Unfortunately, incivility has been around American politics for much of our history. A saving grace has been local politics which has been more civil because it is close to home. I fear Alexandria is in danger of losing this aspect of our civic culture.
Mayor Allison Silberberg is very careful and measured with her words. She has the right temperament to listen and lead in a respectful way. She cares about people's views, as seen by the attention she pays to those speaking before Council. She listens carefully to each person and is not posting on social media or answering email during Council meetings, as Mr. Wilson recently said he is doing because he can “multitask.” Citizens before Council do not appreciate that he is on his phone instead of respecting citizens' hard work to bring prepared testimony to Council on issues that concern them.
Mr. Wilson shows little respect to those who disagree with him. Being a leader requires patience, concern for people and a compass to guide one's action. Mayor Silberberg has those attributes and displays them as she approaches each issue and each resident’s concern. The Statement on Inclusiveness she initiated and drafted in 2016 speaks to our city’s strong values and her belief that words do matter, especially when representing an entire city.
Mayor Silberberg is running a positive campaign. The same cannot be said of her opponent. We are very fortunate to have Mayor Silberberg leading our city. She is committed to our city and will continue to be a full-time mayor. She will move it forward, as she has done addressing unacceptable pollution from our sewers and other issues deferred for years.
She will continue listening to citizens' differing views, seeking compromise on divisive issues, protecting our neighborhoods, valuing our rich history, and being a leader in the great tradition of civility of Mayor Patsy Ticer displayed as our first female mayor. Let’s continue that level of civility by re-electing Mayor Silberberg on June 12.