Where’s the transparency by Zoning for Housing supporters?

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To the editor: 

I would like to thank the Times for its thoughtful editorial of August 31, “Good policy takes time.” 

The city’s Zoning for Housing proposal will bring drastic and permanent change to Alexandria’s built environment and to the lives of its existing residents, little of it an improvement. Given the city’s self-imposed November deadline for voting Zoning for Housing into law, these issues definitely need more attention and consideration than they are being given. 

As the treasurer and a director of The Coalition for a Livable Alexandria, Inc. I want to respond to the questions posed in the editorial about CLA’s structure, leadership and funding sources. 

CLA is a grassroots organization composed of Alexandria residents, all unpaid volunteers. We are funded exclusively by small donations from civic-minded individuals, all of which have been under $1,000. We do not receive any corporate or institutional funding. 

Our mission is to ensure that all Alexandrians’ views on what should be built in their city are taken into account, rather than just those of corporations, developers or outside activists. 

You were right to note the need for those involved in this debate to be more transparent. We want to make sure that Alexandrians have full confidence in CLA’s reasons for asking the city to slow down, to consider these proposals one by one and to truly listen to the residents on issues that will deeply impact the daily lives of all of us. 

Our board of directors is now listed on our website, www.livablealexandria.org, and we will soon be adding their bios and other information. We would welcome similar transparency about the organizations and funding sources of the groups that are supporting the city’s plans. 

-Will Shen, 

treasurer and director, 

The Coalition for a Livable Alexandria, Inc. 

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