To the editor:
The May 8 mayoral debate hosted by the Alexandria Democratic Committee highlighted the big differences between Allison Silberberg and Justin Wilson. My three biggest takeaways from the evening were their different approaches to density, the environment and civic engagement.
Silberberg is clearly the right choice if you care about these issues. She believes in smart growth – an approach that takes into account how a development will impact the city’s infrastructure, flooding, school capacity, affordable housing and the surrounding neighborhoods.
As she said at the debate, she believes that when we consider a new building, it shouldn’t be super-sized to the max in an out-of-scale, overbuilding kind of way. Wilson’s approach is to develop everything to the max. He has never met a development he didn’t like and accepts donations from developers. Silberberg doesn’t take funding from developers.
Silberberg is a remarkable champion for our environment and would save Taylor Run and Strawberry Run and not use data from a farm in Pennsylvania to justify its destruction, which is what the city’s plan does. Wilson has been supporting the city’s plan based upon this irrelevant data.
Silberberg is known for being an active listener and respecting differing points of view. When 13 civic associations went to Wilson to plead with him not to narrow Seminary Road, he was dismissive of their concerns and didn’t listen.
And when residents FOIA’d the city over the narrowing of Seminary Road, more than 80 pages came back completely blackened and redacted. What is such a national secret?
This road, a major artery to our only hospital, was one of the safest roads in our city, according to the city’s own data. And now, there is more congestion and emergency vehicles are delayed as a result of this change, as traffic backs up during rush hour. Silberberg would never have taken this approach. The differences are very clear. Vote for Allison Silberberg!
-John K. Frost, Alexandria