To the Editor:
Although I will not be one of the Alexandria City Council Members during this next term, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to the many voters who cast their ballots for me, and who supported me in so many other ways. Needless to say, we must all find innovative ways during the next three years to ensure that the concerns of all of our citizens are well articulated, and are heard by every member of this newly elected City Council.
The election of Allison Silberberg as mayor is indeed a great giant step in the right direction. She brings with her a strong mandate to change the “status quo.” However, we are fully aware that in the last three years the re-elected incumbents almost always voted against her. We cannot allow this situation to continue if we wish to solve even some of the critical issues facing us.
This new mayor will need to forge coalitions with these City Council members in order to pass legislation that reflects more the will of the people, (who are its real constituents) instead of the will of the developers. Citizens will also need to be active participants in the legislative process by supporting the mayor on those occasions when she has to invoke her “voice of reason.” If this does not occur, we will continue to have a city government that is not fully "of the people," or "by the people," or "for the people." Citizens must therefore be fully engaged with the process of democracy. I stand ready to support this new day, and look forward to the many opportunities to make a real difference.
Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet