Alexandria Police are reporting no known threats to the city in the run up to the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and the city is not planning to impose 6 p.m. curfew that night.
Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow that he sees no reason that a curfew will be necessary, as the Alexandria Police Department has been working closely with federal and regional law enforcement partners.
“At this point, we see no reason that will be necessary,” Wilson said. “Our police have been working closely with federal and regional partners for months to prepare for this period and I am confident they will keep our community safe.”
The city will activate its Emergency Operations Center on Jan. 20, and residents are asked to virtually observe the swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden.
The governor imposed a 6 p.m. curfew on Alexandria and Arlington on Jan. 6 after the siege at the U.S. Capitol. The District will remain in a state of emergency until the day after Biden and Harris are inaugurated.
On Tuesday night, Police Chief Michael Brown briefed City Council on preparations in the run up to the inauguration, and said that the department’s civil demonstration unit is ready to be deployed.
Also this week, Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker asked Alexandria hotels to cancel reservations for any members of the Proud Boys, an aggressive group that supports outgoing President Donald Trump.
The City’s EOC will be activated to monitor for any issues and coordinate response activities as needed. @AlexandriaVAPD is evaluating intelligence information and preparing necessary staffing for a variety of potential security scenarios. https://t.co/QvIbii40U8
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) January 15, 2021
See the full release from the city below the jump.
COVID-19 Deaths Now at 94 in Alexandria — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: 2,929 Alexandrians vaccinated; 3 additional deaths (94 total); Positive tests up 80 to 8,387 in the City (637 in last 7 days); 7-day Positivity Rate up to 10.5% 2 new hospitalizations.” [Twitter]
Northam Says Virginia Ready for Inauguration — “Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said his state is ‘ready’ as the FBI warned of possible violent demonstrations at capitols across the country, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.” [Twitter]
Mayor Says Volunteers Needed for Vaccination Efforts — “As we dramatically expand our vaccination effort and prepare for the long-haul, we will need many more volunteers. We need those with medical training and without to join our Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps. Please sign-up today!” [Twitter]
Ada’s On The River Opens on the Waterfront — “It was a dilapidated warehouse. We backed out a couple of times. We thought originally this might be too far south; it’s not King and Union, but it’s awesome. The pedestrian traffic is amazing.” [Alexandria Living]
Virtual Events Planned for George Washington Birthday Celebration — “This year marks the 289th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. Next month, his adopted hometown will introduce new and virtual events to celebrate. Unfortunately, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the annual parade has been cancelled. But there are still exciting events planned for residents to enjoy.” [Zebra]
Alexandria Police Permanent Medication Drop-off Temporarily Closed — “The Permanent Medication Drop Box at Alexandria Police Headquarters will be closed from today, January 14 – January 25.” [Twitter]
Today’s Weather — “Mostly cloudy with some showers in the afternoon. High 53F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%… Rain early (in the evening)… then remaining cloudy with showers late. Low near 35F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Front Desk Clerk — “Borger Management, Inc. has an opportunity for a customer service enthusiast interested in working as a part-time Concierge from 3 PM – 11 PM Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays.” [Indeed]
Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Del. Mark Levine has joined legislators in calling for the resignation of Republican State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) over her involvement with the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol.
“She should resign,” Levine told ALXnow. “She is saying things that aren’t true and she’s inciting violence. She’s basically attacking the foundations of our democracy, and it really disappoints me because we work together. We had a good personal relationship. I’m just very disappointed in what she’s done.”
Chase attended the rally that preceded the riot but did not participate in the attack on the Capitol building.
Chase, who is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, is accused of committing insurrection by the Senate Democratic Caucus and faces multiple calls for her resignation. Her Facebook account was briefly shut down after she said publicly in a video that the incident at the Capitol was the fault of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protestors, a claim that has since been disproven.
We’re not going to take this anymore. Get your popcorn folks and tune into the Senate tomorrow. I have a few surprises of my own. https://t.co/TxZTdYkwG3
— Senator Amanda Chase (@AmandaChaseVA) January 14, 2021
Amanda Chase encouraged the Trump-led deadly insurrection against the United States. She is a stain on our Commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/kurtHYwlfe
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) January 14, 2021
Levine, 54, announced his intent to run for Lieutenant Governor last month, and if he loses the democratic primary says that he will run for reelection for the 45th District seat that he has held since 2015. His only opponent for the 45th is Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, who announced this week that she is running for the seat.
Levine said that Bennett-Parker did not call him about her entering the race for the 45th District.
“It’s not like the vice mayor called me and told me she was running. She didn’t,” Levine said. “I’m gonna run for lieutenant governor, because I think, frankly, what I’ve done for the 45th has been so positive that I think I can deliver for the entire state, the whole Commonwealth of Virginia, including Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. But should I not prevail in the governor’s race, I think I’ve got a very good record to run for reelection as delegate, and obviously I hope to prevail.”
Less than a week before the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan. 20, Alexandria’s Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is asking hotels in the city to cancel reservations for the Proud Boys.
In a letter to the Holiday Inn Alexandria-Carlyle, Bennett-Parker said that it rented rooms to members of the Proud Boys before the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.
“It is my understanding that members of the Proud Boys, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, stayed at your hotel during their insurrection attempt earlier this month,” Bennett-Parker wrote. “These anti-democratic groups are inciting violence and must not be welcome in our city.”
On Jan. 4, a protest at the Holiday Inn was canceled for security concerns after a notification was posted on the pro-Trump site thedonald.win and a commenter said that if any Trump supporters arrived early to the hotel that “it’s time to give them a show of force.”
Bennett-Parker asked that Alexandria hotels cancel reservations with anyone associated with the group. The hotel is located one block from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station, and reservations can be made online.
“There is another planned armed militia insurgence from January 17, 2021, through January 20, 2021,” she wrote. “Please join me in condemning these right-wing terrorists by denying them lodging at your hotel. Your actions will send a message that there is no place for hate in Alexandria. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.”
Hate has no home here. Alexandria hotels, please don't do business with violent white supremacists. pic.twitter.com/7OjFSDoBAw
— Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (@EBP4Delegate) January 13, 2021
Photo via Grassroots Alexandria/Facebook
Two members of Alexandria’s City Council have announced that they will not be running for reelection this year, paving the way for new faces in city leadership.
Accordin to Angela Turner, Director of Elections & General Registrar, three new candidates have filed their paperwork to run for City Council this year.
The new candidates so far are:
- 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.
- Richard Kirk McPike — Chief of staff to Congressman Mark Takano and a member of the Budget And Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee.
Each candidate is running for the June 8 Democratic primary before the November general election.
Councilwoman Redella “Del” Pepper announced late last year that, after 36 years on the council, she would not be running for reelection.
Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker announced earlier this week that she would instead run for the 45th District seat, currently occupied by Del. Mark Levine. Levine has announced that he is running for Lieutenant Governor, but said he plans to run for reelection in his current role if he is not elected.
Incumbents do not always have to file new paperwork to run for reelection, but Turner noted that Canek Aguirre submitted a new statement of organization and Amy Jackson has submitted candidate filing paperwork.
Staff photo by James Cullum
Alexandria Police are making preparations in case the unrest from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden spills into the city.
Last night, Police Chief Michael L. Brown updated City Council on plans to keep Alexandria safe during inauguration week. Brown said that the siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6 was a tragic event where five people lost their lives, and that he has participated in conversations with his regional counterparts and the assistant director of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“We have a civil demonstration unit, which we’re prepared to deploy if we need to,” Brown said. “But let me assure you at this point we have nothing to suggest that there’s going to be anything in the city.”
Brown anticipates activity in the city this weekend, and has canceled training and leave for his officers during inauguration week, in addition to putting detectives in uniform.
“There’s a lot that’s going on,” Brown said. ‘It will change a lot over the next 48 hours. We anticipate that there may be some activity this weekend, and if we do we’ll certainly share with the community to the extent that they can be prepared.”
