Opinion: Letter to the Editor: She Persists; She Listens

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: She Persists; She Listens

Persist! That command to action describes Mayor Allison Silberberg’s character. In her first citywide election, she outperformed all City Council seekers, becoming vice mayor. In the next and most-recent city election, she again won the vote, becoming the city’s second female mayor — despite being challenged after she won their party’s primary by the then-incumbent mayor.

The theme of March, National Women’s History Month, is: “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” That’s our mayor!

Not only does Mayor Silberberg persist — she listens. She is constantly out in communities hearing neighbors, unafraid to be a minority voice at council, the 1 in a 6-1 vote as a matter of principle for the people — for example, when council voted 6-1 to time-limit citizens’ remarks at council session openings. Just as Alexandrians played a foundational role in the late 18th century, Mayor Silberberg continues to lead on ethics reviews and reforms. Unpopular? Sometimes. But, unafraid.

President Jimmy Carter signed National Women’s History Week into law on March 8, 1980. Congress enacted National Women’s History Month in March in 1987. March 8 is now International Women’s Day. March 12 was National Sunshine Week … when journalists and American citizens spotlight such timely issues as government transparency, journalism ethics, freedom of speech, and The First Amendment. These are all issues Mayor Silberberg champions … and honors as emblems of Alexandria’s iconic story.

She persists. She listens. She stands up for people. Her Honor, our Mayor, is a woman about whom one can say: “Nevertheless, She Persisted.”

Carol James