Post Content

City Council candidates talk Seminary Road Diet, colocating affordable housing on public school property (Part 1)

The Seminary Road Diet took center stage Tuesday night, as City Council candidates met in the first of three West End forums.

City Council candidates Canek Aguirre (incumbent), Alyia Gaskins, Kirk McPike, Patrick Moran and Sarah Bagley were the first batch of candidates to speak at the Seminary Ridge Civic Association candidate forum.

The group was first questioned on the role of civic associations in policymaking discussions, since 13 civic associations were opposed to the road diet, which was approved in a 4-3 Council vote in 2019.

Aguirre voted for the road diet, and said that the opinions of the civic associations were taken into consideration at the time.

“I don’t think that the civic associations were ignored,” Aguirre said. “We listened, we disagreed and that showed in our vote… I want us to be able to get back to a place where we can be able to disagree in a civil way.”

All the candidates said that civic associations are important, as are the recommendations from the city’s board and commissions.

McPike said that, if elected, he intends to conduct regular town halls across the city, and to work with civic associations to participate.

“It’s important that we’re hearing from a wide range of opinions and the civic associations can be channels by which to bring that input into our policymaking process,” McPike said. “The next council has to be ready to help the city fully recover from the effects of this difficult year. And I believe in my time working on city Commission’s and my legislative skills from Capitol Hill will enable me to hit the ground running on day one, to help the city do exactly that.”

Moran previously said that he would vote to reverse the road diet if elected, while Gaskins said that she would not reverse it and that funds could be better spent elsewhere.

Most candidates were opposed to the idea of colocating affordable housing on the grounds of Alexandria City Public Schools, but none want to back an ordinance preventing it from happening.

“We have to look at everything that’s on the table,” Aguirre said. “If it’s an argument around safety, then I fundamentally reject that argument, because when you look at the schools that we have today in Alexandria, you literally have schools that are across the street from million dollar homes and from public housing. If you don’t believe me, come take a trip with me. I’ll take you around the different schools and show you.”

Bagley, who runs an affordable housing nonprofit in D.C., said that schools need to be left alone.

“We have a shortage of capacity for schools themselves and for classrooms and recreational spaces and pools and all those issues,” Bagley said. “While I think we have many other more pressing ways to use our city on spaces, I would not push for a permanent bar to consider it in an architectural consideration.”

Moran only wants colocation of housing for teachers at ACPS.

“Alexandria’s average starting pay for teachers is $56,000,” Moran said. “That’s not enough to live in our city…. I don’t think we ought to be looking at housing for any other types of scenarios to meet our housing goals. I think that we can find solutions alternatively for that, but for teachers, yes.”

The second forum will air at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, and feature candidates Bill Campbell, John Taylor Chapman, Darryl Nirenberg, Bill Rossello and Meronne Teklu; followed by the final Council candidate forum on Monday, May 24, with Kevin Harris, Amy Jackson, Jim Lewis, Florence King and Mark Shiffer.

The mayoral forum between Mayor Justin Wilson and former Mayor Allison Silberberg is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 27.

Early voting has already started, and the Democratic primary is June 8.

Recent Stories

Updated at 5:45 p.m. Mia’s Italian Kitchen has a permanent home in Alexandria. Douglas Development Corp. sold 100 King Street to Alexandria Restaurant Partners for $8.6 million on October 28,…

Carpenter’s Shelter has been awarded a $2.5 million grant by the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund, and plans to use the money to rapidly re-house homeless Alexandrians. The $2.5 million…

Alexandria is planning for a transit-oriented overhaul of Duke Street, and city staff connected to the project told an advisory group earlier this month that rumors about eminent domain being…

Got your kilt ready? Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk weekend is back. Former City Councilwoman Del Pepper will take center stage as the grand Marshal of the 51st Alexandria Scottish Christmas…

High School Senior Anxious about College Life? Our amazing graduate interns, Meghan Damminger and Kelly Charwat are starting an affordable College Readiness group in early 2023. Working out day and time. Please email [email protected] to set up a free consultation after the Thanksgiving holiday. And yes, Meghan and Kelly have a few openings for individual clients as well. Their rate is $45 per session. [www.sarahmoorelpc.com](http://www.sarahmoorelpc.com/?fbclid=IwAR3ZlfQnSLVRCc78HbTZutDYZErTctC_5pl- zt4eo_wjQo1gF6uHS–k32g).

Submit your own Community Post here.

Monarch Montessori School, located in the education center at 218 East Monroe Avenue, is currently enrolling infants and toddlers for the 2022-2023 school year. We’re an authentic Montessori preschool with a STEM emphasis!

We Offer: Arts & Crafts, Yoga & Pottery, Language & Early Literacy, Botany & Culinary Arts, Music Appreciation, Chorus & Language Immersion, Mathematics, Geography & Science, Practical Life & Culture.

Full-time, part-time, flexible and drop-in options!

RATES

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Brassy Jazzy Christmas

Don’t miss this toe tapping celebration!

The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA) presents “Brassy Jazzy Christmas,” a strong lineup of Christmas and holiday favorites. Inspired by Stan Keton’s album “A Merry Christmas!,” SONOVA has created a jazz band–substituting french

Alexandria’s 47th Annual Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race

Join in Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition- the 47th Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race. Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition, the Alexandria Turkey Trot, returns to the streets of Del Ray on Thursday, November 24 at 9 a.m. In the spirit of

×

Subscribe to our mailing list