To the Editor:
Are you kidding me? That was my reaction when I read the Sierra Club’s endorsements of four of the Democrat candidates for Alexandria’s election: Pepper, Lovain, Wilson and Smedberg. That being said, this is actually not a laughing matter at all. These are the very four folks who did nothing to prevent the BRAC from being built in the Seminary area requiring hundreds of mature trees to be sacrificed and replaced by cars and noxious fumes arising from congestion. Obviously these “environmentalists” misuse the term “smart growth.” Why not near a Metro?
Smedberg and Pepper also voted for the Beauregard plan that again will cause the loss of hundreds and hundreds of beautiful and mature trees as well as destruction of the bucolic boulevard. They both approved another development: replacement of James Bland public housing with high-rise buildings that permitted chopping down 100 very old trees and on the same day they declared Alexandria “Tree City.”
Both Smedberg and Pepper do deserve credit for being on the side of closing the offensive GenO power plant, however, their support arrived on the heels of the sweat and real equity and hours of time spent by two civic activists, Poul Hertel and Elizabeth Chimento. These two produced scientific data of pollution that the council could not deny, so the council in fact did not lead this effort, it followed.
The Sierra Club members who care about its mission should be shocked, as well.
Why then did these people get this endorsement? And, I ask, where is Andrew Macdonald’s endorsement? Andrew has been busy for years and years leading efforts here and elsewhere to keep the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River clean. He has lobbied for more parks and green space, and open access to the river for all. Isn’t this the mission of the Sierra Club rather than handing over political points to folks who just happen to be club members, know how to spell green, give lip service to “smart growth” and may ride a bike? Something is seriously wrong with these endorsements.