Your View: City Hall governs for the special interest, not the public interest


To the editor:
    I am extremely disappointed by the Alexandria City Council shelving All may park, all must pay and instead moving toward an even more egregious arrangement offering 12 hours free parking for motorists with disabilities.  
    Our Constitution clearly sets forth an equal protection standard, carefully crafted after much back-and-forth. It means there will not be discrimination for or against anyone in a particular civil rights category. Equal protection means accessible parking, but it also means everyone is charged the same price not free parking for some and $1.75 an hour for others. 
    Ideally, every parking space would be accessible and available to any motorist on a first-come basis. Because this is not practical due to physical impediments, a number of accessible parking spaces are reserved for motorists with disabilities based on anticipated demand. But there is no compelling reason to exempt those in this civil rights category from having to pay; in fact, exempting them from paying is the antithesis of civil rights equal protection and amounts to a special privilege equal protection was supposed to outlaw.  
    The city councils parking policy mirrors affirmative action bake sales where right-wing college students charge minorities and women less for cookies than white male students without disabilities to dramatize special treatments absurdity when taken to its logical extreme. This is not to say motorists with disabilities lack legitimate concerns the public has a moral duty to recognize, but those legitimate concerns are accessible parking not favored treatment such as free parking. 
     Does City Hall establish standing commissions, such as the one for persons with disabilities which pushed back against All may park, all should pay, as a way of acknowledging that a special interest is officially favored?
    Does establishing such a commission signal the special interest it represents that it can cash in? By contrast, City Hall often ignores ad hoc commissions, comprised of a cross-section of the community to represent the public interest, such as the parking commission whose All may park, all must pay recommendation was dropped without even a hearing. 
    Clearly, City Hall is in the thrall of special interests and prefers governing for special interests over governing for the public interest.

– Dino Drudi