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Local PAC 'Securing Alexandria's Future' Unveils Endorsements

Group selects six it deems "most qualified to serve the city" along with two honorable mentions.

Local political action committee Securing Alexandria’s Future has thrown its support behind six of the 14 Democratic candidates for City Council, also naming two “runners-up.”

The PAC, which is co-chaired by former Councilmen Lonnie Rich and David Speck, has selected John Chapman, Sean Holihan, Tim Lovain, Del Pepper, Paul Smedberg and Justin Wilson as “candidates most qualified to serve the city.”

The group said: “We also feel that two candidates, Donna Fossum and Melissa Feld, are worthy of consideration. …Although not endorsed by SAF, both Fossum and Feld… exhibited a commitment to community involvement.”

SAF leaders also include former Police Chief David Baker and current City Councilmen Kerry Donley and Rob Krupicka, both of whom are not seeking re-election. Baker said the PAC has about 40 members and he expects it to grow. SAF plans to release a list of participants in the next couple of weeks, he said.

The group made its endorsements based on answers to a questionnaire it developed for the candidates and carefully combed through the matrix of answers to decide who would garner its support, according to Baker.

"If you look at the candidates we endorse, they are not all in the same place on every issue... but good candidates equal good government," Baker said. "We endorsed individuals who have a broad understanding of issues and understand the importance of sustainability."

Baker said the PAC is still mulling over exactly how SAF will aid its endorsed candidates.

this election season—Democrats for a Better Alexandria and Alexandrians for a Livable City.

Baker said SAF is looking at a number of broad issues in choosing its endorsements and is not as narrowly focused as the other two new local PACs.

