WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Martin Austermuhle

Web Producer & Reporter

Austermuhle joined WAMU as a web producer and reporter in April 2013. Prior to that, he served as editor-in-chief for DCist.com, and has written for the Washington City Paper, Washington Diplomat and other publications. Born in Switzerland, Martin lived throughout Latin America before coming to the U.S. to attend Penn State University and later Georgetown University, where he received a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies. He lives in Columbia Heights with his wife Carolina, a school teacher, and daughter.


Articles Written by Martin Austermuhle

WAMU 88.5
A bill being proposed by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser would not only increase the city's minimum wage to $15 in 2020, but also more than double the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers to $7.50 by 2022. The details were announced on Tuesday morning, bringing clarity to a proposal she had ...
WAMU 88.5
Millions of Americans will file their tax returns today, taking part in one of the single annual traditions that — like it or not — is shared by people across the nation. But just as it has been for the better part of 30 years, longtime D.C. resident Lateef Mangum won't be among them. Mangum calls himself a "tax protester," and says that the city's longstanding disenfranch...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants residents to vote this November on whether the nation's capital should become the 51st state. Bowser says the vote, which would ultimately have no legal force, would serve to express the city's opinion on whether it should become a state or remain a federal district under congressional control. She made the announcement during a Friday breakfas...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has unveiled additional details about her plan to replace the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General with seven smaller, neighborhood-based shelters — but some of the plan's fiercest critics still say that ...
WAMU 88.5
Washington, D.C. is a company town. But as that company — the federal government — has capped spending in recent years, the region's economy has taken a hit. There's hope for the future, though — but much of it still pinned to the federal government. The...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced on Wednesday morning that police will search the National Arboretum for Relisha Rudd, who disappeared from the D.C. General homeless shelter two years ago when she was 8. Lanier said the search will involve police dogs and divers, and likely take two days. "It is a difficult search environment" for a search, she said in press conferen...
WAMU 88.5
When D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled her plan in February to close the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General and replace it with seven smaller, neighborhood-based shelters, virtually every member of the D.C. Council jumped onboard....
WAMU 88.5
If you stand at the corner of East Capitol Street and 19th Street SE and look east, you'll see the D.C. Armory and RFK Stadium, surrounded by acres of parking — used most recently to hold the snow that was cleared from city streets after the February blizzard. But if you stand at the same corner one or two decades from now, you may see a network of gleaming sports and recr...
WAMU 88.5
A D.C. judge ruled on Monday that the question of whether the city should raise its minimum wage to $15 can be put to voters in November, reversing a prior ruling that had stopped the campaign for a wage hike in its tracks. Though the ruling is a win for proponents of the ballot i...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday banned city employees from traveling to North Carolina on official business, joining leaders from Connecticut, Wash...
WAMU 88.5
A group funded by an anonymous corporation registered in Delaware is pushing to legalize gambling in the District, first by creating a site in downtown Anacostia where people could play poker, blackjack and other card games and then by licensing other such facilities throughout the city. Under the "Limited Gaming Initiative of 2016," which would be placed on the D.C. ballot ...
WAMU 88.5
If you called 911 for a medical emergency in the District last week, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services would have responded — and transported you to the hospital. But starting today, you may well be getting a ride from a private ambulance. A fleet of 35 privately operated ambulances hit the streets in D.C. on Monday, part of a plan hatched by D.C. Fire & EMS Chief G...
WAMU 88.5
In 2013, legislators in D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George's County agreed to cooperate — not compete — on the minimum wage. Each jurisdiction would raise its minimum wage to $11.50, D.C. by 2016 and the counties by the year after. The idea behind the coordina...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she's setting aside $1.3 billion to speed up the modernization of aging public schools in the city, pledging that by 2022 the city will be closer to finishing a campaign that started in earnest in 2007 under her mentor, Mayor Adrian Fenty. The money is included in her 2017 budget...
WAMU 88.5
Mayor Muriel Bowser will introduce a bill to raise the District's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, a move that would add D.C. to a growing number of U.S. cities that have adopted the higher wage with the intention of combating income inequality. "When the [D.C.] Council returns from its break early next month, I will send legislation to the Council to increase our minimu...
WAMU 88.5
On Thursday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled her budget for the 2017 fiscal year, setting off a two-month process in which the D.C. Council debates, amends and approves her spending plan. But unlike in years and decades past, one thing will be different: the role Congress p...
WAMU 88.5
Forest Haven has been closed for 25 years. It remains as little more than a crumbling and abandoned campus, overcome by nature and visited often by vandals. But in the broader push to deinstitutionalize the lives of people with developmental disabilities, doing away with physical structures like Forest Haven is only one step. In most states, only a small portion of people receiving s...
WAMU 88.5
Steven Powe’s apartment in a two-story building in the Brentwood neighborhood of Northeast D.C. is modest and sparsely furnished, but that doesn’t much bother the 57-year-old. When he moved in 5 years ago, it was the first time the he had lived alone in his whole life. “My mom didn’t want me to move, because she was afraid something would happen,” he says. “I cou...
WAMU 88.5
When Forest Haven closed its doors in late 1991, there was space for optimism and excitement: No longer would intellectually and developmentally disabled D.C. residents be segregated and isolated in an institution 22 miles from their hometown. “It was exciting. When we heard the news that Forest Haven was closing the institution, we were like ‘Yay, we’re getting out, ...