[NFBV-Alexandria] FW: January 2019 Council Connection

Brian Miller brianrmiller88 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 21:27:23 UTC 2019

Chapter - Happy New Year! Please see the below exchange between myself and
the new mayor of Alexandria, Justin Wilson.

Thank you,

Brian Miller



From: Justin Wilson <justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov> 
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 3:31 PM
To: Brian Miller <brianrmiller88 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: January 2019 Council Connection




Happy New Year! 

Thanks for the heads-up on the issues with that page.

That page is actually a state-run website. Let me send a note to our General
Assembly delegation and see what they can do to fix that. 


I'll let you know what I hear. Have a good week! 



Justin M. Wilson, Mayor

Alexandria City Council

Office: 703.746.4500

Home: 703.299.1576

justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov <mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov> 




From: Brian Miller <brianrmiller88 at gmail.com
<mailto:brianrmiller88 at gmail.com> >
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 12:18 PM
To: Justin Wilson
Subject: RE: January 2019 Council Connection 


Dear Mayor Wilson,


Happy New Year, and again, congratulations on your election to the office of


I just wanted to let you know that the link provided in your as always
excellent newsletter to the page where one can determine one's
representatives in the house of delegates and state senate is not accessible
to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. I will call city hall
through the call click connect system tomorrow when it reopens, but I
thought I would let you know. 


Thanks so much for all your hard work!




Brian R. Miller, Ph.D.


National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Alexandria Chapter


Alexandria Commission for Persons with Disabilities



From: Justin M. Wilson <justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov
<mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov> > 
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 6:47 AM
To: brianrmiller88 at gmail.com <mailto:brianrmiller88 at gmail.com> 
Subject: January 2019 Council Connection


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The Council Connection

your connection to City Council by: 

Mayor Justin M. Wilson


Alexandria, Virginia


January 1, 2019



In This Edition

Council Initiatives <> 

New Committee Assignments <> 

WMATA Closure Planning <> 

Amazon, Growth  <> & Housing

Planning The Council Year <> 

New DCHS Space <> 

Richmond Highway <> 

Host a Town Hall <> 

Upcoming Issues: General Assembly Session  <> & Residential Parking Permits


Quick Links


E-Mail Me <mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov> 


Past Newsletters


City of Alexandria Website


Pay City Taxes Online


Review Real Estate Assessments


Crime Mapping & Statistics


Call.Click.Connect (Submit Service Requests to City Agencies)


Board & Commission Vacancies


Alexandria Health Department Restaurant Inspections


Report Potholes


Schedule Child Safety Seat Inspection


Smoke Detector Installation Request


Real Estate Tax Receipt Calculator


License Your Dog or Cat


Report a Street Light Outage





Proposed Voting Precinct Changes


The Alexandria Electoral Board is considering the creation of two new voting
precincts in our City. 


The first precinct is proposed to be located at the Alexandria Renew
Enterprises Headquarters building at 1800 Limerick Street. This proposed
precinct will include some voters who currently vote at the Lee Center and
will shift some voters at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School to Lee Center. 


The second precinct is proposed to be located at the Olympus Condominium at
6301 Stevenson Avenue. This proposed precinct will include some voters who
currently vote at Beatley Library and Tucker Elementary School, in addition
to a shifting of some voters at Cameron Station to Tucker. 


The Board will have two community meetings on this proposal. The first
meeting will be on Thursday evening at 132 N. Royal Street from 6 PM until 8
PM. The second meeting will be on Saturday from 10 AM until noon at the same


If neither of those meetings are convenient, the Board is soliciting input
online via a survey as well.  


Stormwater Fee Credit Application


In November, I wrote in this newsletter
%2Bfxe4%3D&reserved=0>  about the credit structure for the recently enacted
residential stormwater fee. 


Beginning last month, residential homeowners can apply for credits that they
are eligible for. Click here to begin the process. 


Community Police Academy


Sign up now to participate in the Alexandria Community Police Academy. 


This acclaimed program is one of the Police Department's key public outreach


In January and February, the Department will be hosting half-day versions of
the program.  


Sign up today!


Helping Out Four Mile Run


The Four Mile Run Conservatory has added winter events to the calendar for


Sunday, January 6, 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM: Land-based clean-up of 'Sunnyside'


Sunday, January 13, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:  Winter Wetland Walk


Full details and sign-up are available online. 


