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
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...
WAMU 88.5
A coalition of close to five-dozen social justice organizations is calling on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to make a number of significant changes to her plan to replace the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General with seven smaller, neighborhood-based shelters — but Bowser says she's not budging. In a ...
WAMU 88.5
Update, 6 p.m. Monday: Metro released preliminary findings of its investigation into the smoke incident at Friendship Heights. The suspected cause is no longer an arcing insulator. "While Metro has not yet identified the root cause of the incident, investigators have eliminated power cables as a contributing factor," a Metro statement said. "As a preliminary...
WAMU 88.5
Looking down on the Washington metro region from a satellite in space, anyone could notice distinct changes in the landscape over time. And while many of those changes happen consistently with the seasons, others can become permanent as soon as they happen once. "Through time, we see trees get green in the spring and leaves fall off in the winter," says Xiao-Peng Song, a geo...
WAMU 88.5
District officials have sketched out an aggressive effort to push for statehood this year, including a constitutional convention as early as June and a citywide vote in November on whether the nation's capital should become the 51st state. The goal, they say, it to present the next U.S. president and Congress with a formal request for admission to the union as a new state....
WAMU 88.5
Applause is rarely allowed in a courtroom, much less a full standing ovation — for a defendant. But that's what happened on Wednesday afternoon, when U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle led an ovation for Laura Nuss, the departing director of the D.C. Department on Disability Services, the city agency charged with serving residents with intellectual and developmental d...
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...