To the Editor:
I knew the moment I spoke with Monique Miles about her candidacy for Alexandria City Council and her vision for the city that I would support her campaign. I had just read an article in the paper about how Monique wanted to make Alexandria a city a more affordable city for all its citizens to live in. She says time and time again that she never wants to hear about citizens moving out of Alexandria because they cannot afford to live here.
I am a Democrat, and at the time, I did not know that Monique was running as a Republican. I’m a straight ticket voter. I vote for every Democrat on the ballot without knowing who they are and what they stand for. Monique changed that. After listening to her speak at the at the Departmental Progressive Club and listening to all the candidates, I will no longer vote for people merely based on political party. On Nov. 3, I will be voting for candidates who genuinely care about all Alexandrians and their concerns for the City.
All the candidates have spoken about housing affordability, but Monique has vision and a clear plan on how she will make housing more affordable for all Alexandrians. Everyday, I witness her strong leadership skills and vision for Alexandria. Even within the community and door knocking, I see the community rallying behind her. People answering their doors tell Monique they will vote for her and are excited about the change she will bring to the city. In the community, I have witnessed her not only attend events, but stay the entire time, specifically at a celebration held in the Burg, a historical African American community. Monique continuously engages with Alexandria’s diverse community and with citizens of every color, ethnicity, background, social status, and neighborhood.
Many parts of Alexandria are changing, and housing prices keep increasing. Sadly, this City Council has not done enough for housing affordability. Over the past 12 years, 12,000 units have disappeared. Regardless of the market rate increases or destruction of units, the fact stands that it happened on council’s watch. All of our citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status, deserve a City Council who is responsive and will solve problems. Socioeconomic status should not dictate how the City Council runs the city.
Alexandrians who have a middle level salary, with a Master’s level education like many other government employees and residents, still can’t afford to live here. Monique and I believe that these situations are unacceptable. Monique Miles remains committed in solving these housing affordability issues that many residents face here in Alexandria. I look forward to her strong, solution-oriented leadership on Alexandria’s City Council — and you should too.
Ethel Carol Talley
Old Town author
“The Heart of A Silent Cry”