I have never met Bill Euille but for the last 20 years I have lived in the city that he has served for over 40 years. I've lived in Landmark, Old Town, and now in Rosemont. I came to Alexandria young and single and now I'm middle-aged, married, and have children. From these various perspectives I've seen Alexandria steadily getting better over the years.
Our neighborhood school, once a place to be avoided, is now a selling point for Realtors. Derelict railway yards and military bases at the old Roundhouse site, Cameron Station, and Potomac Yards have been transformed into some of the city’s most desirable housing and retail.
I've witnessed an active gas station built on top of a cemetery reclaimed as a tribute to hundreds of people who escaped slavery and made Alexandria their home. While Washington, D.C. and Arlington have dithered over trolleys, Alexandria has implemented a new busway. Over a decade ago, Alexandrians were promised a “waterfront for all” and an end to being a laughing stock every time the Potomac flooded. That dream is about to be realized.
Any fair-minded citizen must give Bill Euille some credit for these transformational achievements. During his decades on the School Board, City Council, and in the mayor’s office, Euille has quietly but steadily shepherded these and many more projects from dream to reality. Mayor Euille hasn't led with slogans and pandering, he has succeeded by listening to the people and building consensus over months and years. At times a vocal minority has disagreed with the mayor and the majority on the City Council. However Mayor Euille has persevered and the city and the people of Alexandria are better for it.
Mayor Euille’s vision for Alexandria has repeatedly been affirmed through elections, by the votes of his fellow city counselors, and, when forced to, by court decisions. That is why I was so distressed by last Tuesday's election results.
"Republicans for Allison" signs, my Republican neighbors being quoted in the press promising to vote for Silberberg and, and finally, election results that showed the strongest Republican precincts going overwhelmingly for the vice mayor are all signs that the voter pool was not representative of Alexandria Democrats. In the end only 300 votes separated the vice mayor from Mayor Euille. This is curiously a similar number of voters who failed to cast a vote for delegate on the same ballot. Could it be that a slate of candidates that victor Mark Levine called “good progressives” was too unappealing to conservative Silberberg voters?
I can accept my candidate not winning. I have learned this lesson repeatedly from Mike Dukakis, Al Gore, Howard Dean, John Kerry, and others. However, I cannot accept interference in a political party's primary. Especially when 300 votes, out of Alexandria’s 86,000 registered voters, determine our mayor.
This is why I will be writing in Bill Euille in on the ballot on November. My hope is that a more representative group of voters turns out in November and we can keep Alexandria on the path of progress. Join me.
On Twitter @Write-In Euille and at Write.in.mayor.Euille@gmail.com.