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
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, ...
WAMU 88.5
As Harold Evans slowly shuffles around his home in Bowie, Maryland, he points to papers, pictures, awards and keepsakes to jog his memory. There’s his arrival in the District in the late 1930s, where he would live for the following 60 years. His Army service in Korea. The stint at the Library of Congress in the 1950s — when African-Americans with college degrees were rel...
WAMU 88.5
The year-long legal battle over the fate of the District's concealed-carry law took another turn on Monday, when a federal judge preliminarily upheld the city's restrictive regulations on who can qualify for a permit to carry a handgun — and hinted that the city had the better argument in the debate over whether the regulations are constitutional or not. In a 31-page order...
WAMU 88.5
An effort to have D.C. residents vote on whether the city should raise its minimum wage to $15 remained in legal limbo after a court hearing Thursday, eating up time proponents need to collect the necessary signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. At the hearing, Judge Maurice Ross continued weighing arguments over a ...
WAMU 88.5
After years of delays and millions of dollars in cost overruns, the long-awaited streetcar along H Street and Benning Road NE will start carrying passengers on Saturday, Feb. 27. No, really. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the announcement on Thursday, only a week after a long-delayed safety certification for t...
WAMU 88.5
Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Saturday at the age of 79, was the Supreme Court's best-known "originalist" — he believed that the meaning of the U.S...
WAMU 88.5
Proposed Shelter Locations Ward 1: 2105-2107 10th Street NW, 29 units Ward 3: 2619 Wisconsin Avenue NW, 38 units Ward 4: 5505 5th Street NW, 49 units Ward 5: 2266 2...
WAMU 88.5
A sweeping bill that would give many D.C. residents 16 weeks of paid family leave has been pared down ahead of a public hearing later this week, where proponents and critics of the plan will have a chance to debate how much paid leave workers should get — and who should pay for ...
WAMU 88.5
The troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General could close as soon as the winter of 2018 under a plan unveiled Tuesday by Mayor Muriel Bowser, with the roughly 280 families occupying it sent instead to "smaller, dignified facilities" located in neighborhoods across the city. Proposed Shelter Locations ...
WAMU 88.5
Former D.C. mayor Vincent Gray announced Thursday that he will run for the Ward 7 seat on the D.C. Council, the first step towards what he hopes is a political comeback after losing his re-election bid in 2014 to Mayor Muriel Bowser. Speaking on ...
WAMU 88.5
Attorneys for the D.C. Board of Elections are seeking to reverse a judge's ruling from last week that shot down plans for a public vote on raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. In his Friday ruling, Judge Maurice Ross stopped the effort to put the issue to D.C. voters i...
WAMU 88.5
The D.C. Council on Tuesday approved a bill creating a seven-person task force to study whether the city should license private clubs where patrons can gather to use marijuana. The measure was a compromise of sorts: On one side were Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), who were pushing for a bill that would permanently prohibit marijuana use in...
WAMU 88.5
A D.C. judge on Friday ruled that an effort for a public vote on raising the minimum wage to $15 cannot be placed on the November ballot, handing a temporary victory to business leaders who say a wage that high would at best limit hiring and at worst drive businesses out of the city....
WAMU 88.5
More on D.C. Marijuana Here's Just About Everything You Need To Know About Pot Legalization In D.C. ...
WAMU 88.5
Classes were canceled on Monday for tens of thousands of D.C. students, but a handful of public schools remained open — for food, not education. On Sunday evening, DCPS announced that 10 buildings would open to offer students, families and members o...
WAMU 88.5
Update, 10:45 a.m.: Per a tweet from Mayor Muriel Bowser, all Metrorail stations in the District — with the exception of Benning Road — will be open at 11 a.m. Original post: With the region still digging out from over two feet of snow, area school systems planning t...