A 6 p.m. curfew was imposed on Alexandria and Arlington by the governor on Jan. 6 at the request of the jurisdictions, a move which Mayor Justin Wilson said led to a quiet night in Alexandria. Some protestors were staying in hotels in Alexandria, and were on the police department’s radar.
“We also thank the governor’s office for for quickly reacting on Wednesday on our request, in partnership with, with our friends at Arlington County,” Wilson said. “They moved very quickly to react and adjust and support the concerns that we had in Alexandra and Arlington, and I think it enabled a very quiet evening in both jurisdictions.”
Brown said that in case incidents do occur in the city and mutual aid is needed that law enforcement resources will be shared with Alexandria.
“We have been receiving intelligence information and it’s been changing rapidly, certainly in the last 24 to 36 hours,” Brown said.
A political newcomer going into her election as vice mayor three years ago, Bennett-Parker said she is running to improve the environment and help area families struggling with the pandemic. A Democrat, she is the first person to announce a run for the seat.
“I am excited to announce my candidacy for the Virginia House of Delegates today,” Bennett-Parker announced Tuesday morning. “I want to be a part of the solution by ensuring all Northern Virginians have access to good jobs with worker protections, helping small businesses thrive, making sure families have access to quality care and education for their children from early childhood onwards, and taking urgent action to protect our environment and build an infrastructure to respond to climate change.”
Mayor Justin Wilson said he was disappointed to lose Bennett-Parker. There are now two open seats for city council, as longtime Council member Del Pepper recently announced her retirement.
“I am disappointed to lose Elizabeth’s leadership on City Council, but I wish her well in her next pursuit,” Wilson told ALXnow. “Every three years, the voters of our City have the opportunity to shape the future of our community. I am confident that we will have an experienced and qualified crop of candidates offering themselves in service to our community.”
Bennett-Parker grew up in Alexandria and lives with her husband and grandmother in the city’s Rosemont neighborhood, is also the co-director of the nonprofit Together We Bake.
“As the caregiver for my grandmother during this pandemic, I also know firsthand the challenges so many around Northern Virginia have been facing when it comes to caring for our seniors,” she said. “Families, workers, educators, and students continue to struggle with the pandemic’s impact, and they deserve an advocate in Richmond.”
Bennett-Parker has not been an outspoken member of council, and is known for heavily researching topics before coming to decisions. A Fulbright Fellow, she has a Master’s degree in anthropology from the University of London and a history degree from Cornell University.
The primary for the race is on June 8, and election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.
I’m excited to announce I am running for delegate in the 45th district! Visit https://t.co/7sGYtbKgIt to find out how you can get involved, sign up to volunteer, and become one of our founding donors! pic.twitter.com/wsFwxwWW3e
— Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (@EBP4Delegate) January 12, 2021
Governor Recommends Staying Away From D.C. on Inauguration Day — “This afternoon, I spoke with @MayorBowser and @GovLarryHogan as we prepare for the upcoming inauguration. Virginia currently has 2,000 @VaNationalGuard members in Washington, D.C. to help protect the U.S. Capitol and keep the peace–and we will be there as long as we are needed.” [Twitter]
Beyer Calls for House Minority Leader McCarthy to Resign over Capitol Siege — “After terrorists shed blood in our Capitol, Kevin McCarthy went to the House Floor and led the renewed attack on our democracy. He echoed Trump’s incendiary lies and dehumanizing attacks on political opponents, and now claims to oppose ‘division?’ No. Kevin McCarthy must resign.” [Beyer.house.gov]
Man Shot on Quaker Hill Drive on Monday — “The shooting occurred in the 1100 block of Quaker Hill Drive around 6 a.m. The victim was shot multiple times and went to the 7-Eleven in the 3000 block of Duke Street to call 911. The victim was taken to the hospital. There was no initial information on a suspect.” [Patch]
Nothing Bundt Cakes to Open First Alexandria Bakery — “The bakery will open at 4553 Duke St., replacing a Subway sandwich shop in the Shoppes at Foxchase in Alexandria’s West End.” [Alexandria Living]
DASH Poetry Contest Deadline February 12 — “This morning the City of Alexandria and Alexandria Transit Company announced that submissions are being accepted for the eighth annual “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry contest. Writers aged 16 years or older are invited to submit a poem if they live, work, or study in Alexandria.” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “Sunny (during the day). High 49F. Winds light and variable… Clear (in the evening). Low 28F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Gelato Scooper, Barista — “Dolci Gelati is a coffee and gelato shop located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. We are a charismatic, high-energy, people-oriented team seeking to add additional team members with both weekday and weekend availability. Full-time and part-time available.” [Indeed]
A protest today (Jan. 4) outside the Holiday Inn Alexandria-Carlyle against supporters of President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election was canceled for security concerns.
