By Ethel Carol Talley, Alexandria (File photo)
To the editor:
I knew the moment I spoke with Monique Miles about her candidacy for city council that I would support her campaign. I had just read an article in the paper about how she wanted to make the city more affordable for all of its citizens to live in. She says time and time again that she never wants to hear about citizens moving out of Alexandria because they cannot afford to live here.
I am a Democrat, and at the time, I did not know Miles was running as a Republican. I’m a straight ticket voter. She changed that. After listening to her speak at the Departmental Progressive Club and listening to all the candidates, I will no longer vote for people merely based on political party. On November 3, I will be voting for candidates who genuinely care about all residents and their concerns.
All of the candidates have spoken about housing affordability, but Miles has vision and a clear plan on how she will make housing more affordable. Every day, I witness her strong leadership skills and vision. Even within the community and door knocking, I see the community rallying behind her. People answering their doors tell Miles they will vote for her and are excited about the change she will bring.
I have witnessed her not only attend events, but also stay the entire time, particularly at a celebration in the historically African-American neighborhood the Berg. Miles continuously engages with Alexandria’s diverse community and with citizens of every color, ethnicity, background and neighborhood. She truly cares about our city and every person who lives here.
Many parts of Alexandria are changing, and housing prices keep increasing. Sadly, this council has not done enough for housing affordability. Over the past 12 years, 12,000 units have disappeared. Regardless of market rate increases or destruction of units, the fact stands that it happened on council’s watch. All of our citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status, deserve a city council that is responsive and will solve problems.
Alexandrians who have a middle level salary, with a Master’s level education like many other government employees and residents, still can’t afford to live here. Miles and I believe this situation is unacceptable. She remains committed to solving these issues. I look forward to her strong, solution-oriented leadership on city council — and you should too.