Your View: Alexandria should make elections nonpartisan — or join D.C.

Your View: Alexandria should make elections nonpartisan — or join D.C.

By Dino Drudi, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
A strong case could be made for making city council a nonpartisan elected office like the Alexandria City School Board. As the fractious 2015 Democratic mayoral primary showed, the local issues dividing voters are not especially partisan, and cut across party lines.

The legislative package is one of the few exceptions. Our liberal Democratic city council has piled on Medicaid expansion, driver’s licenses for undocumented residents, voting rights for ex-felons and now moving the “Appomattox” statue.

These initiatives are likely dead on arrival in our conservative, Republican legislature, which is nevertheless happy to horde most of the tax revenue Northern Virginia sends to Richmond to spend elsewhere.

If Northern Virginia elected officials are serious about these liberal positions, perhaps they should explore joining the District of Columbia’s thus far quixotic bid to become a state.

Joined with Northern Virginia — and the Maryland suburbs; Montgomery County gets back 20 cents of state services for every tax dollar it sends to Annapolis — D.C.’s statehood bid would be more credible.

The new state would be reliably liberal, but without Northern Virginia, the rest of the commonwealth would revert to reliably conservative, preserving the political bal- ance underlying admission of new states since the Missouri Compromise.

Alexandria was once part of D.C. Would it be so bad if it were again?