Don’t engage in groupthink

Don’t engage in groupthink
(Graphic/Jessica Kim)

To the editor:

Now that name recognition/incumbency has proven to be the strongest determining factor in winning a seat on the Alexandria City Council, as opposed to actually listening to the voters – I’m looking at you John Taylor Chapman, Sarah Bagley, Kirk McPike and Canek Aguirre and even now Abdel Elnoubi and Jacinta Greene – I have an ask.

Can you please differentiate yourselves?

Find a place where you each can shine to do something good for our city. To advocate what your constituents actually want, not what you think they want.

We don’t need a Council that votes 6-0. We don’t need complete and total subservience to whatever your “friend” on Council has decided to champion that day. What we need are varied voices that have strong opinions and fight for them. What we need is for you to actually listen to our concerns and stand up for us, even when it’s not popular with your colleagues.

The reason your constituents are upset is because we see no one taking a stand for issues we care about.

The arena debacle is the perfect example. Did you all really sit on the stage for the announcement and think: I did my due diligence. I asked all the questions. I think this is the best path forward for this City at this time. I don’t believe any of you took the temperature of this City, or asked any of your constituents how they felt.

If you did, you probably would not have sat idly by on the stage that day, or failed to hold multiple listening sessions with those of us who would have been directly impacted by this major give-away. Thank goodness for State Sen. Louise Lucas saving all of us, you too.

What about the issues of single family zoning, public safety such as police, fire, roads and pedestrians, traffic and there are so many more. I find it hard to believe you all agree on all of the issues brought up by these topics. If you do, shame on you for selling the voters a blank check, and shame on us for not listening.

So, once November rolls around and we vote again in this overwhelmingly Democratic city, try and listen to those who got you where you are. A lot of us are not happy, but we are not going to give up on the place we call home.

-Carrie Giddins Pergram,