To the Editor:
I’m generally a Democrat, but in Alexandria the Democrats that run the City now might as well be just developers. Mayor Bill Euille is an 18-year member of the Council and a developer who invests in local restaurants. Vice Mayor Kerry Donley works for a bank that invests in local developments. The June 12 primary offers residents their first chance to elect Democrats who are truly progressive, who actually think that good government means listening to all your constituents.
Sean Holihan supports many important causes but not those of citizens who oppose developments that will damage their neighborhoods, like the waterfront and Beauregard plans. Justin Wilson and Tim Lovain were on the Council when the City invited the monstrous, revenue-draining BRAC-133 to Alexandria, regardless of its location. They are transportation experts and must think that it’s quite OK if the taxpayers of Alexandria lose millions of tax dollars paying for expensive (and not well thought out) transit projects using a form of legalized gambling called tax increment financing.
Mr. Chapman seems quite willing to accept most of the current development policies in exchange for the support of the incumbent mayor. Del Pepper has been on the Council 27 years and now votes in lockstep with the Mayor. Paul Smedberg also supports the development policies of the current Democrat majority.
The good news is that there are a few candidates who think differently. Ms Menjivar and Ms. Moshenberg have actually been working to support the lives of the underrepresented communities here in Alexandria to give them a voice. Arthur Peabody seems to understand that development without much thought for the future — or citizens — is not worth a great deal. Allison Silberberg recognizes as unfair the treatment of the taxi cab drivers by a City government more used to hobnobbing with the real power brokers and big campaign donors than those who struggle to pay rent. Boyd Walker has fought hard to preserve Alexandria’s history and is not under the thumb of special interests.
Please join with me on June 12 to vote for Menjivar, Moshenberg, Peabody, Walker, and Silberberg.