New School Board


The 9 elected members of the Alexandria School Board officially took office
today along with the City Council.

They will each take their oaths of office on Monday the 7th at a ceremony
beginning at 6:30 PM at T. C. Williams High School (3330 King Street). 


The ceremony is open to the public, and I hope to see you there! 


Christmas Tree Recycling


Starting tomorrow and continuing through January 12th, residents receiving
City trash service may leave a Christmas tree out for recycling.


The tree must be placed in your normal trash collection location on your
regular collection day. 


Remove all ornaments, tinsel and stands. 


All trees will be ground into mulch and made available to residents in the



Be A Snow Buddy


Volunteer Alexandria and the City work together to recruit "Snow Buddies."


Snow Buddies work across our City to help residents who are unable to clear
snow during inclement weather. 


Sign up today! 


Happy New Year! 


Tomorrow evening at 7 PM I will take the oath of office as your Mayor, along
with the other 6 members of the new Alexandria City Council.


I'm excited to get started. 


The installation meeting will be held in the auditorium at T. C. Williams
High School (3330 King Street) and I hope you can join us. 


In addition to the administration of our oaths, the City Council will elect
the Vice Mayor and designate Council representation to a variety of City
Boards, Commissions and regional bodies. 



The new Council will hold our first Legislative meeting on the evening of
the 8th of January. 


While we celebrate a season of transition in our City and the new year, I am
mindful that for many of our residents this is a deeply unsettling time.
There are not many communities in our nation with more Federal employees and
contractors than Alexandria. For many of those workers, they are unsure when
their next paycheck will arrive due to the protracted Federal Government
shutdown. In addition to those directly impacted, many more residents within
our service economy are placed at risk due to this impasse. 


It is not acceptable for the President and Congress to hold our residents'
livelihoods hostage in a crisis that did not have to be. I'm hopeful that
ongoing appropriations will be adopted immediately.  


Contact me anytime <mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov> . Let me know how
I can help. 


Council Initiatives


New Council, New Assignments


In conjunction with our City Council service, members of the Council serve
on a variety of Boards and Commissions. At the City Council installation
meeting tomorrow evening, we will officially designate those assignments. 


On the new Council, I have retained some of my current assignments and added
a few new ones.


I will be continuing on the City's Quality of Life Committee. Joining me on
this committee will be Councilwoman Amy Jackson. This group consists of
representatives from the City's public safety agencies, Code Administration,
Alexandria City Public Schools, and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing
Authority. We use this meeting to track and coordinate activities that work
to improve and maintain the high quality of life that our residents expect. 


I also remain on the City Council/School Board subcommittee. Joining this
group on the new Council will be Councilman John Taylor Chapman, the School
Board Chair and Vice Chair, as well as the Superintendent and City Manager.
The subcommittee coordinates joint activities and projects and serves as the
primary interface between City government and the Alexandria City Public


I will be retaining my spot on the City's Commission on Information
Technology. This group has now been re-purposed as a body focused on the
City's new broadband efforts. 


I am continuing as a member of the City's Audit Committee, This group
provides the Council supervision of our annual financial audit. I will be
joined on this committee by Councilman Mo Seifeldein. 


Councilman Seifeldein will also join me on the Employee Pension/Compensation
Committee. This group works through the details of changes to pay and
benefits for our 2,500+ City Employees.


I'll be continuing my work on the Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation
Advisory Group. This body has been working for years to conclude the process
of bringing a Metro station to Potomac Yard. We have now moved into the
important work of mitigating construction impacts and managing changes in
the project. Joining me on this group will be Councilman Canek Aguirre. 


Both Councilman Chapman and I will remain on the ARHA Redevelopment Work
Group. This group is focused on working with the Alexandria Redevelopment
and Housing Authority (ARHA) to manage the orderly redevelopment of aging
ARHA properties. 


I will be joining a relatively new committee that was set up to manage the
Combined Sewer Outfall work
SZ%2Fq5dM%3D&reserved=0>  in cooperation with Alexandria Renew. On this
committee I will be joined by Councilwoman Jackson. 


I will also be joining the City's Legislative Committee, which oversees the
development and implementation of the City's Annual Legislative Package. On
this committee I will be joined by Councilwoman (to be designated Vice Mayor
tomorrow evening) Elizabeth Bennett-Parker.


Finally, on a regional basis, I will also be representing the City on two
important bodies. I will be joining the Metropolitan Washington Council of
Governments (COG) Board of Directors. The Board is the  COG's governing body
and primary policy entity. 


Additionally, I will be representing the City on the Northern Virginia
Transportation Authority (NVTA). The NVTA is the regional entity that
disburses approximately $300 million annually across the region to projects
designed to alleviate traffic congestion. 


I am excited that the assignments I have taken on will provide me with the
opportunity to best serve the residents of our City. 


WMATA Closure Planning


Once the crown jewel of the Washington, DC region, Metrorail is experiencing
a very difficult time. While the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Authority (WMATA) has numerous challenges, the most serious and pressing are
related to safety.   


Metro is a basic building block of our region's economy. If there is a
perception that the system is unsafe, then that awareness can be crippling
to the region. 


Last year, the region did finally come together and adopt a new dedicated
funding stream for WMATA. This significant accomplishment was not without
fault, but it did represent a positive step forward in addressing the
system's challenges. 


Paul Wiedefeld, the WMATA General Manager for the past 3 years, is
aggressively working to tackle these challenges. WMATA finalized the
SafeTrack Plan, which concentrated three years of work into one year.


Advancing this work required expanded time when the system is not operating.
To make this happen, extended weekend hours were discontinued, new mid-day
maintenance was scheduled, and most importantly, a series of "surges"
occurred across the system.


Working with WMATA, DASH, and other local partners, we came up with a series
of alternatives to assist Alexandria riders in their commutes. 


We will now have to put those lessons to the test as WMATA has announced a
new set of closures for this summer. This time, the closures will be to
rebuild outdoor station platforms that are past the end of their usable
lives. The first phase of this work will involve closing down the Braddock
Road, King Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations. This will mean that there
will no blue or yellow line service south of the airport expected from
Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2019.


This will require a dramatic regional response. Far beyond the impact of the
SafeTrack, this closure holds the potential to cripple our region. This
closure will require the City and its regional partners to identify transit
alternatives, teleworking options. economic development planning, and more.
It will not only impact the ability of our residents to access their
employment locations, but it will also hinder the ability of customers to
access Alexandria businesses and employees to access their employers in


In October, City staff brought the initial framework to Council to respond
to the planned Summer 2019 Metro Shutdown in Alexandria. Planning efforts to
prepare for needed repairs on Metrorail have been very active at the staff
level, and we will require ideas from our residents as we work to prevent
this from being a disaster for our City. We continue to solicit specific
suggestions from residents via our online survey.


Last month, our staff provided the Council with an update on the joint
planning efforts, including a recent WMATA Board update on the planning.


Upon review of that plan, our staff has raised very specific concerns over
the capacity of WMATA's planned shuttle alternatives. As a result, the
City's City Manager relayed those concerns in writing to Mr. Wiedefeld. In
turn Mr. Wiedefeld has assured me that these plans will be reviewed to
determine how additional capacity can be added. 


The City's draft plan will be released this month. On January 22nd, at the
City Council Legislative Meeting, WMATA staff will be in attendance to
discuss their plans for this closure with the City Council. 


The work to restore Metro back to the level required to support this region
continues. In the short-term, additional sacrifice will be required. As a
daily Metro rider myself, I know the service challenges first-hand. I'm
hopeful that these efforts will bear fruit soon. 


Amazon, Growth and Housing


A year and a half ago, President Trump announced his intent to withdraw the
United States from the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change. In the immediate aftermath, jurisdictions
across our region and our nation (including Alexandria) rushed to announce
that they would uphold the commitments of the accord within their


While each jurisdiction's commitments are minuscule in the face of a
planetary problem, they are important statements of support. 


In September, the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council
of Governments (COG) accepted a report that identified that 100,000
additional housing units will need to be constructed within the region just
to meet expected job growth. That is 100,000 units BEYOND what is already
planned to be developed. 


Given the alignment between housing policy and transportation policy,
climate policy and economic development policy, the same volunteerism that
led to jurisdictions across the region to sign up to meet the Paris
Agreement's commitments will be required to meet the region's housing needs.


The COG analysis focuses on the housing production required to meet the
economic competitiveness and transportation efficiency goals for the region.
Even with increased housing production at the levels recommended, it's
unlikely to be sufficient supply to address affordability challenges. 


The COG Board ultimately adopted a resolution directing the Housing
Directors and Planning Directors of the region to determine how such an
increase in housing production could be accommodated. 


