YOUR VIEWS | Distaff Sense Needed

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To the editor:

An opinion writer in last weeks paper made the below astute observation:
Recently, however, our progressive city seems to have come to a standstill when it comes to promoting women candidates. On the Democratic side, we have five men and one woman. Among Republicans and Independents combined there is one woman candidate.

It was just in 2003 that Alexandria was named by Ladies Home Journal as one of the best cities for women. What has happened since then? To be honest, no one really knows. We do know, however, that a siren call is needed to support the right women candidates. There is plenty of evidence, academic, scientific and otherwise, demonstrating that women bring a different perspective, a style of doing business, a willingness to collaborate and consider other perspectives, that can result in different outcomes. Given the state of our national affairs, our burdensome taxes and our uncertain economic outlook, it seems that it would serve us well to keep these different perspectives as part of city governance.

I could not agree more, and thats why Im supporting Alicia Hughes, an Independent candidate for Alexandria City Council, on May 5. I encourage you to support Alicias candidacy, too. Shes young, spirited, bright, values-driven, qualified, extraordinarily talented and comes to the table with fresh ideas. Alicia represents a different dimension of leadership and a complimentery, but different style of doing business. She brings a womans touch to dealing with key social issues, and we need more of that touch in the leadership of this city. A prime example is her approach to dealing with issues affecting our children, work which in great part earned her the designation of this years Alexandria Commission for Womens Rising Star Award Recipient.

Alicia serves on the Early Childhood Commission, the Social Services Advisory Board and the ACPS Budget Advisory Committee. In one way or another, each of these boards makes or influences policy decisions that affect children. Alicias leadership doesnt stop at attending these meetings and having conversations with other grown-ups about the needs of our youngest citizens. Alicia works with the children personally, volunteering at an early childhood center once a week, mentoring inner city girls between ages 7 and 14 and chairing a literacy program housed at one of our city recreation centers so that she can assess the needs based on her own interaction. Now thats a different style of doing business.

Never mind that Alicias style is complimented by her education and work experience, making her highly qualified to serve. Shes a lawyer with a background in land use and community development, a former public school teacher, a former federal law clerk and former congressional staffer who has local government experience.

A great many Alexandrians, particularly young adults, single people and young girls need to see Alicia elected to City Council this year. Her election represents their promise, their voice, and as a West Ender and woman of color, the voice of so many other Alexandrians.

Burke Wilson
Alexandria

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