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Alexandria City Council Democratic Primary {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The six-member City Council is Alexandria s governing body. Board members, elected at large (that is, to represent the whole city rather than specific districts), serve three-year terms. For more information on the City Council, visit https://www.alexandriava.gov/Council.Virginia is an open primary state, meaning that voters do not register by political party. Any registered voter is eligible to vote in any primary election. However, if both the Democratic and Republican parties hold primaries on the same day, voters must choose which party ballot they wish to vote.

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    Canek Aguirre
    (Dem)

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    Sarah R. Bagley
    (Dem)

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    John Taylor Chapman
    (Dem)

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    Abdel S. Elnoubi
    (Dem)

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    Jacinta E. Greene
    (Dem)

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    Kevin J. Harris
    (Dem)

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    Jonathan P. Huskey
    (Dem)

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    James C. "Jimmy" Lewis Jr.
    (Dem)

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    R. Kirk McPike
    (Dem)

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    Jesse D. O'Connell
    (Dem)

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    Charlotte A. Scherer
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What do you think are the three most pressing issues facing the City of Alexandria?

What can the City do to meet its housing needs, both in terms of inventory and affordability? What additional zoning changes, if any, would you support?

What role should the City Council play in ensuring that elections held in Alexandria are safe, secure, and accessible to all voters?

Is the City making appropriate progress on its sustainability, energy, and resilience goals? What, if anything, would you like to see done differently?

If elected, what changes (if any) will you pursue to the City's policing and criminal justice systems?

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Campaign Email chapman4council@gmail.com
Campaign Phone 5712364170
Campaign Twitter Handle @chapman4council
Economic sustaining, affordable housing, and quality of schools.
We must keep working with development partners, especially nonprofits, to increase housing stock. We must also press for additional state and federal funding to support projects that will increase the availability of affordable housing. In addition, we have to consider rental voucher programs in order to help Alexandrians dealing with the increase in rental fees.

With regard to zoning changes, I would support increased zoning around our transit and metro centers.
The City Council should follow all election laws and continue to work with the electoral board to ensure elections are safe and without interruption. In addition, the City Council should pursue changes to state laws that help provide additional access to the ballot box for voters
I would like to see us move more proactively and expediently toward reaching our sustainability, energy, and resilience goals, especially those surrounding policy and procedural changes. I would also like to see better collaborative partnerships with ACPS, DASH, and WMATA.
Improved use of technology, such as license plate readers and similar advancements are changes that are worth research and consideration.
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Access to safe affordable housing is something that I struggled with when I moved to Alexandria 21 years ago. I want to ensure that all Alexandrians can afford to live in our city. For our city to be the best city to live in we must ensure that all residents have access to housing whether it is being able to afford to rent your first apartment or buy your first home. Unfortunately, Virginia faces a shortage of over 170,000 units for extremely low-income households with shortfalls in Alexandria being particularly concerning, I will advocate for critical support for housing assistance, and homelessness assistance programs. We need to address the lack of safe affordable housing, so our young professionals, educators, police and firefighters.
I believe we need to tactically utilize the flexibility created by the Zoning for Housing Initiative to make sure the stock of rental units and units for sale match our ever changing housing needs. I think this starts with centering housing in the planning process for all of our city's economic development initiatives. We need to ask ourselves two things: How will this initiative affect housing and can we use this initiative to increase housing access and affordability for all? We need the flexibility to build more densely in areas where the infrastructure can handle it. And this means building not just apartments, but townhomes, condos and lower cost housing purchase options.
I believe that as elected officials we have a critical role to ensure that elections are safe, secure, and accessible to all voters. The right of all citizens to vote and choose their elected officials is a fundamental building block of our democracy. To me, as a woman of color, ensuring that everyone who is eligible to vote has access to the ballot box is essential, especially to people who have historically been denied access in the past.
I believe the City is making progress on sustainability, energy, and resilience goals but I believe we can do more, especially to meet the Environmental Action Plan. We must enhance sustainability and resiliency efforts, adopt smarter approaches and develop effective and feasible mitigation plans to ensure Alexandria is prepared to respond and recover from disasters.

My top three environmental priorities if elected will be resiliency, speeding up efforts to get the city to carbon neutral through energy efficiency and adoption of renewable energy sources, and preserving green and natural spaces. As a Dillion Rule state, we are unfortunately limited in what we can do on climate and environmental policy without the state's permission.
As a member of the Alexandria City School Board for the past 6 years, I was proud that we issued a resolution against gun violence and called on Congress and the Virginia General Assembly to declare gun violence a public health crisis, and increased education efforts regarding gun ownership.

If elected, I will fight for policies to reduce gun violence in our City and ensure our communities of color have access to adequate resources and services, including community based violence intervention programs. Additionally, it is imperative that we draw attention and address the inequities that exist in our health, education, housing and justice systems which only exacerbate gun violence in these communities. We need to ensure that we are talki
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I am a progressive who will listen to all and balance corporate interests on City Council.