The recent Amazon and Virginia Tech economic development announcements have
stoked concerns regarding the impacts on affordability that may result
throughout the region. While analysis shows the potential for impacts on
affordability, in a region with over 3.3 million jobs, an additional 25,000
jobs entering the market over a decade is not likely to have a dramatic


Yet these economic development "wins" have served to shine a light on an
issue that has bedeviled our City and this region for decades. As the
region's job supply has grown, the housing supply has not sufficiently grown
to match. 


While the paired announcement of Amazon and Virginia Tech presents risks for
affordability in the region, it also provides some critical opportunities:


*	For the first time ever, the Commonwealth included new housing
investments in an economic development incentive package. 
*	In the aftermath of the announcement, Governor Northam has proposed
new investments in the Commonwealth's Housing Trust Fund as part of his
package of amendments to the budget for the upcoming General Assembly
*	There is some reason to believe that the Amazon/Virginia Tech
investment will prompt new housing production, thus alleviating some of the
*	The City's approved Oakville Triangle Corridor Plan included
significant on-site affordable housing elements that are now likely to
*	The Long Range Planning Interdepartmental Work Program being
presented to the Planning Commission in a few days includes pre-planned
efforts to facilitate market-based affordability alternatives, including
Accessory Dwelling Units, revisions to our developer contribution policies
and exploration of the feasibility of inclusionary zoning initiatives. 
*	That same work program also includes upcoming updates to the small
area plans covering Del Ray and Arlandria. In particular, the recent
Amazon/Virginia Tech announcement has sparked concerns regarding
preservation of affordability in Arlandria. 

When the City attempts to address housing affordability, it is going up
against powerful economic forces. Employing market-based solutions to these
affordability challenges is where the City can be most effective.


A few years ago, I prompted a bit of controversy by writing an intentionally
provocative take on housing affordability and what the City can do to
improve accessibility. 


In late 2015, Jason Furman, then the Chairman of the Council of Economic
Advisers, made a speech that drew a direct connection between one of the
most challenging issues for us in Alexandria to one of the most challenging
issues facing our nation. 


He laid the blame for these challenges squarely at the feet of local


In this speech, Mr. Furman addressed the large and growing challenges of
housing affordability in communities. He connected those challenges with
growing income inequality around our country.  But most relevant to us in
Alexandria, he assigned blame for a lack of housing affordability on local
zoning restrictions. 


Said another way, our limitations and restrictions on development have
driven the cost of housing to unaffordable levels thus exacerbating income
inequality. He even traces the impact of these restrictions to reductions in


Furman writes  "Zoning restrictions--be they in the form of minimum lot
sizes, off-street parking requirements, height limits, prohibitions on
multifamily housing, or lengthy permitting processes--are supply
constraints. Basic economic theory predicts--and many empirical studies
confirm--that housing markets in which supply cannot keep up with demand
will see housing prices rise."


Some have even suggested that removal of some local authority over land use
can help address the affordability issue. Others have ascribed even more
nefarious motives to how zoning restrictions are applied. Last month,
Minneapolis approved one of the more radical approaches to addressing
affordability, by rethinking the entire construct of "Single Family Zoning."
A recent analysis looked at similar approaches in our region, including


All of this leads us to the fundamental question as to whether Alexandria's
efforts to address affordability are helping, hurting or having no effect.


Our discussions on affordable housing have generally been focused on funding
questions, debates about the impacts of individual projects, and the
contention between affordability and other City priorities. We adopted the
Housing Master Plan which gave the community a series of tools with which to
tackle the challenges of affordability. 


Yet, if Furman and other economists are to be believed, we in Alexandria
have rarely tackled the fundamental root of housing affordability. Most of
our efforts are aimed at creating or preserving housing that will ultimately
be in the public domain or under nominal public control. However, it is
through our zoning authority that we can truly impact housing affordability
in privately owned housing. 


Obviously zoning restrictions have a place and serve a need for our
community. I would also suggest that we have done some things right. 


For instance, in 2015, the City Council adopted new parking standards for
multi-family housing. By rightsizing parking, we significantly reduced the
cost of construction for multi-family residential development, provided new
incentives for the use of transit, and freed up resources for alternate
community investments. 


