Family: Shirley Miles, Charlie (mini poodle)
Education including degrees and institutions: Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Philosophy from the University of Virginia; Juris Doctor from the Regent University School of Law
Offices held, dates: N/A
Occupation and relevant experience: Attorney and Owner of Old Towne Associates, P.C.
Community involvement: Mentor for at-risk youth, former member of Towing Advisory Services Board, member of the Board of Governors for the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, which oversees pro bono legal services across the Commonwealth. I also serve on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference and the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter handle: MMilesAlexCC
Name three favorite endorsements: Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, BlakPAC, NextGenGOP
What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?
I have been a public servant through community service and youth mentorship for many years. I was asked to run for office multiple times and decided that now I felt I could make an impact. I have a genuine interest in people and I care about our community. The best way to make a positive impact is to become an engaged citizen and run for public office. I would strive to create a close bond between Council and residents all across the City to restore their faith in government.
What distinguishes you from your opponents and why should voters choose you?
I am a female, minority small business owner. I’m an outlier in the City and would be an outlier on Council. There are no small business owners on Council and that’s why my perspective would be so valuable. I would bring that mindset to Council and put it toward solving the problems Council will face over the next three years. Parts of my small business plan have been praised by Democratic and Republican candidates.
Voters should choose me because I am one of the few candidates that say “I am looking forward to reaching across the aisle and working with the opposing party.” We must move this City forward together and I’ll do just that through strong leadership.
Beyond funding, how else can city government help the school system?
Children are the future of Alexandria. That’s why I support providing all of the funds necessary for them to have the resources they need to learn. Beyond that funding, I would use the Maury School Initiative as an example of how to solve facility and capacity problems that schools encounter. The public-private model that was spearheaded by concerned parents and educators should serve as an example across the nation of how civic engagement can be successful. I would work with individual PTAs, form the important relationships necessary, and watch neighborhoods thrive with stronger schools.
How do you convince citizens that you are truly listening to them even when you have to disagree with them?
Government is toxic when the representatives think they know best. I am imperfect and do not know the answer to every question. However, the key to a strong community, and something that I believe is lacking is respect and civility. Too many op-eds complain about the current Council’s superiority complex.
As your Councilwoman, if we disagreed on something, I’d love to sit down with you and discuss why you feel a certain way and where we can agree. The only way citizens are to remain engaged is if their government remains responsive.
Any number of economic hiccups beyond the city's control (federal government, economic downturn, etc.) could force re-ordering of city budget priorities. For reductions, which three areas would you turn to first?
The most important part about re-ordering budget priorities is preserving the high- quality of life Alexandria residents enjoy. Budgetary cuts should not adversely affect any population in the City. That’s why I would pursue cuts to the following: non-essential City personnel functions such as travel restrictions, conferences, and departmental discretionary spending; reducing redundancy through shared services like auxiliary services and facilities (a recommendation from BFAAC); and by paying our debt service we will pay less in interest every year our Council refuses to solve tough problems.
If you were given $1 million to spend any way you would like for the betterment of the city, how would you spend it?
I would put the $1 million towards the Housing Affordability Trust Fund. Through market rate increases and council inaction, over 12,000 affordable units have been lost in the past 10 years. I’ve said I will bring real soluti