Instead of ill-planned arenas that are a handout to billionaires, I will advocate for a smarter growth approach that strengthens small business, creates more options for affordable housing development and reforms the tax code to better invest in schools and infrastructure.
I believe this Council has been too quick to pass any development measure that comes before it. I would have voted against the elimination of single-family zoning because it did nothing to address affordability or homeownership. We need more options, more money into the system and to stop relying on developers to fork over one or two affordable units in huge buildings – it’s not enough.

Alexandria must find ways to build ownership opportunities, promote alternative financing programs, and provide more affordable housing options for seniors. I will pursue limited-equity housing, shared appreciation loans and use of bonding to finance new projects.
Alexandria has an outstanding Elections Department that needs to be well-funded and organized. Our role is also to safeguard voters from excessive lines and threats (real or perceived) at the polls. We should encourage and support another early voting site in the Central or West End.
We need to do all we can to move Dominion Power to move toward renewable energy and to encourage developers to incorporate green tech and building into their plans. Let's also celebrate and help more small businesses reach goals for our Eco-City Initiative.

Our city fleet, DASH and school vehicles should be electrified, and we need to make sure that transit is easy and safe for riders to encourage folks to use it rather than drive.
I believe that bringing more resources is important to building a justice system that is focused on preventing harm in our communities. I'll work with others on Council to better understand modern policing methods and trainings and work to incorporate mental health and alternative response teams, when appropriate.

Additional resources would also allow us to increase police presence and communication with residents to be clear with the communities as to the purpose.
The three most pressing issues facing Alexandria are: 1) a lack of affordable housing, especially affordable homeownership opportunities; 2) the need to diversify our economic base so we don't have to keep coming back to resident taxpayers to fund key priorities; and 3) an ongoing need to address mental health challenges in our City.
A lack of affordable housing remains a top concern in Alexandria. While Zoning for Housing was a step forward, we cannot be the last and only step.

As a member of City Council, I believe it is our responsibility to carefully evaluate each and every development proposal to ensure it meets our community needs and demands. We can and should take a more aggressive stance with developers when it comes to increasing our stock of deeply affordable, workforce and "missing middle" housing inventory.

Additionally, we must ensure that tax rates do not price older Alexandrians out of their homes by growing the commercial tax base and expanding our Real Estate Tax Rebate/Deferral Program.
In Virginia, elections are largely administered by the local level. It is imperative that City Council support the Alexandria Registrar of Voters and her quality programs focused on increasing participation while ensuring elections are safe, secure, accessible and fair.

Additionally, Alexandria needs to expand the ability for resident to vote by allowing for an early vote location to be opened on the City's West End. Right now, the only early voting location for primary elections is located in Old Town which reduces the ability of our most diverse communities to take advantage of early voting opportunities.
Last year, Alexandria developed and released its Energy and Climate Change Action Plan. This high-quality plan provides an actionable outline for Alexandria to reach carbon-zero by 2050. Since we have a great and workable plan, what are we waiting on?

It's time to accelerate the plan and show the rest of the Commonwealth and nation how a progressive, forward-thinking community can successfully reduce and eventually eliminate its emissions.

Finally, it is imperative that Alexandria actively protect our existing mature tree canopy while working to expand it through new tree plantings.
As a member of the Alexandria Sheriff's Community Services Advisory Board, I know that Alexandria has taken many steps to ensure police accountability and reform our criminal justice system. While we have made progress, much work remains to address systemic disparities. As a member of Council, I am committed to working with our Sheriff and Commonwealth's Attorney to continue and expand our drug court program, anti-recidivism programs and job training/GED programs for incarcerated residents. As people exit the system, I'm committed to supporting and expanding ongoing programs that build the workforce by connecting re-entering residents with job opportunities at local businesses in need of workforce.
The most pressing issue facing the City is our revenue imbalance, which impacts all of our work on housing, infrastructure, supporting our schools, and other vital issues. I hope to use my experience from my first term on Council, and my time on the Budget Advisory Committee before joining Council, to help Alexandria navigate these challenges.

Housing affordability remains a crisis in our City, as too many Alexandrians cannot afford the cost of the housing their family needs. I will build on my first term record of work on this challenge.

We also need to do more to combat Alexandria's carbon emissions, as climate change increases the risk of flooding and threatens the health and safety of our residents.
Last year, Alexandria took its biggest action yet to address the housing crisis by passing the Zoning for Housing package of reforms, which will cut red tape and allow new homes to be built across the City. Many of these new units will be committed affordable homes in former office buildings, or near transit. I am proud to have supported this initiative.

I believe that we should analyze the results of this first set of reforms, and use them to determine how to further strengthen our housing-creation tools. If we aren’t hitting our housing-creation projections, then we will need to look for solutions that create the right sized housing options for people to get their start in Alexandria and remain in the city they love as they grow older.
Ensuring that every voter can easily cast their ballot in every election is essential to American democracy. I am committed to ensuring that Alexandria provides our Voter Registrar's office with the funding and staffing it needs to make voting as easy as possible, in particular by encouraging voting by mail and by offering early voting opportunities at multiple locations across the City and on weekends.