Protest organizers from Shut Down DC planned to hand out fliers and stickers and demonstrate against the Proud Boys and other Trump supporters who they call fascists and may be staying at the hotel at 2460 Eisenhower Ave. and are marching in D.C. on Wednesday.
The small event outside the hotel was canceled after a notification was posted on the pro-Trump site thedonald.win and a commenter said that if any Trump supporters arrived early that “it’s time to give them a show of force.” That comment was enough for the organizers to cancel the event.
Jonathan Krall of Grassroots Alexandria was among a handful of undeterred anti-Trump protestors who flashed signs and a banner reading, “Hey Holiday Inn — No Room For Fascists.”
“They only have to win once and our Democracy is finished,” Krall told ALXnow. “Of course they consider themselves patriots, but they are supporting Donald Trump and Donald Trump declared himself the winner of the election. And the only thing that’s keeping him from being a dictator is that the rest the government is not playing along.”
Protestor Glenn plans to march in a group against Trump in D.C. on Wednesday. The D.C. National Guard has been mobilized for the event.
“They’re stabbing and beating people up and not wearing masks,” Glenn said. “These are dangerous people.”
Photo with banner via Grassroots Alexandria/Facebook
It’s been a hell of a morning Del. Mark Levine.
News broke this morning that Levine, a Democrat from Alexandria, is now one of 12 candidates who have thrown their name into the Lieutenant Governor race and one of eight Democrats. Since then, Levine says the morning has been one of non-stop phone calls.
“I’m excited,” Levine said. “It’s a firehose and I’m starting to drink the water.”
Levine said part of his goal is to transform the role into a full-time position rather than the part-time, back-up position it currently occupies.
Levine touted his history of working for Barney Frank, the fight to put his brother-in-law behind bars after his sister’s murder, and his history of pushing for LGBT rights. If elected, Levine would be the first openly gay statewide elected official. It’s a series of accomplishments that were at the forefront of Levine’s campaign for the House of Delegates in 2015, but this year some of the attention is shifting towards work done over the last year now that the Democrats control the legislature.
“I’ve introduced 47 bills; 23 became law: some in my name and some in colleagues’ names,” Levine said. “A number of my bills were incorporated into other bills.”
Levine’s website has a 20-page summary of progress made on bills during the 2020 legislative sessions and a few areas where Levine hit stumbling blocks. Of those, Levine said one of the ones he’s most proud of is the “most comprehensive LGBT rights bill in Virginia” that Levine said added sexual orientation and gender to non-discrimination statutes. Another required voter-verified paper ballots.
One of the bills that failed was one that would allow localities to fund law libraries — a longtime priority for Alexandria — and one that would make it easier for non-clergy to perform marriage ceremonies.
Levine has been an outspoken Democrat, particularly on gun control issues — though Levine said he prefers to call it gun violence prevention. Earlier this year, an armed protester stood outside Levine’s house to protest Levine’s position.
“The people who disagree with me are passionate, but they aren’t the majority of Virginia,” Levine said. “I’m not trying to ban guns. [Gun owners should] have background checks and should be trained. So I think some of my stances have been overstated, frankly, but I think reasonable people will support me, including reasonable gun owners, because I think reasonable gun owners don’t mind background checks. The people who believe every child should have a bazooka, no, they’re not going to support my campaign.”
Levine said if he does not win the Lt. Governor race primary this summer, he intents to run for reelection as a Delegate later that year.