Publius Publicola May 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Breaking news - Democratic party PAC endorses democratic party candidates.
Katy Cannady May 16, 2012 at 07:02 PM
As a life long Democrat, old enough to have cast her first vote for Lyndon Johnson for President, I know that there are Democrats and then there are Democrats. I am proud to be one of the four directors of Alexandrians for a Livable City. After careful consideration, we gave our endorsement to five Democrats for nomination in the primary on June 12. Our candidates would look diverse if we gathered them for a group photograph. But we are convinced that at their core they are all very similar people. They all stand for social justice and for a more balanced well-thought out approach to development issues. They are Victoria Menjivar, Sammie Moshenberg, Arthur Peabody, Allison Silberberg and Boyd Walker.
Jim Roberts May 16, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Good grief! Four of this lot harmed the city by approving BRAC. And the two current council members--Pepper and Smedberg--allowed the city attorney to sue residents who prevailed over city plans to add density to their neighborhood If there was ever time for fresh horses, 'tis now.
Publius Publicola May 16, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Ms. Cannady says the candidates she is supporting all 'stand for social justice.' To understand the term 'social justice,' Ms. Cannady is referring to the assumption that the invisible hand of the free market should be lopped of and replaced with the very visible hand of the state. In other words, Ms. Cannady and the candidates she supports all support BIG Govt. At last look, many of them that Ms. Cannady support want to spend upwards of $1 billion dollars of your hard earned taxpayer dollars - $500M on the Potomac Yard rail station which only benefits the union, $250M on streetcars which will make traffic worse and upwards of $200M to conserve the waterfront. Each reference to 'social justice' carries with it the requirement that the state/City do the fixing. Therefore, any society dedicated to the pursuit of 'social justice' moves more and more decisions under the command of the state/City, until the state/City is the sole answer to everything. In short, Ms. Cannady wants the citizens of Alexandria to be like the little kid in the recent TIME magazine cover sucking off his mother with the City in the form of the mother. Liberals LOVE spending other peoples money. However, as most progressives fail to realize, money doesn't grow on trees. There's no money fairy. Considering that our City is almost $500 million dollars in debt, how much more debt does Ms. Cannady want to heap on our kids?
Jim Miller May 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I'm a life-long Democrat, myself, and I for one, will absolutely not be voting for the four nut jobs of Tim Lovain, Del Pepper, Paul Smedberg and Justin Wilson who were all on the Alexandria City Council and brought us the BRAC-133 problem we have on the West End now. Why can't we, as Democrats in our great city, all come to the same agreement that we need an infusion of new blood to come forward, people like Allison Silberberg and John Chapman, for instance, who aren't jaded by the past history of 'The Gang of Four' who brought us BRAC. Those four should be absolutely ashamed of themselves, but, alas, they are not. I'm quite sure that all four of them all go to bed at night peacefully with the thought that they didn't do anything wrong. Well, since they can't tell right from wrong, and BRAC is clearly wrong, do we want to give them another three years to screw up Alexandria, yet once again? I think and would certainly hope not! Del Pepper, God love her, she's been on the Alexandria City Council since Herbert Hoover was in office and she needs go retire. As for Paul Smedburg, Justin Wilson and Tim (Streetcar To Nowhere) Lovain, they too need to be kicked to the curb, too. 'Securing Alexandria's Future', as a group, is most certainly "out there" with their selection of their six who they'd like to see elected to the Alexandria City Council. My guess is though is that they're all from Fairfax County and Arlington County and don't know who they nominated very well.
Ken C. May 16, 2012 at 08:36 PM
They have served too long. We need new blood. The gang thinks that they have a 'royal' right to do anything they like with no one to answer to. We had one already leave because of 'health issues'. I would suggest that Richmond start to investigate the corruption ASAP. The things that scurry away after you pick up a rock have at least integerty as being what they are. Total power corrups totally!!!! A Registered Democrat...
Edmund Lewis May 17, 2012 at 12:44 AM
A broad issue worth examining is the amount of questionable spending of tax dollars under the supervision of Mr. Sherman and the Alexandria School Board. The information brought to light by Mr. Newsham is very troubling. http://www.alexandrianews.org/2012/05/acps-continuous-improvement-or-continuous-consulting/ I hope sitting elected officials and the voters of Alexandria are looking into just how our tax dollars are being spent in the name of our children's education.
Ken Hill May 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Little surprise and no change... the vested support the vested. Alexandria needs major change, not "same again".
lynnhampton May 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM
As an Alexandrian, I am blessed with great municipal services, a AAA bond rating, one of the lowest tax rates in No VA, a public safety record that is exemplary, great trash collection, public works, schools that deal with a internationally diverse student body, and do it well, transparency of government – and why would I risk losing any of this to one issue candidates that sound like tea party complainers? I will vote with Securing Alexandria’s Future.
Katy Cannady May 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I am so glad that I just read the post about how Alexandrians for a Livable City support the Potomac Yard Metro, streets cars and spending $200 million on open space. No one ever actually proposed spending $200 million for open space on the waterfront. That price tag was dreamed up by people who don't want to spend any money on open space. As for the other two items, the Potomac Yard Metro and street cars, I think everyone understands that those are very big ticket items and the next Council will have to examine carefully whether or not they are worth the price. I believe the candidates Alexandrians for a Livable City support will give that careful consideration. I believe all of them will think carefully about how they spend all tax payer dollars. By the term social justice I meant the candidates we endorse will treat all Alexandrians with respect and be attentive to all who interact with them. That would include giving as much weight to the citizens' desires as those of the developers and other high dollar contributers. The candidates we have endorsed are: Victoria Menjivar, Sammie Moshenberg, Arthur Peabody, Allison Silberberg and Boyd Walker. We chose to endorse only new leaders, none of whom had any role in the BRAC fiasco. That was in fact a criteria for endorsement. By the way, copies of the Alexandrians for a Livable City endorsements, including the reasons for them are available at the weekend farmers' markets. Alexandrians
JohnInNova May 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I agree with you, Lynn!!
Publius Publicola May 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM
"No one ever actually proposed spending $200 million for open space on the waterfront. That price tag was dreamed up by people who don't want to spend any money on open space." So where does Ms. Cannady think the money is going to come from to buy the land at the waterfront and develop the museums and open space as well as the flood mitigation? Money doesn't grow on trees...
Tony Kupersmith May 17, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I agree! 6 duds are offered up by the Democrat establishment. Time for a real change!
E Pluribus May 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Most PACS are single focused. Their recommendations are credible only if you agree with their issue, and that is not always apparent. The endorsements in this race are primarily related to development. The election should not merely be a referendum on that one issue. Many, many more issues will face the council in the coming years.
NoBS May 17, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Even though I'm a staunch Democrat, I'd bring Richard Nixon back from the grave and install him on city council before I'd vote for Arthur Peabody. Read the piece that Ed Lewis and linked to and remember that Arthur Peabody voted just last month to stand with Mort Sherman.
Gina Baum May 17, 2012 at 02:42 PM
To learn more about the candidates LIKE Securing Alexandria's Future on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/SecuringAlexandriasFuture#!/SecuringAlexandriasFuture
Isaac Smith May 17, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Anyone but Del, as she has really wobbled during her past term. First she suggested that our financially struggling elderly get tax credits for going out and picking up litter on the streets (some way to spend retirement Kids!); and second she enacted the rule that limits citizen board and commissioners to ten-years of service. This, despite the fact that each board or commissioner's term is voted on by city council members (she is too timid to make the tough vote and not approve a person's re-appointment). Many board and commissions now suffer from a lack of institutional knowledge. I say "term limit" her, and let her spend her new-found retirement picking up trash on Duke Street, if it's so good for others!
lynnhampton May 17, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Katy Please provide the educational degrees and experience of the candidates you have endorsed? I think this would be of interest to the public and I assume you checked this before you endorsed. thanks
Leigh Talbot May 18, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Katy, I agree and fully support Alexandrians for a Livable City and the candidates they endorse. I don't think Ms. Hampton's inquiry about degrees is really relevant when we are talking about fair representation of all communities in Alexandria, of which not all residents will have whatever "degrees" she might deem worthy. We are all residents here in this great and diverse City that we hope our new leaders will maintain and improve.
Leigh Talbot May 18, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Exactly. Thank you, Jim.

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