As a member of the Council's Legislative Subcommittee, I help determine the City's legislative priorities for the General Assembly in Richmond. I am proud of our advocacy for measures to make it easier to register to vote and to qualify to vote absentee, and opposed efforts to restrict the franchise.
I am proud of my record on Council on climate change issues. I supported the creation of the Office of Climate Action, which is already accelerating Alexandria's efforts to deal with carbon emissions, and stronger green building policies. Climate change is a major threat to Alexandria's future, as too many of our neighborhoods are prone to flooding or lack adequate shade on hot days. We're making progress, but we must do more.

I support continuing to integrate climate action into all of our City priorities and plans, further strengthening our green building requirements, and supporting Alexandrians who want to make climate-conscious choices regarding bike riding and transit use or removing carbon-intensive appliances from their homes.
In a few months, Alexandria will be hiring a new Chief of Police. I believe that the onboarding of new leadership will provide us an opportunity to reconsider elements of how we handle public safety in our City — building on efforts that are working well, and changing programs that aren't.

In particular, I will continue to support expanding our Alexandria Co-Response Program, which pairs certified mental health professionals with police officers to respond to mental health-related calls. This program has diverted a large number of cases away from arrests and towards needed social support.

I would also like to see us reconsider our patrol system, to get officers out of their cars more to directly interact with the communities they protect.
Campaign Email jesse@jesseforalx.com
Campaign Phone 202-215-7663
Campaign Twitter Handle @jesseforalx
1. Continuing to increase housing supply throughout the entire City of Alexandria, across a variety of types of homes to rent or own, and over a broad range of price and affordability. 2. Advancing the thriving of children and youth in the city by increasing access to affordable high-quality child care and after care programs, and the creation of new youth engagement and mentorship opportunities 3. Growing and keeping talent in the city by collaborating with labor early and always, investing in a range of learning and workforce development programs, and supporting small businesses by shortening the path from inspiration to success.
Continue policies that increase our overall market-rate housing supply. Updating zoning codes to meet the current needs of the city is one way, so is an emphasis on transit-oriented development. We should strive to create many tools and incentives for builders across all housing types and locations, so that any given project—from a single unit lot to large multi-family building—has the flexibility to succeed. We have been a leader nationally in office-to-residential conversions, and in some communities and contexts zoning changes are necessary for those projects. Similarly, industrial zones frequently limit residential uses, yet in some cases are now locations compatible with and desirable for residential use.
I’m proud that Alexandria is a place that has a well-staffed and well-run registrar’s office, and a dedicated cohort of election volunteers. I think we need to continue to support those volunteers, and foster a new generation of engaged Alexandrians that want to help staff our polling places. The city needs to continue to contribute funding sufficient to the needs of our registrar’s office, as well as continuing to innovate in how we communicate with and reach different communities across the city to make them aware of our elections, and how to participate in them. I know the city has been a strong advocate for early voting, and added additional hours for early voting–and I’d ensure we continue those efforts.
We’re making progress but must do more, especially on local impacts of climate change that risk health and safety, namely flooding and heat islands. These issues impact quality of life, and I would continue to invest in stormwater management and be a voice of accountability to get those projects done. In the city’s West End and Arlandria there is often a 20% temperature difference from nearby Beverly Hills–I’d push to invest in more open space, new tree canopy, heat-reflective materials for building and impermeable surfaces, and other structures that provide shade. I care about energy efficiency & building weatherization–it's a pocketbook issue with environmental justice implications, as energy burden falls hardest on our neighbors in need.
Manage the leadership transitions underway at APD, including the hiring of a new chief. We have to emphasize community policing and build real relationships in neighborhoods across the city. We need a stable workforce by ensuring competitive pay to attract great candidates, and slow the rate we train officers in our academy but they find work elsewhere. Every police officer must be CIT trained, to ensure more capable and compassionate responses to a mental health issue. Expand the ACORP Program and get more social workers partnered with trained officers. Fully fund and staff our mental health services (including resources in the jail) to direct support and interventions to residents that need it before an interaction with police ever occurs
Housing: It’s time for housing solutions that don’t put the developers in charge. I will fight against uniform density across neighborhoods to preserve our environment and historic places. Public Safety: As a former city magistrate, I’ve worked closely with our first responders. I will reassign administrative duties to support staff to get our police back on the streets. Infrastructure: Let’s get the city back to basics. I’ll work hard to deliver results on smoother road surfaces and prevent sunny-day flooding. And I’ll use smart signals at intersections to get traffic moving again.
Building anything anywhere is a short-sighted approach to fixing the affordability crisis. The next city council should stop building higher and denser in every single neighborhood and direct development to core areas near Metro locations. That is smart growth, not unchecked growth.
We should have more poll workers. We should also explore district representation rather than “at-large” to get big money out of local politics. Representatives with smaller districts are closer to their constituents and don’t have to fundraise heavily to paper the city with mailers.
It’s time to use federal grants to invest in EV-charging stations. And the city should look to expand its curbside composting program and incentivize energy-efficient retrofits.
We have seen an increase in violent crime recently. I want to get our police back on the streets. We can do this by reassigning administrative “desk duty” to support staff.