By Clarence Tong, Chairman, Alexandria Democratic Committee
In recent years, the City of Alexandria has faced fiscal challenges as a result of decisions made in Richmond and across the river in Washington, such as the shutdown of the federal government last year. We cannot pretend that what happens around us does not affect the economic well-being of our great city.
Local officials have warned for months that revenues are falling short at a time when there are increasing demands for city services. Today, one in six jobs in Alexandria are in public administration and are mostly filled by federal workers. However, this does not include the 18,000 workers providing business and technical services — including many federal contractors — and many individuals, including myself, who commute to work in the District each day. There is a direct link between federal budget uncertainty and Alexandria’s economy.
As an alumnus of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute, I feel strongly that Alexandrians need to elect federal representatives that understand fiscal and pocketbook issues. We need representatives who will work in a bipartisan way, seek common ground to solve the problems facing our country and strengthen Virginia’s economy. It is in this spirit that longtime Republican U.S. Sen. John Warner endorsed Mark Warner in his re-election bid for the Senate.
Alexandria also is fortunate that former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer is running to replace U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8). Beyer is a successful Northern Virginia business owner, who understands economic issues and what it takes to create jobs.
The contrast is stark. Virginia Republicans have nominated two inexperienced candidates with no track record in Virginia. This year, Alexandria’s Democrats, Republicans and Independents should vote for two Virginia leaders: Warner and Beyer. The future of our economy in Virginia and in our nation is at stake.