In the past, Alexandria mayors, because of their progressive orientation, were called upon from time to time to address groups around the U.S. — efforts that have redounded to the benefit of the city. Now that torch has been passed to Mayor Allison Silberberg. She has attracted widespread attention as a young, up-and-coming female mayor.
For example, she recently was invited to speak at the prestigious Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University. Because of her interest in issues relating to healthy aging, she was asked to serve on a panel discussing Alexandria’s programs for older residents and how they could be replicated in other communities, including her creation of a Senior Advocacy Roundtable soon after she became mayor.
More recently she was invited to Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor of New York City, to participate with about 10 mayors and civil rights activists from across the country to discuss civil rights and inclusion. Clearly her outreach and other efforts in Alexandria have caught the attention of her fellow mayors. Moreover, at the end of the month Mayor Silberberg will be teaching a class at the New Mayors School at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
While these events may seem like incidentals, the experience of the past indicates that they have a definite ripple effect. By gaining a reputation as a forward-thinking mayor committed to building bridges of understanding, Mayor Silberberg is drawing attention to the Alexandria that can only be of advantage of the city. Thus, a beneficial tradition is carried on.