Letter to the Editor: Elect Ray, who understands Alexandria

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A vacant storefront for lease in Old Town.
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To the editor:

I want to recommend casting one of your six votes in the Democratic primary on June 12 for Robert Ray.

Alexandria is a city with a long history, and a city going through many changes. We are developing Potomac Yard, figuring out the final plan for a Metro station 30 years in the making, and about to start the redevelopment of Landmark, an underutilized site that could transform the city’s West End. We also must protect our historic districts, and help Alexandria continue to be a place that people want to visit, as tourism, not development, is the real engine of our economy. The list of important issues is long.

I believe Ray is up to the challenge.

He is a second generation Alexandrian who lives in the house he grew up in. He and Mary, his wife of 28 years, both run small businesses out of the home, and like shopkeepers used to do, live above the shop. They raised their daughter there.

Ray studied architecture at the University of Virginia, and now restores 19th-century furniture. His business, Cavalier Antiques, was started by his father in 1946 and moved to Old Town in 1960. Old Town was not a prosperous place when he was growing up, but became that way because of the care and preservation by people who saw value in protecting the uniqueness of Alexandria. Ray is currently the treasurer of both Old Town Civic Association and the Alexandria Association, and has been part of these organizations for the last 30 years.

I think it is important to elect someone who has history in Alexandria, and understands the changes that have happened in the last 50 years. We need someone who is not just learning about the issues we are facing, but has been dealing and following them, and can point to the past as a guidepost to our future.

That is why I am strongly supporting Ray, as I believe he could be a great contributor to these tough decisions, and I trust his moral compass to make the informed and thoughtful choices.

-Boyd Walker, Alexandria

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