To the Editor:
On April 30, 2012, I resigned as president of the Alexandria League of Women Voters, although I remain a member, as I have been for many years now.
I felt I should do something different and do it within the structure of the Democratic Party, which has always been my political home. I think these are gloomy days, but one strong ray of sunshine is that this year Democratic Council candidates will be chosen in a primary on June 12. This is makes it 1000 times easier to participate than was true with the old caucus system. Caucus voters had to go to one location in the city and there was no possibility of absentee voting.
This year voters may go to their home precincts where they regularly vote and ask for the Democratic ballot. It will contain the names of the 14 individuals running for City Council as Democrats. Persons who go to the polls at the same time to participate in the Republican primary receive a ballot offering a choice of Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate. Absentee voting is already available and it is available to anyone who will be away from the city during the hours of 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. when the polls will be open.
Having so many candidates, many of whom have never run for City Council before creates a kind of knowledge deficit for even the most attentive and well-informed voters. Three of my friends and I have formed a political action committee, (PAC) Alexandrians for a Livable City. I think the name expresses our hope for the city where each of us has lived for many years.
We have studied the public statements and web sites of the Democratic candidates and watched the first candidate forum held by the Taylor Run Citizens Association and others (thank you, Taylor Run). All the members of the PAC are committed Democrats. We care about social justice issues such as the preservation of a meaningful amount of affordable housing as well as the major (we think ill-conceived) development projects on the waterfront and in the Beauregard Corridor.
Therefore, we four (Lynn Bostain, Robert Pringle, Ginny Hines Parry and me) endorse and recommend to Democratic voters these five candidates, the only candidates who met our criteria as good Democrats who care about social justice and question the pell-mell rush toward ever more enormous, dense development projects in the city. None of them has served on Council before and had no role in bad decisions made not just by this Council, but the one preceding it. Our candidates are Victoria Menjivar, Sammie Moshenberg, Arthur Peabody, Allison Silberberg and Boyd Walker.