However, these new standards went even farther, by providing steeper parking
incentives for restricted affordable housing units. The City essentially
adopted our largest financial incentive for the creation of new affordable
housing, while also reducing the overall cost of private housing


In 2017, at the suggestion of Councilman Chapman and myself, the City
expanded our "density bonus" program for affordable housing. The program
essentially trades additional market density with landowners in exchange for
new committed affordable housing. 


But, the City has also aggressively utilized our land-use authority to:

*	limit density
*	increase open space
*	create new retail
*	improve architecture
*	improve transportation infrastructure
*	preserve historic structures
*	develop new public facilities
*	create affordable housing
*	improve basic infrastructure
*	improve public art, and more

The process of working to redevelop Ramsey Homes demonstrated the inherent
tension between community expectations and affordability. 


At some point, the question becomes whether those efforts are ultimately
self-defeating, particularly as it relates to housing affordability? 


In June of 2012, the City Council adopted the Beauregard Small Area Plan
which laid out a vision for a 395 acre swath of land constituting a major
portion of the City's West End. 


As in much of the City, the landowners in the Plan area had millions of
square feet of development permitted (5.5 million constructed, 10 million
permitted) under their existing zoning, but not currently developed. 

Through the planning process, the City attempted to use the incentive of
additional development to provide significant public amenities as well as to
encourage land-uses other than additional townhomes. 


The approved plan provides a funding formula (including developer funding,
tax increment financing, and City Affordable Housing Trust Fund dollars) for
the creation of at least 800 new units of committed affordable housing,
funding for a new fire station, a new "ellipse" at the intersection of
Seminary and Beauregard Roads, a new transitway, additional tree canopy, and
44 acres of new open space. 


In total, the Plan exacted $150 million of developer-funded public


Yet it didn't happen. 


Ultimately, JBG made the decision to sell the property. The purchaser is not
a developer, and has no intention to proceed with development of the plan.
Without development in the plan area, the City has little ability to request
public amenities. 


There have been other examples. The Mount Vernon Village Center
redevelopment in Arlandria would have created numerous committed affordable
housing units. Yet the project was abandoned when financing could not be


As we work to implement the City's Housing Master Plan, we must seek to
comprehend and be willing to address all of the factors that challenge
affordability in the City. Amazon's arrival and Virginia Tech's expansion
doesn't dramatically change the affordability challenge in our region, but
it does perhaps give us the impetus to make the difficult decisions to
address it. 


Let me know your thoughts! <mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov> 


Organizing the New Council


In May of 2011, the City Council adopted a Long-Range Multi-Department
Planning Work Program" for Fiscal Year 2012 . This document was the first
attempt to evolve the work program that Council has previously adopted for
the Planning & Zoning Department into a document that now incorporated
multiple departments engaged in long-range planning and policy efforts. 

Today, the "Long Range Interdepartmental Planning Work Program" is adopted
each year and serves as a schedule and framework for planning and policy
initiatives. As a focal point for prioritizing initiatives and ensuring
adequate resources for those initiatives, this document has been quite


This Multi-Departmental Work Program is typically discussed by Council in
January of each year and then adopted post-budget adoption in June. The
current Council adopted Multi-Departmental Work Program was approved on June
13, 2018. Staff from the City's Department of Planning and Zoning will
present a draft of the FY 2020 plan to the City's Planning Commission on

As a contrast, the Council itself has no such document to guide its annual
work. While Council has adopted a Strategic Plan for FY2017 to FY 2022, it
is a high-level plan and does not set out an annual work program. While a
portion of the Council's workload is dictated by recurrent obligations
(adoption of the budget, appropriation ordinances, periodic reports, etc),
and by those seeking approval for various efforts (primarily land-use
applications), the Council has no plan or document that allows it to
schedule and sequence policy initiatives initiated by the Council itself. 


The Council will have a retreat at the end of January (January 26, 2019).
This will be the first time the new City Council will have the opportunity
to gather, more informally, to discuss how we will be approach public
business during the upcoming year. I have proposed that Council use this
retreat to define and refine a work program for the upcoming year.

During the January retreat, for the 2019 year ahead, I think that Council
should identify and prioritize what policy areas that it wants to review;
identify what departments and agencies it wishes to review work plans and
strategies with, sequence land use master plan amendments and revisions
planned during the year; and select which of the City's boards and
commissions that it would be important for the Council to meet with during
the year.

