The year 2024 has a nice ring to it. It rolls off the tongue. Of course, 2020 also had a nice sound, but, sadly, that year didn’t turn out so great.
We are looking forward to 2024 for a variety of reasons. The first is that 2024 is the 20th year of the Alexandria Times. On the top left side of our front page, you will see that it says “Vol. 20, No. 1” – the first issue of our 20th year.
Our staff is meeting this week to map out the ways in which we will celebrate 20 years of bringing you Alexandria’s news. Look for periodic features that spotlight specific years and stories that we’ve covered.
We may run “best of” photo spreads, pages of ads that have won awards as well as highlight our special readers and advertisers. We start today by sending a special “thank you” to McEnearney Associates and Christine Garner, both of whom have been with the Times from the start and to whom we are deeply grateful.
This is, of course, also an election year, not just nationally, but also locally. Our first local election is actually next week – on January 9. It’s a special election for the School Board seat that was vacated last year by Willie Bailey. Gina Baum and Tim Beaty are the two candidates for this seat.
Nationwide, the biggest focus will be on the congressional and presidential contests. Mark your calendars for March 5, the presidential primary in Virginia.
Remember, these primaries are open, meaning anyone can vote in the primary of any party to help choose that party’s nominee. If there’s a particular candidate that you prefer, or that you’d rather not win Virginia’s primary, you have the opportunity to vote for someone else. Don’t be afraid to cross party lines in a primary.
And, of course, we have our local elections in Alexandria for mayor, City Council and School Board. The contests for all three promise to be spirited and meaningful.
There’s disgruntlement among many Alexandria residents about major decisions taken by City Council in recent years, ranging from locating the Potomac Yard Metro on ancient wetlands to the recent Zoning for Housing initiative.
Remember, it takes four people on the dais to change the city’s direction. Yet as of now, there are not even four candidates who have declared for City Council or mayor who are on record as opposing those and other density-centric initiatives.
Bluntly, individuals and groups who oppose the status quo need to “put up or shut up” by finding credible opposition candidates to run in the Democratic primary. For better or worse in this one-party dominated city, the Democratic primary, which will take place on June 18, will select our next City Council and mayor.
We will be introducing other interesting wrinkles in coming weeks, including a new “Ride Along” series profiling ordinary Alexandrians who have interesting vocations. We will also continue our in-depth coverage of both new and on-going issues.