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 Virginia couple accused of overseeing the shoddy renovation of dozens of D.C. homes they later sold has agreed to pay over $1 million in restitution to buyers. The developers also will be banned from doing any future construction, renovations or sales of any properties in the city. Special Series: Flipped Off ...
WAMU 88.5
The Big Hunt was quiet last Saturday, with only a smattering a patrons sitting in booths or along the bar. It was easy to understand why: It was the Memorial Day weekend, and the city had largely emptied out as residents headed for the beach and other holiday destinations. But the slow business night may become more the rule than the exception starting this weekend, as Metro...
WAMU 88.5
A D.C. Council committee on Wednesday unanimously gave approval to a bill that would raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. It also gave its OK to a raise for tipped workers, though the pay hike will be lower than what labor activists and Mayor Muriel Bowser have called for. The bill was ...
WAMU 88.5
Your move, Congress. That was the message the D.C. Council sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday when it gave final approval to the city's 2017 budget. The vote, which was otherwise devoid of drama, came amid a broader tug of war between D.C. and congressional Republicans over how much freedom the city should have in spending its locally raised revenue. D.C. officials sa...
WAMU 88.5
The D.C. Council has capped off months of negotiations over where to locate seven new shelters for homeless families, voting unanimously Tuesday on a plan from Mayor Muriel Bowser that establishes a timeline to close the troubled D.C. General shelter and creates a concrete plan for housing its current residents. Legislators and activists alike expressed relief after the vote...
WAMU 88.5
A federal judge on Tuesday overturned a key provision of the District's restrictive concealed-carry law, marking yet another milestone in a see-saw legal battle over gun rights in the nation's capital that has stretched over the last two years. In a 46-page ruling, Judge Richard Leon ordered D.C. to stop enforcing a pr...
WAMU 88.5
As D.C. leaders defiantly defended their right to spend local funds with less congressional interference, Republicans gathered not far away on Capitol Hill to vote for a bill that would re-exert their control over the city's finances. The showdown on Tuesday was one of the most direct confrontations in years between D.C. and congressional Republicans over who has the final s...
WAMU 88.5
The D.C. Council on Tuesday gave initial approval to an amended version of Mayor Muriel Bowser's plan to close the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General and replace it with seven smaller, neighborhood-based shelters. But any celebration was quickly temp...
WAMU 88.5
A fight over how far D.C. can go to break free from congressional control comes to a head on Tuesday, as the D.C. Council moves to claim some independence in how it spends its local funds while a House committee readies to pass a bill that would give Capitol Hill the ultimate say over the city's finances. At issue is what's known in technical terms as "...
WAMU 88.5
The D.C. Council will vote Tuesday on a bill that would shutter the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General, taking a plan presented by Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier this year and making significant changes to both the locations of several of the seven replacement shelters and how t...
WAMU 88.5
House Republicans could move as soon as next week to try to nullify the 2013 D.C. referendum that limits the role Congress plays in approving the city's annual budget, just as the D.C. Council is readying to cast a first vote on the city's 2017 budget. The move comes after a ...
WAMU 88.5
Presidential contender Hillary Clinton has joined her opponent in the Democratic primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in backing statehood for the District of Columbia, pledging to support a movement that is gaining steam locally as the city prepares to debate a constitution that it would submit to Congress next year as part of a formal petition for statehood. "Solidarity is no l...
WAMU 88.5
The number of homeless per jurisdiction on Jan. 28, 2016. Click to enlarge. Despite decreases in the number of homeless peo...
WAMU 88.5
Gathered outside Lincoln's Cottage, where President Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, D.C. leaders on Friday unveiled a draft 31-page state constitution that they say serve as an integral part of the city's newest fight for statehood. The proposed Constitution of the State ...
WAMU 88.5
When long-ignored city neighborhoods suddenly become hot spots, real estate prices typically go up, and many long-time residents are pushed out. There are organizations, however, that can push back. In the District, one nonprofit is now pledging $50 million to help mitigate the downsides of development in what could well be the city's next hot spot: Anacostia. The money is c...
WAMU 88.5
The odds aren't looking good for a group that wants to legalize gambling in the District and open a poker parlor in Anacostia. On Wednesday, both D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and an attorney for the D.C. Board of Elections argued that it may not even be appropriate for the November ballot to include to the group's initiative, which would legalize gambling and set rules ...
WAMU 88.5
Allison Sheedy and Daniel McInnis aren't your typical D.C. pet owners. They've had four chickens in the backyard of their Chevy Chase home for the last three years, and they couldn’t be happier. “They are docile, innocuous and adorable animals, and having fresh eggs in your backyard is absolutely amazing,” says Sheedy. “They don’t take very much effort to take care...
WAMU 88.5
Raising the minimum wage in the District from $11.50 to $15 an hour could net 114,000 workers in the region up to $2,900 in additional wages a year, serving as "a powerful and much-needed step to ensure workers in the Washington area can achieve a decent quality of life." That's according to a new analysis from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute on the impacts of inc...
WAMU 88.5
As the District has boomed in recent years, rising housing prices have been putting the pinch on low-income residents — so much so that many have had to leave the city altogether. But the exodus isn't limited to D.C. alone — Silver Spring is also becoming too expensive for many low-income people. A new rep...
WAMU 88.5
Activists and elected officials in the District have long pushed to turn the nation's capital into the nation's 51st state. But the fight for statehood will see more activity this year than it has over the past three decades — a constitutional convention, a referendum on whether D.C. should beco...