Letter to the Editor: Why I support Amy Jackson

Letter to the Editor: Why I support Amy Jackson
Amy Jackson (Courtesy Photo)

To the editor:

I’m writing to explain why I support Amy Jackson for city council and encourage others to do the same in the June 12 Democratic primary. A graduate of T.C. Williams High School, Amy is a passionate advocate for her hometown and seeks to give a voice to the least fortunate as she fights for a caring city that welcomes all.

One thing that has impressed me in watching Amy campaign is her understanding that complex issues can’t be reduced to simple solutions. Amy understands that leadership calls for rejecting false choices. Let me provide an example of this. As our city struggles to find income to invest in our priorities, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that budgeting comes down to a binary choice of either cutting spending or increasing taxes. Amy understands that the city has an additional option in growing its revenue base.

When Amy talks about the importance of initiatives like redeveloping Landmark Mall, you can hear in her passion both pride in our city and a commitment to leveraging smart development opportunities to increase the city’s budget. This type of strategic thinking could help shift the tax burden so that it falls more equitably between residents and businesses. Amy also understands that development can be sensitive to residents’ concerns.

I have also been ecstatic to see how strongly Amy has supported increasing first-responder pay. We lag behind all neighboring jurisdictions and it hurts both recruitment and retention. It is not good fiscal policy to spend thousands of dollars training these employees, only to lose them to other cities and counties that are willing to pay a competitive wage. Enabling city employees to live in the jurisdiction where they serve enhances their relationship with the community and creates a sense of partnership that can help in moments of crisis and need.

Lastly, as a former teacher, few can talk about education as forcefully and with as much passion as Amy. She understands that strong schools equal a strong community. Amy understands that we must address capacity issues and delayed infrastructure needs in our schools and will be ready from her first day on the job to partner with organizations ranging from the school board to PTAs to community groups to ensure that students continue to receive an exceptional education.

-David A. Lord, Alexandria