Alexandria is a caring, compassionate city, where neighbors support one another and enjoy our many amenities.
But like all cities right now, we are facing challenges. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, its health and economic impacts further exposed Alexandria’s inequities. When the pandemic ends, we will need to help our residents recover from its long-term effects while also addressing our long-standing issues. Tune into Tea and Topics series to discuss the issues and solutions with Alyia.
Taken with necessary COVID safety procedures
"Instead of rebuilding the status quo, let us seize this moment to build a more resilient and inclusive Alexandria with pathways to prosperity for everyone."
ALYIA’S VISION FOR ALEXANDRIA’S FUTURE
When we work together to face our challenges head-on, by listening to one another, planning together, and making effective and equitable policy, we can make Alexandria better for everyone: families and children, singles and elders, current residents and newcomers, those who are already thriving and those who need a hand up.
COVID-19 is the most urgent issue facing Alexandria today. While the pandemic has impacted all our lives, our Black and brown communities have been disproportionately affected. Meeting the needs of small businesses and families who have been affected by COVID-19 must be our top priority. The post-COVID economic recovery presents a powerful opportunity to create an economy that works for all of us.
The reality of our changing climate means that every decision we make is a climate change decision and our decisions--whether transportation, economic development, or housing--must be rooted in equity. Like with our other challenges, the climate crisis also presents an opportunity: to manage, design, plan, and build our community in a way that ensures we can all breathe clean air, drink clean water, live in healthy and efficient buildings, and share the benefits of a prosperous community.
As a devoted West End resident, Alyia knows that our neighborhoods are Alexandria’s most valuable asset. We need to celebrate, connect, and invest in our neighborhoods. We need to make sure residents have the power to shape decisions about their neighborhoods. And we need to leverage the strengths of all our neighborhoods to help our whole city reach its full potential.
Transportation connects communities. But we are facing some tough challenges. Metro has threatened to close stops in our community and congestion threatens to return to even higher levels when the pandemic ends. We need to invest in infrastructure to enhance mobility options and support all users, including drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Housing is the foundation of a vibrant community. One in five Alexandria households earning up to $75,000 per year currently spend 30% or more of their income on housing. We need a new conversation and new action on housing, including aggressively pursuing public-private housing partnerships, planning for climate change and environmental impact, and re-envisioning the use of public land to create more opportunities for affordable housing.
Our small businesses are struggling in the wake of COVID-19. The rippling effects will be felt for years to come in minority owned businesses. We need to support our businesses every step of the way, in every part of the City, from Old Town and Del-Ray to the West End. The City needs to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit that fosters innovation and supports businesses in experimenting with new ideas and models, during and after the pandemic.
Alexandria thrives when our children thrive. Although COVID-19 didn’t create our achievement gap, it has significantly exacerbated it. Parents, schools, and local and state officials need to partner to advance equity, support our young people in the classroom and beyond, and ensure that we are getting appropriate returns for the state and federal taxes we pay.