By Cody Mello-Klein | [email protected]
Councilor Mo Seifeldein announced that he is running for mayor in the upcoming local election, in which he will face off against incumbent Mayor Justin Wilson.
Seifeldein, who was elected to council on Nov. 6, 2018, is a litigation attorney by trade, with experience working as a court-appointed attorney for clients who could not afford legal services, and the first Sudanese immigrant to serve on City Council.
The decision to run for mayor was the result of his accumulated experience both on council and in the courtroom, Seifeldein said.
“I think with my experience on council, with my experience as an attorney and being an objective, vocal person on the council who’s been able to move the needle, I think I’m the leader Alexandria will get behind this election,” Seifeldein said.
According to Seifeldein, his campaign will focus on many of the issues that have become flashpoints for conversation in the community, including the city’s stormwater infrastructure. Residents have experienced intense, repeated flooding over the last year and are looking to the city to address issues with its aging stormwater infrastructure.
“We need a robust, aggressive plan to get the stormwater system fixed, and I think I’ve shown that pushing that in the most aggressive manner [is important] because it does deal with quality of life and safety,” Seifeldein said.
Seifeldein also aims to push the city’s environmental future forward through more stringent green building policies, ensure Alexandria City Public Schools have funding for before and after school programming and support local businesses, especially as they continue to suffer the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They are the backbone of our economy,” Seifeldein said. “We have to strengthen that base and when they dowell, we do well and, in turn, that will reduce the demand on taxing the residents.”
Watching the inner workings of council business, Seifeldein said he is eager to “look past the comfort of inaction” and push the city toward a more council-centric approach, that would have council, instead of city staff, taking a more active role in determining the agenda at council meetings.
More generally, Seifeldein said he hopes to make his research-driven approach to council business the rule not the exception on the dais and to foster an inclusive, supportive attitude for his fellow council members, the community and staff.
“Bullying is one of the reasons I really went into law and politics,” Seifeldein said. “I value peoples’ opinions and input and I do everything I can to make sure there is no abuse of power at any level, whether in my personal life, legal practice or just being an elected official. I think that’s something inherent in me from the injustices I’ve seen growing up in Sudan before I came to the States.”
Seifeldein and Wilson are the only two candidates to declare they are running for mayor in the June 8 Democratic primary.