Glenda Davis recalls walking with neighbors through the streets of Hume Springs in the evening with a police escort in an effort to take back the neighborhood from drug traffickers.
“We walked every night. Part of the problem was that the drug traffickers felt at ease because no one was outside. They had the go of the neighborhood. We needed to be more visible,” she said.
The Alexandria neighborhood walk group also picked up trash and performed other community services every night for about two years until gradually they took back the streets.
“That was the turn of the upward trend in Hume Springs,” said Davis, who has been president of the Hume Springs Citizens Association for closing in on nine years and a resident there for 20.
It’s Davis’ focus on citizens and stronger communities that prompted her to run as an independent for City Council this November.
“I want to focus on putting citizens first,” she said in an interview at . “One night in my wisdom I thought ‘Citizenship Not Partisanship.’ I don’t want to be blocked into any one party type. If it’s a good idea for Alexandria, I don’t care what party or whose idea it was.”
Davis is a retired accountant for the federal government and a licensed teacher who still substitutes for Alexandria City Public Schools, generally at where her daughter graduated.
Education is a top agenda item for Davis. “I see where teachers don’t always have all the resources that they need in their classrooms,” she said.
She also has a keen eye on development and said the city must strike a balance with citizens.
“Citizens need to have more input into the development” of the city, she said, noting in reference to the city’s waterfront redevelopment plan that she’d want to see data on hotel use in the city to determine if a waterfront-based hotel would be viable economically.
She also favors affordable housing and says the city has a responsibility to provide such housing.
“That goes back to the balance with development,” Davis said. “Try and maintain a balance by having affordable housing and market rate housing at the same time.”
She also supports “anything that will help the environment. …We have to do all we can,” she said.
Davis said she’s an ideal candidate: “My 25-plus years as an accountant, outstanding analytical skills and problem solving skills—I want to use what I’ve learned to help keep Alexandria moving forward.”
Davis said she hopes citizens will become more involved and that council members need to get out into the neighborhoods more and do a better job of visiting associations and communities to “find out what’s going on.”
But it’s not only up to Council, she noted. “Before a neighborhood can address any problems, neighbors have to know each other. ... There needs to be cohesiveness and getting neighbors to be a little more social with each other by having more neighborhood activities."