Why I’m running for reelection to Council

Why I’m running for reelection to Council

By John T. Chapman

As a fourth-generation Alexandrian, my connections to this city run deep. As a person who believes strongly in acts of service, my service to my hometown is an imperative Ido not take lightly. For these reasons I have served this city, my community and its residents with a smile on my face for the past 11 years. My time on Council has allowed me to use my experience, my unique perspective and my leadership skills to provide real results for the people of Alexandria – and I’m just getting started. It is with that mindset that I am asking for your support this coming primary season.

We need to take a moment to think about what we’ve done, as a city. We came through the pandemic together, and while COVID-19 hasn’t fully left us behind, we weathered the worst of it the way we do everything: as a community. As a long-time local business owner and parent, I’m cognizant of the problems facing each of those communities even as we get our feet back under us.

With that in mind, it is time for us to turn a corner. That starts by defining what’s still left for us to do. Sustainability will be a major focus of my efforts on Council next term.

Making sure that our streets remain stormwater free and that our infrastructure is prepared to withstand the effects of climate change needs to be a top priority. But I want to do more than just shore up the homes we have. I want to make new spaces both residential and non that are both environmentally up to code and are an economically viable space for all of our residents. Housing affordability is something my colleagues and I have been grappling with, and the work isn’t finished yet. We need to continue the work to make Alexandria a place where everyone can live and thrive. I plan to stop Alexandria from becoming an unaffordable destination both for our current residents and those who we haven’t met yet.

Another place where our work must continue is our schools and making sure that our children are getting the best education possible. School safety is a major commitment of mine and I believe, if we work together, we can create a school system where kids are safe and can achieve educational excellence.

During my previous run for office, I promised to work to increase transit options and pedestrian-only spaces in our community. I aim to continue the work we have already begun on that front. We all want to live in a city where, when you have to get somewhere, no matter your circumstances, you can. That needs to be true for drivers, without being burdened by congestion in the streets, pedestrians who need to feel safe to walk along our city sidewalks and those on bicycles and other transportation need to feel comfortable riding in open lanes.

Finally, I am proud to be part of the Council that saw not only the first collective bargaining agreement, but also the second! This work, like on so many other issues, isn’t done. We need to continue the effort to transform our businesses into places where workers have flexibility and their time is respected.

I humbly ask for your vote this coming primary season and I hope you will help me continue to fight for the people of this city.

The writer is running in the June 18 Democratic primary for City Council.