Annetta on the issues
ethics & transparency
Without trust there can be no faith in leadership. A bi-partisan Ethics Commission would be established and given the scope and latitude to conduct the necessary investigations and audits and, which has a history of saving cities time and money. The Commission would assist our city in bridging trust with its citizens and providing them with the transparency they deserve.
The strength of our community’s educational level of achievement is determined by parental involvement, student participation and teacher accountability. We want our children to excel so that they become the leaders, skilled workers and business owners of the community that poured so much into them. Our goal is to provide them with a safe and nurturing environment for growth. We must also recognize that many of our families are not satisfied with the current school structure, whose bureaucracy has failed them at times. I support giving all families equal opportunity by supporting school choice.
Return to wards
Alexandrians throughout our city are calling for better representation and Diversity of Thought in their local government. A return to wards would give more communities a greater voice and better assurance of having truly accountable representation. Our communities are unique, so are their challenges and wishes. In Alexandria, our School Board has three voting districts which decide the Board members. This method is more democratic and inclusive than the current “at large” system used to elect the City Council. That system shuts out many of our citizens. This is 2021 and adopting wards along the lines of school districts is the right course for our city.
Alexandria is the most densely populated city in all of Virginia and the D.C metro area. Some are calling for even greater density even though our citizens are struggling with all the ill effects of growing beyond our capacity. Our ability to fix our aging infrastructure is not able to support the density policy. Flooding, traffic incidents, overcrowded schools, parking deficits, destruction of our natural streams and habitat, loses of green space, and electrical outages are just a few of the unintended consequences created from overgrowth. I am calling for a comprehensive review of the City’s State mandated Master Plan. We need smart growth and community participation that is proactive, not reactive. This is our City, the vision for its future is in our hands.
I support the Community Based Policing Initiative and the Alexandria Police Department. I support efforts to allow more police to live where they work. Our police do a good job of having high visibility in targeted high crime zones and I support that effort. I support training that will further expand and enhance our officers to deal with crimes deriving from mental illness. Our police department has done well to keep a positive rapport with the community. The outstanding work they do as School Resource Officers only helps to provide an environment where our kids are encouraged to learn and grow.
Alexandria, with all of her 16 square miles of land, services the transportation needs of over a 160 thousand residents, not including our visitors. More than 200 thousand cars are registered in our city. Creating mobility options must always be a priority. We must change as the demographics that make up our city changes. Our roads must be multifunctional but not to the degree that it endangers pedestrians and drivers alike. Our city layout demands that certain road favors our drivers, bus services, and emergency providers. Conversely, in other zones, our walkers, bike riders, and scooters are favored. Federal and State funds received for these programs should be balanced against the costs of said programs.
We are losing our families as a result of continued hikes in property assessment taxes, services taxes, and fees. It is wreaking havoc on families with school age kids who do not wish to be anchored to schools that are under performing and are forced to find more affordable living elsewhere - places that provide more green space and better learning institutions. We are losing a very rich and vital group. Alexandrians pay more for gas, groceries, and services due to the monetization of the city. We do not want to become a city where only the wealthy can survive. We must find solutions that will maintain our rich diversity where the people who work here can better afford to live and raise their children here as well.