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Letter: New Voice For the City

To the Editor:

As an 88-year-old woman and a resident of Alexandria for the past 55 years, I am deeply concerned about the future of Alexandria. I applaud a particular City Council candidate who is focused on maintaining a livable, family-friendly Alexandria.

An excellent candidate, Allison Silberberg, is adding a new voice to that effort. I remember 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.

No doubt, changes are inevitable in Alexandria, and some must be encouraged, such as better transportation. Yet it's important that we all keep in mind one common goal — a city that caters to the stability and growth of Alexandria's families and neighborhoods.

Allison wants to preserve the best of family-friendly Alexandria. This includes good schools, parks and social services. She envisions a "people's waterfront" with a small, permanent band shell in Oronoco Bay Park for cultural events and gatherings to enrich our community; a CCC-like beautification jobs initiative; and public-private partnerships for historic preservation.

Allison has over 20 years' experience in the nonprofit sector, where she has worked with many community activists and groups who have accomplished much for struggling populations throughout our area.

She is wisely seeking to maintain our affordable housing, which helps maintain the city's working and diverse population. As chair of the city's Economic Opportunities Commission, she serves as an advocate for the most vulnerable, focusing mainly on affordable housing and job creation for all Alexandrians. She will work towards early childhood education and apprenticeship programs for young people to help with jobs and self-sufficiency; she is an advocate for the homeless, including adolescents without guardians.

Allison has lived in historic Parkfairfax for the past 20 years, and she stood with us to fight against the Hot Lanes and other unwelcome intrusions to our community, including the gas line intended to be built alongside Charles Barrett Elementary School.

There is a reason that Allison has an extensive "brigade" of volunteers campaigning for 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 hard work and longtime commitment to public service shows us how she would serve on City Council. She will be a tremendous asset to our city's future as she strives to maintain our livable, family-friendly community.

Ruth T. Woods

Alexandria