All but one of the current City Council members are running for reelection. The slate of incumbents includes one member who has been on the council since 1985 and four first-term councilmen.
LUDWIG GAINES is a native of St. Albans, N.Y. He has lived in Alexandria since 1998, and he has been on City Council since 2003.
“When I first ran to serve the people, I pledged that the city would gain with Gaines — and we have,” Gaines said. “I ran because I firmly believed and continue to believe that my background in community service, law, planning and public policy — and my commitment to and compassion for all residents of this city — would foster good, informed, responsive and effective government.”
Gaines received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., where he is now a visiting teaching fellow for ethics and social justice, and a juris doctorate from Howard University, where he is now a professor. He is a former member of the Planning Commission, the Alexandria Transit Board of Directors and the Landlord-Tenant Relations Board. He and his wife, Crystal, are Quaker Hill residents.
“To be sure, much work remains to be done — particularly in reducing the property tax burden on homeowners,” Gaines said. “I am confident and unquestionably committed to bringing about such change and to successfully meeting the challenges ahead.”
ROB KRUPICKA is a native of Seattle who moved to Alexandria in 1993. He was first elected to the City Council in 2003.
“I first ran for office to ensure Alexandria was be a city where our children could grow up with great opportunities,” Krupicka said. “I have worked to improve our schools, to push government to be fairer and more efficient, to fight for neighborhood vitality, mass transit, more environmentally sensitive approaches to land-use and development, a more walkable community and to help small local businesses succeed in the face of strong regional and national competition.”
Krupicka received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia. Before being elected to the City Council, Krupicka was president of the Del Ray Citizens Association and vice chairman of the Alexandria Community Services Board. A former AOL executive, Krupicka remains an active business consultant providing strategic planning and business development support for technology firms with an emphasis on financial services and security technology.
“There is still work to do to improve our schools, and we have more work to do to expand mass transit and implement regional traffic solutions,” Krupicka said. “I'd like to see our performance audits and other government efficiency programs through to completion, and I believe we need to re-formulate and renew our commitment to affordability in our city and region.”
ANDREW MACDONALD was born in Paris, where his father was stationed as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He has lived in Alexandria since 1959, and he was elected to the City Council in 2003.
“I thought that with my scientific expertise and civic experience I could help change key policies,” Macdonald said about his 2003 campaign. “I didn't think that the city was doing enough to protect the unique historic character of the town, restore our natural resources, save open space and protect small local businesses.”
Macdonald earned his bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in geology. He has lectured at George Mason University and at Johns Hopkins University. He is a former staff scientist for the Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M University and an analyst for the U.S. Congress' Office of Technology Assessment's Ocean & Environment Program.
“I think I bring a unique perspective and background to the council,” Macdonald said. “You can count on me to examine complex issues — like affordable housing and the city budget — thoughtfully and to solicit your input before making a decision.”
DEL PEPPER is a native of Omaha. She has lived in Alexandria since 1968, and she was first elected to the City Council in 1985.
“I ran for office because I cared deeply about many issues in our city, and the City Council is the body that adopts the policies and ordinances that govern Alexandria,” she said.
Pepper received a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. From 1979 to 1984, she was the administrative aide of former Mayor Charles Beatley. Pepper and her husband, Dr. F.J. Pepper, have one son. In 2003, she received more votes than any other City Council member, which qualified her to be the city’s vice mayor.
She is the chairwoman of 13 council-related task forces, boards, commissions or committees. She represents the city on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee. She is a member of many civic groups, including the League of Women Voters, the Optimist Club of Alexandria, the Holmes Run Committee, the Urban League, the Symphony Orchestra League of Alexandria, the Sierra Club, Senior Services of Alexandria, the Alexandria Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women and Thousand Friends of Alexandria.
“I bring a great deal of experience and institutional knowledge, as well as a broad perspective and vision to the job of serving on council,” she said.
PAUL SMEDBERG is a native of Hartford, Conn., and a former resident of Rocky Hill, Conn. He has lived in Alexandria for 18 years, and he was first elected to the City Council in 2003.
“I have always tried to take a balanced and thoughtful approach to tackling issues before the city particularly the budget,” said Smedberg.
He is a former member of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and a former board president of the Community Partners for Children. From 1995 to 2000, Smedberg served as treasurer of the Moran for Delegate campaign. From 1997 to 1999, he was chairman of the Alexandria Democratic Committee. He currently serves on the Council of Governments’ Public Safety Policy Committee, the Economic Opportunities Commission, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, the Pension Study Committee, the Sister Cities Committee and the Eisenhower Partnership.
Aside from serving on the City Council, he is director of public policy at the American Society of Nephrology. He has degrees in economics and history from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
“I want to continue to strengthen our reputation for safe and healthy neighborhoods, efficient and responsive government, strong fiscal management, responsible development and excellent schools,” Smedberg said.