Included in an adopted work program could be:

*	Identification and schedule for policy work sessions,
*	Identification and schedule for department strategic reviews,
*	Schedule for receipt and consideration of master plan updates,
*	Identification and schedule for Board or Commission joint meetings
for those Boards and Commissions that Council thinks important to meet with
*	Schedule for recurrent obligations (budget, appropriation
ordinances, financial reports, etc)

Once approved, the work program can become a "living document" subject to
periodic amendment along with the calendar on Legislative Meeting dockets. 

This proposal is designed to provide an inclusive process for the Council to
sequence and prioritize the policy work planned for the upcoming year. 


Better Space To Serve the Public


Last month in this newsletter I wrote about the City's ongoing efforts to
address the miserable condition of many of our municipal facilities. A
component of those efforts has been working to identify areas of potential
consolidation among our City facilities. 


The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is one of the City's
largest departments with 582 full time equivalent employees, and a budget of
$93 million. The department provides the critical safety net services that
so many of our residents rely on at various points in their lives. 

DCHS, together with the City's Health Department occupy 210,000 square feet
of space in 8 different facilities around the City. Most of the space is
inadequate, aged, and not proximate to the residents its serves (over half
of DCHS clients are on the West End, yet two of our largest offices are in
the East End of the City. 


As a result the City has been exploring options to consolidate. Those
efforts have the now concluded as the City has chosen to consolidate DCHS
and the Alexandria Heath Department at 4850 Mark Center Drive. This building
is currently occupied by the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA). IDA is
preparing to move to a new location in Potomac Yard. Given the timetable of
the intended move, the location will not become available until 2022. 


This new location will enable full consolidation of these two departments
and improve service delivery for the residents served by these important


While the City has negotiated a new 15 year lease, there are several points
where the City can exercise the ability to purchase the building, which
could save the City millions more in avoided lease payments. 


This is a major consolidation effort, and will have transitional challenges
as residents determine the best way to access services in the new facility. 

Ultimately the consolidation will avoid greater costs, improve the
effectiveness of services delivered and make those services more accessible
to our residents. 


Jefferson Davis Highway Becomes Richmond Highway


As of today, Jefferson Davis Highway becomes Richmond Highway in Alexandria.


In the aftermath of the tragic murders in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston,
South Carolina, communities across the nation have reexamined their
representations of Confederate history. None was more visible than the
removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South
Carolina state capitol. 


Here in Alexandria, we have received similar requests from residents to
reexamine examples of such representations in our community. 


A few notable examples in Alexandria:


Since 1970, the City has displayed the first flag of the Confederacy (not
the battle flag) on Robert E. Lee's birthday and Confederate Memorial Day. 


There are at least 30 streets named for prominent leaders of the
Confederacy. The most significant one is Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1). 


The Appomattox Statue, owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, at
South Washington and Prince Streets honors the dead soldiers of Alexandria
who fought for the Confederacy.


Until very recently, a plaque on the  Marshall House (now The Alexandrian
Hotel) told the story of the shooting of a Union officer from a Confederate


My view is that there is little gained for Alexandria to re-fight a war that
concluded 150 years ago. However, our community has changed over 150 years. 


At the end of September 2015, the Council made the decision to end to flying
of the flag of the Confederacy. We also created a community group to take
public comment and advise the Council on other potential changes. 


After five meetings, the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Confederate Memorials
and Street Names made its recommendations to the City Council. 


While the report goes into considerable detail, the group recommended that
the Appomattox Statue remain in place. Jefferson Davis Highway be renamed,
and other potential street re-namings be initiated individually using the
existing process.  


A new advisory group was designated to make recommendations to the City
Council as to the new name for Jefferson Davis Highway. To promote
consistency with Fairfax County, the group recommended that this road
section be renamed Richmond Highway. The City Council unanimously approved
an ordinance implementing the renaming and the new name goes into effect


Honors and commemorations that seemed appropriate a century or even 40 years
ago, may no longer be appropriate in a modern Alexandria. Furthermore, a
modern Alexandria should focus not just on what should be removed or
renamed, but how to portray a more accurate and fair telling of our history.


In my view, that would be a just reaction to the events in Charleston, and
indeed many other injustices and tragedies in our country's history. 


Host a Town Hall in Your Living Room!


As Mayor, I am continuing my regular series of Town Hall Meetings continue! 

You supply the living room and a bunch of your friends and neighbors. I will
supply the Mayor who will hopefully have the answers to any of your
questions about our City. 


