(Updated at 12:15 p.m. on 2/25/21) Bill Rossello, one of the early members and administrators of the 2,200-member-strong Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook group, has announced that he will be running for City Council in the June 8 Democratic primary.
Rossello, who works as principal at Greenhouse Consulting LLC according to his LinkedIn profile, has been active in neighborhood advocacy for a few years, but said in earlier interviews that the Seminary Road debate was when he really threw himself into it.
The Facebook group Rossello was an early member of began in opposition to the city’s work on adding a road diet and bike lane to Seminary Road, but the group since expanded as a hub of neighborhood opposition, including the proposed Taylor Run Stream restoration.
Over the last year the page has regularly posted FOIA’d information revealing behind-the-scenes debates and disagreements within the city over projects. The group has also developed detractors who say it’s a NIMBY group — an acronym of “not in my back yard” generally meant derisively towards those opposed to density and development. The group has also featured back and forth debates and discussions with city leaders in the comments.
In a post on the Facebook page, Rossello pledged to follow up on many goals expressed by the group in the last year:
• Shake up City Hall to be more transparent, be better at taking the pulse of the community, and more responsive to the community – all of it, not just pockets of it
• Protect Neighborhoods from Density, Flooding and Cut-Through Traffic
• Accelerate School Investment Without Colocation
• Keep Everyone Moving Safely – Cars, Bikes and Pedestrians
• Live Up to Our Eco-City Pledge – Protect our parks, trees, streams and the Potomac
All of this while never forgetting that the 11% of our neighbors that live in poverty will continue to need our help!
Rossello joins an increasingly crowded race for City Council that will be at least half new faces with three current members not running for reelection. All City Council seats are up for election, including those of incumbents Canek Aguirre, John Taylor Chapman and Amy Jackson.
There are three guaranteed new spots on the council. After serving on the City Council since 1985, City Council member Del Pepper announced this year she won’t run for reelection. Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is running for the 45th district House of Delegates seat. Councilman Mo Seifeldein announced that he would be running for Mayor against Justin Wilson, but just weeks later announced that he wasn’t running for Mayor or for another Council term.
Other Council candidates include:
- Abdel-Rahman Elnoubi — an Engineering Project Manager at WMATA and Alexandria Democrats Vice Chair/Precinct Captain, according to his Twitter bio.
- Alyia Gaskins — a member of the Alexandria Transportation Commission and Agenda Alexandria, among other non-profits and organizations.
- James Lewis — vice chair of the city’s Traffic and Parking Board and former president of the Virginia Young Democrats from 2017 to 2018.
- Richard Kirk McPike — chief of staff to Congressman Mark Takano and a member of the Budget And Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee.
- Sarah Bagley — executive director of the Chisom Housing Group nonprofit in D.C., also volunteers for the Alexandria Democratic Committee and the local chapter of Moms Demand Action.
Photo via BIBA/Facebook