By Michael Campilongo, Alexandria (File photo)
To the editor:
Recently, I saw an email asserting Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg is not a real Democrat or competent to be mayor. Those contentions are baseless.
Silberberg interned for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D) while attending American University. She later worked for her home state’s U.S. Senator, Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas), as his chief research assistant.
Silberberg ran as a Democrat in all three contests she has won: primaries in 2012 and 2015 and the 2012 general election, yet she is able to reach across party lines.
Her late mother managed former Texas Gov. Ann Richards’ Dallas-North campaign headquarters. Richards appointed Mrs. Silberberg to a major state board in Texas. This is not the background of a crypto-Republican.
To back the assertion on the vice mayor’s true partisan identity, the writer says her plurality is attributable to Republicans voting in the Democratic primary. Republicans voted for all three candidates. That writer’s bald assertion is just that.
The other bald assertion is equally baseless. Our mayors have been a construction company owner in Euille, a banker in Kerry Donley; Patsy Ticer was a civic activist who went on to chair a powerful committee in the Virginia Senate. Jim Moran was a stockbroker and U.S. Senate Appropriations staffer who went to Congress, while Charles Beatley was an airline pilot.
Silberberg was an aide to a powerful Democratic senator while he chaired the Senate Finance Committee. Since graduate school at UCLA, she launched and led a youth mentoring program in Anacostia at the height of the crack wars. She was a community organizer before many realized it is a door to public office. She was appointed to our city’s economic opportunities commission, which she chaired before joining city council. She is a published author and commentator.
Silberberg is an accomplished professional. She is a civic activist like her exemplar Ticer, who calls her “a voice of reason.” I trust her judgment and integrity. U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8), Alexandria Police Committee’s Local 5 and State Democratic Chair Susan Swecker all endorse her. Silberberg will continue to act wisely in serving the city she refers to as a trust, whose temporary trustees we all are.