Just drop us a line <mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov>  and we'll get a
Town Hall on the calendar! Thanks for the interest!


Upcoming Issues

Back to Richmond


Next week the Virginia General Assembly returns to Richmond for the
so-called "short-session." The General Assembly alternates between a 45 day
session in odd number years and a 60 day session in even number years. 


Every year, the City Council adopts a Legislative Package for the upcoming
General Assembly session. While the state government is certainly a
significant financial supporter of the City's budget, Richmond also sets a
legal environment that affects how we provide services to our residents. 


Contained in the package are specific pieces of legislation that we would
like to see proposed as well as the City's position on legislation that may
arise during the session.


This upcoming session will likely be marked by significant conversations
around fiscal policy, with new proposals around the Earned Income Tax Credit
(EITC) and new revenue from online sales due to the recent Supreme Court
"Wayfair" decision. 


In August, the Governor brought together the Joint Money Committees from the
General Assembly. He gave them the news that the previous fiscal year had
closed with a surplus in excess of half of a billion dollars. 


With this additional revenue, the state made contributions to its revenue
stabilization fund (the so-called "Rainy Day Fund") and other reserves. 


The Governor recently returned to the Joint Money Committees and presented
his proposed amendments, including new investments in K-12 education, water
quality, broadband, housing and higher education. 


While budget matters always dominate in Richmond, there is likely going to
be significant discussion of a variety of other priorities before the


This year, the City has chosen a different approach to the package with
particular focus in two large issues: 

*	The City will be again seeking funding from the Commonwealth to
assist in funding the implementation of new state mandates for combined
sewer remediation work in Old Town. 
*	This City is requesting that the Commonwealth make a significant
investment in school facilities construction and maintenance. Jurisdictions
around the state (including Alexandria) are struggling with the costs of
growing student enrollment and aging school facilities. 

In the Governor's proposed amendments to the budget, he has proposed $25
million in bond proceeds to support the City's combined sewer work.


This is now the fourth time that a Virginia Governor (Governor McDonnell,
Governor McAuliffe, and Governor Northam in two instances) has recognized
the importance of state funding assistance for Alexandria to tackle this
significant clean water initiative by proposing funding. I am optimistic
that we can earn the support of the Senate and the House of Delegates for
this important clean water initiative. 


Additionally, the Governor has proposed a one-time increase to the "At-Risk
Add-On." This additional allocation of state money recognizes the additional
costs carried by local jurisdictions in the education of children growing up
in poverty. Given that over 61% of Alexandria's public school students are
eligible for free or reduced lunch, this money will prove helpful.  


While it is difficult to get legislation passed in Richmond, my hope is that
we will be able to make progress on many of these important issues when the
General Assembly gets to work in January. 


The City is represented in the State Senate by Senator Richard Saslaw,
Senator George Barker, and Senator Adam Ebbin. In the House of Delegates,
the City is represented by Delegate Charniele Herring and Delegate Mark


Click here to determine who represents you. 


Residential Parking Districts


The City currently has 12 residential parking districts around our
community. The districts are designed to regulate non-resident parking in
residential areas. 


While the particular restrictions imposed in each district vary,
fundamentally each district places some sort of restriction on the parking
duration, while residents have the option to purchase permits to exempt
their vehicles. 


Most of the districts were created in the 1980s and the districts have not
been substantially reviewed since then. Currently, the process to create,
expand, or change restrictions must be requested by residents upon the
demonstration of existing parking challenges. This can become onerous for
residents who don't live in an established parking district. 


In order to proactively manage parking issues in residential areas, staff
has been directed to identify specific circumstances when the City could
initiate the public process for changes. In addition to a staff-initiated
process, this effort will consider other updates to the program.  


Today, there are over 9,000 permits in place around the City, with most of
them in the Old Town districts. A subcommittee of the City's Traffic and
Parking Board is conducting a review of this program and considering a
series of issues with the existing program. 


To assist in that study, the subcommittee is soliciting public input with a
survey that will be live until the 4th of this month. 


The next subcommittee meeting will be held on Monday January 28th at 6:30 PM
in City Hall. 


Vice Mayor Justin M. Wilson 


justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov <mailto:justin.wilson at alexandriava.gov>  

Alexandria City Hall

301 King Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

Paid for by Wilson For Mayor





Vice Mayor Justin M. Wilson, 301 King Street, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314

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