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Alexandria City Council bids farewell to Bennett-Parker, Pepper, Seifeldein

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) Three outgoing members of the Alexandria City Council were honored by their colleagues for their service at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Councilwoman Del Pepper and Councilman Mo Seifeldein were presented with proclamations thanking them for their service by Mayor Justin Wilson on Tuesday night.

“We are going to be saying goodbye to three members who sit on this dais tonight,” Wilson said. “This is kind of a bittersweet night for us at the City Council, because this is our last legislative meeting of the year, and the last legislative meeting of this Council term.”

Bennett-Parker and Seifeldein were both elected in 2018. Bennett-Parker was elected to the 45th District in the Virginia House of Delegates in November.

“I hope to have an advocate in Richmond that understands us understands, what we go through,” City Councilman John Taylor Chapman told Bennett-Parker. “And I’m super excited to have you in that position and can’t wait to drive down to Richmond, knock on your door and bug you for all kinds of little things.”

Bennett-Parker, the youngest woman elected to Council in the city’s history, is the co-director of both Together We Bake and Fruit Cycle.

I’m delighted to have served these last three years with you, Elizabeth,” Pepper said.You’re a very special person. You were the youngest and I guess I was the oldest.”

Pepper was first elected to City Council in 1985, is retiring, and was honored for her years on Council in a presentation earlier this year. In a surprise announcement at the meeting, Council unanimously voted to name the city’s new Department of Community and Human Services building in her honor. The official name recommendations for the building will be presented to Council next year.

As Pepper approached Wilson to receive her proclamation, she joked to him, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. What did you say your name was again?”

Seifeldein chose not to run for reelection as an Independent, since he would have had to do so after being hired as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor during his term.

It’s been a great privilege to be able to work with my colleague, Councilman Seifeldein,” Councilman Canek Aguirre said. “I will miss his passion and I know that I always tell people, philosophically, (he) and I are most aligned here on this council and so you will be dearly missed, but I appreciate everything that you brought to the Council the last three years.”

On Jan. 3, The new Alexandria City Council will be sworn in, with City Councilwoman Amy Jackson as the new vice mayor, as well as Councilors-elect Aalyia Gaskins, Kirk McPike and Sarah Bagley.

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