Democrats for a Better Alexandria (DBA) invited all Democratic candidates for the Council to complete an extensive questionnaire and to participate in a person-to-person interview. Eleven candidates completed this vetting process. Of these, DBA recommends the following six to Alexandria voters:
* John Taylor Chapman, an educator, is former head of the Alexandria NAACP, president of the city’s Young Democrats and a member of the Alexandria School Board’s Budget Advisory Committee. He is a resident of Taylor Run.
* Tim Lovain, a specialist on transportation policy and a former member of City Council. He lives in the North Ridge neighborhood.
* Sammie Moshenberg, a 29-year resident of Alexandria, the director of the Washington Office of the National Council of Jewish Women, and a former member of the City’s Budget and Fiscal Advisory Committee. She lives in Potomac West.
* Arthur Peabody, an attorney and current member of the Alexandria School Board and former chairman. He resides in Seminary Hill.
* Boyd Walker, a small business owner and civic activist noted for his emphasis on historic preservation and restoration. He is an Old Town resident.
* Justin Wilson, a former member of Council and past chairman of the Alexandria Transit System, which operates the DASH buses. He resides in Del Ray.
In making this selection, DBA looked for candidates committed to a set of forward-looking set of priorities and practices including the following:
1. Revising the citywide Master Plan. Future development projects should take place within the confines of a coherent Master Plan rather than through a patchwork of ad hoc decisions driven by developer opportunism. A revised plan should guide appropriate land use; protect neighborhoods; guard our historic legacy; value open space; include an efficient, modern transportation system; and, ensure shared public/private support for new infrastructure requirements.
2. Providing for sufficient affordable housing. We need to protect the city’s diminishing stock of affordable housing and to ensure, to the greatest extent feasible, that further in-fill development provides for additional or, at a minimum, proportional replacement housing and amenities.
3. Providing the highest quality education. Alexandria is spending more, but its children are benefiting less, when looking at comparable cities across the country. Changing demographic patterns and workforce needs are increasing the pressure on the existing system, thus pointing to the urgency of overcoming current shortcomings and providing better education.
4. Instituting transparent city government processes. Good processes involving the Mayor, Council and City staff include opening important decisions to timely and meaningful input by the public. The need for open decision-making is clearly evident in the on-going controversies surrounding BRAC and the planning for the Waterfront and the Beauregard corridor.
DBA is a registered political action committee (PAC) authorized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its Steering Committee is co-chaired by Dorathea Peters and Jack Sullivan. The other members of the Steering Committee are John Broughton, Helen Desfosses, Bill Dickinson, George Foote, Dick Hobson, Carol James, Rod Kuckro, Ernie Lehmann, Dick Moose, and Tom Parry.