Letter to the Editor: Support Experienced Leaders for Alexandria City Council

Alexandrian Nate Macek urges voters on June 12 to show their support for the city's experienced leaders.

To the Editor:

On June 12, Alexandrians have a tremendous opportunity to shape the future of City Council.  As we head to the polls, it’s useful to take stock of the good fortune our City has experienced over the past decade:

  • Alexandria has grown and prospered into a community of nearly 140,000, a net increase of approximately 12,000 residents since 2000. 
  • Our city government works. The trash gets picked up, our streets are plowed, and parks are clean and safe.  City staff is generally responsive to citizen concerns.
  • Old Town, Del Ray, and other business districts have maintained an attractive mix of dining, retail, leisure, and personal services, with a significant share of locally owned, independent businesses that sets Alexandria apart from other localities in the region.
  • We’ve adopted progressive new master plans that will provide new civic facilities, enhance our open space, preserve affordable housing, and revitalize our waterfront.
  • We are a safe community.  Crime rates hit a 45-year low in 2011, continuing a trend of annual declines in crime across the city. 
  • We’ve adopted progressive transportation policies, including new transit services, enhanced facilities for bicycles and pedestrians, and innovative programs like bike share.
  • Our city is a four-time honoree in the America’s Promise Alliance “100 Best Communities for Young People,” recognition of civic efforts to support children and families.      
  • We continue to cherish and preserve our magnificent history, earning honors from the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a “Distinctive Destination” and the American Planning Association, which named King Street a “Great Street” in 2011.   
  • We’ve become an eco-city, boasting green building policies, enhanced curbside recycling, and hybrid-powered buses.  Later this year, Alexandria’s Gen-On Potomac River Generating Station will officially close, improving air quality throughout the region.
  • Our tax burden remains low, with the second-lowest residential property tax rate among major jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.

Given this solid performance, the clear choice on June 12 is to nominate a slate of experienced leaders responsible for Alexandria’s success.  At the top of the list are Democratic incumbents Paul Smedberg and Del Pepper.  They, along with Mayor Bill Euille and their Democratic council colleagues have made tough decisions required sustain Alexandria’s forward momentum. Both deserve another term.

To be effective, they’ll need the support of council members who share their vision for the City, concern for its citizens, and dedication to public service.  Candidates Donna Fossum, Tim Lovain, and Justin Wilson have demonstrated their commitment to Alexandria through active participation in city government that has directly resulted in many of the community accomplishments outlined above.

Other top candidates include Sean Holihan, John Taylor Chapman and Melissa Feld, each of whom has contributed to the community in noteworthy ways. 

I am proud to call Alexandria home, and urge you to vote for the progressive, fiscally responsible candidates for City Council who will preserve and enhance our City’s high quality of life as Council members over the next three years.


Nathan M. Macek


Jim Miller June 12, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Wow! This is so sad, now there are threats being made, Democrats against Democrats, right here in 'River City', my friend's, Alexandria, a town, which up until recently, I always thought of as pretty quaint, well, except when it comes to city politics. To have Democrats, let alone, anyone, threaten someone over politics is not only wrong, its truly criminal on so many levels. Tragically, most Democrats in Alexandria who are members of the Alexandria Democratic Committee act as if they're wearing blinders, that no one among them or in their leadership can ever do wrong, that everything is perfect, and 'Lake ADC' is calm without a ripple on it. Oh, there's no controversy here, they will say, we don't have any problems. It's time to wake up, people! While we all know there aren't any Republicans in the City of Alexandria, it's the Independents, the true 'swing voters', who now are potentially getting turned off by the actions of some members of the Alexandria Democratic Committee. And that's just wrong. To ALL those who have broken the law, whether intentional or not, I hope that you're brought to justice, either by your peers or by the courts, especially involving threats against other Democrats. How ridiculous! How scandalous! How truly shameful! I can only think of how many other Democrats, like myself, are embarrassed by those in the ADC who thought they are above the laws of human decency. The exposure of the PAC group shows how bad Alexandria politics are now.
Cathryn S June 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Jim, perhaps you should calm down a bit. Remember that people are more than their claimed party affiliation. There are a few who will get carried away with their words and try to stir up trouble. Go out today and vote for the candidates that you think will serve the City best.
Another Concerned Citizen June 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Jim, what threats are being made? Is that hyperbole, or are there literal threats? If so, they should be brought to light. Call the police. The threat may be worse than what ever the person is being threatened about. What are we even talking about? End the secrecy. This PAC thing, which we now know was the work of the Holihan campaign (his partner Danny Barefoot funded it) is truly an embarrassment to all Democrats. The attack was dirty, but the attempt to cover up who was behind it was even worse. BTW, you should google Danny Barefoot and ask how he would feel if someone published a mailer drudging up dirt on Sean Holihan and him.
McBrinn June 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Today is the day.
Bud Miller June 12, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Peaceful voting and unfettered discussion is the American way to do it. People may and should disagree. It is the clash and testing of ideas that makes our country strong. Just about everyone is right sometimes, and just about everyone is wrong sometimes. Threats have no place in the dialogue and should be reported to law enforcement authorities for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. We may disagree, but that is part of the process, and I'll vigorously defend your right to disagree. After all, as a Democracy (Technically a Republic), we tend, for better or worse, to get the leaders we deserve So get out there & VOTE!


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