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Alexandria Continues ‘What’s Next’ Dialogue with Residents

Tuesday, April 30, is the third community meeting.

More than 100 Alexandria residents are expected to join a community conversation Tuesday to harmonize principles among city staff and residents.

The third "What's Next, Alexandria?" community dialogue will be at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. Since November, community members have been collaborating to build Alexandria's principles of engagement. The meeting will discuss these and a new framework for implementation.

The draft agenda begins with Mayor Bill Euille and Alexandria School Board member Chris Lewis. The agenda then addresses ground rules, the process timeline, feedback from the community and a review of Jan. 29 meeting evaluations—all evaluations have been posted to the What’s Next? website—and finally goals for the night.

City Manager Rashad Young will present civic engagement principles and poll results. Alexandria's Allen Lomax will present a civic engagement framework, to be followed by a teamwork exercise. Next steps will be discussed before the meeting adjourns at 8:45 p.m.

At the first What’s Next? meeting in November residents listed respect, honesty, compromise and progress as four of the top principles for civic engagement in the city. More than 200 residents attended the second meeting in January and discussed among other topics how best to create engagement and dialogue in the city planning process.

Prior to the first meeting, the city conducted a poll on what residents think about civic engagement.

In a blog post on Patch, Alexandria city spokesman Tony Castrilli said the project’s goal was to begin a community conversation on how all Alexandrians can best participate in shaping the city's future. But in a letter to the editors of Patch, resident Kathryn Papp called the opening session a showcase of “why public relations, political theater and gaming has failed to engender respect from citizens” and that the city needed a neutral third party to lead the effort.

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