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D.C.’s two rookie councilmembers engaged in their first head-to-head negotiation over a pressing matter today. The talks took place over the traditional council breakfast, where members hash out their differences before each bimonthly legislative meeting.
It wasn’t exactly a big fight. The battle was over seating arrangements on the council dais for Ward 7’s Yvette Alexander and Ward 4’s Muriel Bowser.
Alexander staked out her position very clearly: She was pushing for the seat to the far right from the audience perspective, next to Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells. The other open seat would have placed her with a colleague on both sides.
“I need to stretch my legs out in the exit row,” Alexander quipped when asked about her preference. At close to 6 feet tall, Alexander put the premium on space. She also asked At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson to check out her left and right profiles and pick her best side.
But the willowy Bowser is no shrimp at 5-foot-10. She, too, surely had an argument for dibs on the aisle seat. Bowser must figure her constituents are more concerned about her position on the issues than her position on the dais. “It doesn’t matter to me,” she told Council Secretary Cynthia Brock-Smith. Bowser might have already figured out that the seats on the dais have wheels that allow plenty of maneuverability should more legroom be desired.