0
Votes

Letter: A Voice of Reason

— To the Editor:

Allison Silberberg, a Democrat running for City Council, at the debate Monday night, clearly demonstrated her command of the issues, as well as her capacity to understand the broad concerns that affect all of us in Alexandria.

I have lived here since 1974, and I have rarely seen such an exceptional public servant who cares deeply about all citizens in our community. Her work and life are a reflection of what she advocates. She doesn't just talk about the issues; she works hard for change and has done so for over two decades in our community.

[Recently] Allison spoke passionately about such compelling issues that directly affect the city, including affordable housing, the distressing cutbacks at the libraries, the importance of civic engagement, and the need to support our teachers who are inundated with too many initiatives and paperwork.

Moreover, Allison was the only one who expressed the voice of disappointment clearly evident in the community about the disaster called BRAC. She also spoke about the waterfront not being visionary enough. Alexandria needs Allison's new ideas at the table.

Allison has an exceptional political background. She interned for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on Capitol Hill and later served on staff for U.S. Sen. Lloyd M. Bentsen. She has lived her life with a sense of mission. Upon leaving the Hill, she launched and led a nonprofit that mentored youth in Anacostia.

As the chair of Alexandria's Economic Opportunities Commission, Allison focused the commission's energies on affordable housing and job creation. The EOC, under her leadership, was part of a state-wide effort to get funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, and Richmond just allocated $7 million, and those dollars will help low-income families. She also initiated the EOC's "All Hands on Deck" public service day. Allison does not just make political statements. These are real and meaningful accomplishments that affect and improve the quality of life for our citizens.

Allison has also put forth a city-wide beautification jobs initiative in her platform. (www.allisonsilberberg.com)

I have volunteered and worked hard for Allison Silberberg since the beginning of her all-volunteer campaign. I have worked with her supporters. The passion and dedication of all those involved are unparalleled. Allison has the integrity, commitment, and most of all, the interest in and a vision for the people of Alexandria. She would definitely make a difference in the quality of life in our city. I agree with her slogan: Vote for Change!

Above all, I agree with Patsy Ticer, who has called her: "A voice of reason."

Combining all of her life and professional experiences in affordable housing, teaching, writing, nonprofit management, and Capitol Hill, Allison clearly has the character, integrity, commitment, and last but not least, the ability to lead. Her assets and her warm spirit would, without doubt, enable her to make an enormous contribution to the city and its citizens.

This is a critical time for our city. Alexandria needs and deserves Allison Silberberg on the City Council.

Betty Guttmann

Alexandria