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Letter: Help Keep Alexandria Family Friendly

— To the Editor:

As a resident of Alexandria for the past 55 years, I am deeply concerned about the City's future and I applaud those City Council candidates who are seeking to maintain a livable Alexandria.

Two terrific candidates — Allison Silberberg and Boyd Walker — as well as others endorsed by "Alexandrians for a Livable City" (Moshenberg, Peabody and Menjivar), are using their common sense to keep Alexandria family friendly. I hark back to the days when Alexandria was a city of family-friendly neighborhoods. My husband Bob and I raised a family in Rosemont, and there was no greater place to do that — good schools, playgrounds and parks, great neighbors and reliable city services.

Boyd refers to the same experience growing up in Old Town. I've known Boyd and his family for many years and have great confidence in his ability to get City Council to be more responsive to Old Town issues. There is genuine concern about the current Waterfront Plan generating a lot more traffic, leading to gridlock and other problems. The Old Town residents are very conscientious about maintaining their properties and they also pay some of the highest real estate taxes in the city. If they get so uncomfortable that they move out, we will lose all the tourist trade that has been so carefully marketed over the years.

No doubt, changes are inevitable in Alexandria, and some must be encouraged, such as better transportation. Yet with all this talk of the need for high-density housing (family friendly?), it's important that we all keep in mind one common goal — a city that maintains and enhances the stability and growth of Alexandria's families.

Allison and the others are wisely seeking to maintain our affordable housing (family-friendly), which also helps maintain the City's diverse population.

Historic Parkfairfax has been Allison's home for the past 20 years where she stood with us to fight the Hot Lanes, commuter traffic and the dangerous plan for a natural gas pipeline through our neighborhood that would have gone under Charles Barrett Elementary School.

Allison has over 20 years' experience in the nonprofit sector, which she now uses to advocate for affordable housing and job creation for all Alexandrians, as chair of the city's Economic Opportunities Commission. She has worked with many community activists and groups who have accomplished much for struggling populations throughout our area, and now she wisely puts that experience to use to serve Alexandria. She recorded her experiences in her book "Visionaries in our Midst," which profiles courageous individuals who are making a difference and gives all of us great insight into what is possible. There is a reason that Allison has an extensive "brigade" helping her. We are inspired not only by her words but by her accomplishments, leadership, sense of mission and can-do spirit.

I believe that Allison's and Boyd's life and commitment to public service show us how they would serve on City Council and that they would be a tremendous asset in keeping our city livable and family friendly.

Ruth T. Woods

Historic Parkfairfax

Alexandria