Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Political Diversity in Alexandria

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Political Diversity in Alexandria

Frequently, I am asked why the Alexandria City Council is not politically representative of our community. In any given election, 65 to 75 percent of Alexandria’s voting population will vote for the Democrats, the remainder of votes being split between the Republicans and the Independents. This is often insufficient to gain a single non-Democrat seat, which results in a one-party City Council (which is also chock full of incumbents). Some much needed political diversity would provide a counterpoint to proposals made before the council, since decisions are seemingly made based on special interests and/or developer’s wishes, versus citizen’s needs.

The obvious solution is to enact one or all of the following: (a) requiring political diversity that is representative of the voting population; (b) establishing wards similar to those employed by the school board; and (c) setting term limits for council members. Although these solutions may require approval by Richmond, we need diversity on the Alexandria City Council for the sake of democracy (with a small “d”).

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet