To the editor:
The tableau – story in photos – of Allison Silberberg’s mayoral term in the Dec. 13 Alexandria Times, “Allison Silberberg reflects on term as mayor,” is an exquisite example of how a picture can be worth a thousand words, illuminating things we otherwise would miss.
Framed in words, one sees in her tenures as vice-mayor and mayor an heroic struggle against an intransigent city hall establishment which frequently outvoted her, left her in the dark about important decisions and attempted to relegate her to the office’s procedural and ceremonial formalities. This establishment also afforded her no consideration for the times when she went against many of her core supporters’ preferences on issues like the Harvard Street hotel, the Potomac Yard Metro Station and Amazon. Yet, against these extraordinary odds, she wrested compromises which would not likely have otherwise come about on a range of matters from Ramsey Homes to ethics to Chatham Square street parking.
Framed in pictures, though, the tableau the author and editors carefully and artfully arranged portrayed her extroversion and photogenicity. Words in the article noted, but only the pictures could vivify, her extraordinary sensitivity to the views and needs of her constituents.
The newspaper story for a government official’s “exit interview” is news and analysis always, but only rarely is it also art.
-Dino Drudi, Alexandria