ALEXANDRIA, VA – Former Mayor Allison Silberberg has announced that she will challenge incumbent Mayor Justin Wilson for the city’s highest office, issuing the following statement:
“I am entering the race for Mayor of Alexandria. I believe our city and its character are at risk under the current leadership.
As many of you know, I issued a statement in late January that I would not run for Mayor this year because I was confident at the time that other qualified candidates would be coming forward. With no challengers having materialized for the primary, many residents have been urging me to reconsider. Hearing their calls for a much-needed alternative vision for Alexandria, I’ve decided to enter the race. I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of support from across our city.
My vision includes the long-treasured promise that Alexandria is a growing, vibrant community that will retain its prized, small-town feel. Our city must thrive and do so with respect for our diverse people and neighborhoods, respect for our environment, respect for our numerous historic districts, and perhaps most importantly, respect for the critical role that trust plays in government. It saddens me to hear residents express a profound loss of confidence in our city government and its Mayor, especially when it comes to integrity, transparency, and ethics. Longtime residents have repeatedly observed that this Mayor has done more to offend neighborhoods from the West End to Old Town and in between by dismissing their concerns.
The issues are abundantly clear and disturbing, including overbuilding, the proposed destruction of Taylor Run’s and Strawberry Run’s lush forests, the changes to Seminary Road based upon falsehoods that propelled that decision, the proposed co-location of housing on our limited school properties, and the lack of maintenance contributing to shocking flooding and storm water issues in the past two years.
When I served as Alexandria’s Mayor from 2016 to 2018, I pressed hard to create an ethics commission to combat conflicts of interest in city governance and to adopt a code of conduct pledge for elected and appointed officials. While these proposals were met with limited success due to pushback from the current Mayor, I will not back down from that commitment. Having full trust in our elected leadership is paramount. Under my mayoral leadership, the city tripled the dedicated funding for the Affordable Housing Fund despite a fierce fight from Mr. Wilson. Further, we tackled a range of environmental and infrastructure issues despite years and even decades of neglect, including long overdue plans to address sewage outfall issues, street repaving, and the need for new public schools. During my term, we approved and built three schools: Patrick Henry, Ferdinand T. Day, and a wing at John Adams, all of which are on the West End. I also initiated and drafted our city’s unanimously adopted Statement on Inclusiveness, which garnered national attention.
Our campaign is about We the People. It’s about rebuilding the public trust. In short, it’s about ethics, truth, trust, transparency, and accountability.
We can and must do better as a city to value our residents and the wisdom they bring to our civic discourse. There is a reason that I was nicknamed the People’s Mayor and that our beloved former Mayor and State Senator Patsy Ticer called me “a voice of reason.” With me, Alexandria will have someone who values and listens to the public.
Our city and its many different points of view need a unifying leader who will listen carefully, ensure civility, and demonstrate respect for all residents in creating a livable, caring, ethical, and compassionate city. I welcome your support and input as we begin this journey together. Our city is worth fighting for! The Democratic Primary will be held on June 8th.”