seeing fewer assaults with a deadly weapon - and that’s largely guns - is because we’ve taken a lot of shooters off the streets in the last six months.”

    She also asked the D.C. Council to reinstate the proposed expansion of DNA collection from felony suspects.

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    • 50 min
    Montgomery County struggles with pedestrian safety, Hogan’s surprise announcement, and Alexandria arena bill complications

    Montgomery County struggles with pedestrian safety, Hogan’s surprise announcement, and Alexandria arena bill complications

    This past weekend, a pedestrian in Silver Spring was killed by a driver of a vehicle. It marked the first pedestrian death this year and comes on the heels of the Montgomery County Council approving a pedestrian safety plan late last year. Montgomery County Council President Andrew Friedson gets behind the mic to talk about what the county is doing to keep pedestrians safe. Plus, the fallout continues at Montgomery County Public Schools after an investigation led Superintendent Monifa McKnight to resign earlier this month.

    Late last week, former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan made the surprise announcement that he is jumping into the U.S. Senate race. Goucher College’s Mileah Kromer, author of a book about Hogan, Blue State Republican, joins the show to talk about why the former governor is jumping into the race now, his chances against a Democratic challenger, and what it could mean for the U.S. Senate.

    The Alexandria arena deal appeared to be a slam dunk, but it’s hit some speed bumps. While legislation did pass in the House of Delegates yesterday, a bill stalled in the Senate. Virginia Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell (D-Alexandria) weighs in on what happened and what comes next. Plus, what other important legislation is moving forward in Richmond… and what isn’t?

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    • 49 min
    The D.C. Council advances a major crime bill; Alexandria arena debate continues

    The D.C. Council advances a major crime bill; Alexandria arena debate continues

    The D.C. Council advanced a major crime bill earlier this week, but not without a few changes. A second and final vote is expected in a few weeks as the Council continues its debate about the Secure D.C. omnibus bill. D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson joins the show to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the discussions going on with the bill. Plus, the Council voted in favor of moving forward with a restaurant relief bill. WAMU reporter Amanda Michelle Gomez breaks down the legislation for us.

    Many residents still have lots of questions about the potential deal that would build a new sports arena in Alexandria. Debate gets underway in the Virginia General Assembly on legislation this week, with traffic, needed Metro improvements, and parking topping locals’ concerns. Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson gets behind the mic to answer questions from Kojo, Tom, and listeners about the new arena that could be coming to his community. Plus, what are his thoughts on the potential of a retail cannabis market debuting in Virginia as early as January 2025?

    Become a member of WAMU: wamu.org/donate

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    • 49 min
    50 years of D.C. Home Rule and what comes next

    50 years of D.C. Home Rule and what comes next

    As part of a weeklong series of stories, we’re marking 50 years of Home Rule in the District.  President Richard Nixon signed the Home Rule Act on December 24, 1973 granting D.C and its residents to right to elect its own local government, which they did in November 1974. But Home Rule was and remains limited. For example, D.C. still does not have voting representation in Congress.

    Historian and co-author of Chocolate City: A History Of Race And Democracy In The Nation’s Capital George Derek Musgrove gets behind the mic to discuss the compromises that led to the passage of the Home Rule Act. He will be joined by Arrington Dixon, who was elected to the very first D.C. Council to talk about what it was like to take on this historic responsibility.

    Then, WAMU’s criminal justice reporter Jenny Gathright will discuss how today’s political moves to limit D.C.’s autonomy follow an old playbook. Finally, President of the D.C. Young Democrats and co-founder of 51 for 51 Jamal Holtz talks us through the fight for D.C. representation in Congress and what comes next for D.C. self-governance. Could statehood be on the horizon?

    Become a member of WAMU: wamu.org/donate

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    • 49 min
    D.C. Councilmember Trayon White weighs in on the council’s latest crime bill and why more rental assistance is needed

    D.C. Councilmember Trayon White weighs in on the council’s latest crime bill and why more rental assistance is needed

    D.C. Councilmember Brooke Pinto’s hefty Secure DC crime bill is moving forward, after being approved by the Public Safety and Judiciary committee last week. Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White joins the show to discuss his thoughts and critiques of the bill. Plus, Councilmember White discusses a potentially new ticket amnesty program, emergency rental assistance, and a controversial recent appearance at a protest.

    A report released this week suggests Montgomery County Public Schools did not do an adequate job of investigating claims of sexual harassment by a school principal. This came a day after Superintendent Monifa McKnight said the school board had asked her to resign. Montgomery County Councilmember and Education and Culture Committee chair Will Jawando weighs in. Earlier this month Councilmember Jawando pulled a bill that would have phased out tipped minimum wage by 2028. The councilmember explains why and what comes next.

    Become a member of WAMU: wamu.org/donate

    Send us questions and comments for guests: kojo@wamu.org

    Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/wamu885

    Follow us on Facebook:facebook.com/thepoliticshour

    • 49 min
    Cannabis, casinos, and the proposed Alexandria arena with Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin

    Cannabis, casinos, and the proposed Alexandria arena with Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin

    The Virginia General Assembly’s 2024 session is in full swing as lawmakers consider legislation on casinos, cannabis, and data centers. State Senator Adam Ebbin (D-39) joins the show to discuss what’s on the docket in Richmond. Plus, we get his thoughts on the proposal to move the Wizards and Capitals to a new arena in his district in Alexandria.

    The Prince George’s County Council reconvened this week with a budget shortfall and potential spending cuts at the top of its list. Washington Post reporter Lateshia Beachum gets behind the mic to walk us through what to watch for from the council. Plus, who might be planning a run for County Executive?

    Metro’s budget crisis has the entire region on edge with big service cuts potentially in store. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Executive Director Clark Mercer talks with Kojo and Tom about how local leaders are banding together to prevent this from happening.

    Become a member of WAMU: wamu.org/donate

    Send us questions and comments for guests: kojo@wamu.org

    Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/wamu885

    Follow us on Facebook:facebook.com/thepoliticshour

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

JMS32205 ,

Wonderful show

Tom and Kojo. Two DMV legends walking us through the local political scene. Helloooo everybody.

Margo from Fayetteville NC ,

Best of WAMU

Even though I have moved from Fairfax, VA to Fayetteville, NC, I tune into WAMU every weekday at noon for the Kojo NNamdi show. I noticed that the Politics Hour with Tom Sherwood has been taken off the network and there is no Apple Podcast available. What's going on???

dc nowhere ,

Can Tom Sherwood let the guest finish a sentence??

Can Tom Sherwood let the guest finish a talking??

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