Opinion: Commentary: A Mayoral Retrospective

Opinion: Commentary: A Mayoral Retrospective

As I complete my term as mayor, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our residents. Your civic engagement and input over the last three years have made a world of difference. Alexandria is blessed to have an involved citizenry and to be a city of great neighborhoods.

My term as mayor has had many game changers, and I am proud of my record of leadership and all that we have achieved together in such a short time. We joined forces with Arlington that resulted in Amazon selecting our neighbor and Virginia Tech picking us for its $1 billion Innovation Campus. This is the largest business deal in the history of our region. Alexandria will now be a key part of a major technology center in our nation.

We have tackled head-on a range of environmental and infrastructure issues that had been neglected for years. We approved a plan to address all four outfalls and partner with AlexRenew to finally resolve the city’s longtime sewage issues; tripled the dedicated funding for the Affordable Housing Fund; created three new schools in one term — a first for Alexandria; tripled the number of trees planted across our city per year; created an arts district; approved a plan for the Potomac Yard Metro Station; and added the most significant property to our historic preservation stock in 50 years. We are on an uptick with historic low unemployment and historic low crime.

Our city’s Statement on Inclusiveness, which I initiated and drafted, has garnered national attention. I believe we must govern with a moral compass and speak out against hate, discrimination, and injustice. Governing with a moral compass also means being mindful of the impact of our decisions upon residents and their quality of life, and my voting record reflects that belief.

I urge the next council to consider my three recommendations to further my ethics and transparency initiative, thereby creating an even more ethical culture. It is my hope that those in office or those who are running will follow my example and refuse and return contributions from those, such as developers, who bring business before the city and will benefit financially from a council decision.

I have been honored to serve as your mayor. Thank you for the opportunity to represent our beloved city. My life has always been about public service, and it will remain so. I thank my colleagues and the city staff for their dedication to our city.

I am confident that with the crucial involvement of our residents, Alexandria’s success will continue to grow.