Letter to the Editor: Here’s why the Sierra Club endorsed Wilson

Letter to the Editor: Here’s why the Sierra Club endorsed Wilson

To the editor:

Last week the Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Justin Wilson for mayor in Alexandria’s June 12 Democratic Party primary. These are challenging environmental times. President Donald Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt are working all too successfully to unravel federal climate and other environmental protections implemented during President Barack Obama’s two terms and in previous decades. Effective action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S. now hinges in large part on the actions of cities like Alexandria.

We’re fortunate in Alexandria to have city council members and a mayor who generally voice support for climate and environmental action at the local level. But we need someone at the city’s helm who will translate positive rhetoric into real action. When it comes to delivering results when it matters, Justin Wilson is the clear choice for mayor.

Wilson has a track record of building coalitions, working effectively with others in the city and surrounding region and mastering arcane budget and policy details that are essential to effective governance. He was instrumental in securing city council support to establish Alexandria’s first sustainability coordinator position, led the coalition that approved new parking rules that will help lower transportation carbon emissions in our city and he has been a longtime supporter of establishing Alexandria’s new storm water utility to clean up our waterways.

Wilson is also willing to push back constructively when local advocates ask for things that are not within the city’s authority. And he seeks to find creative alternatives when Virginia laws restrict our city government from providing what local residents want. We respect Wilson for this honesty, and for not just telling us what we want to hear. This is the art of effective governance and representation, and these are the qualities Alexandrians need in our mayor during these trying environmental times.

-Seth Heald, Pat Soriano, Dean Amel,
Executive committee members,
Sierra Club Mt. Vernon Group