ALEXANDRIA, VA–“First of all, I think the group is filled with so much energy and good ideas and I am looking forward to watching everything that gets done. I think we’ve got a winning ticket here.”
Those were the words former councilwoman Del Pepper stated to the incoming Alexandria City Council members on Monday Jan. 3, as, in classic pandemic fashion, the first mayor and city council meeting of 2022 was held via Zoom.
Clerk of Circuit Court Greg Parks swore in Mayor Justin Wilson and each incumbent and incoming council member as they repeated the oath word for word.
The oath states as follows:
I [name], solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as a member of the City Council of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.
Clerk parks congratulated each member after their oath was sworn, leaving each with a smile on their faces and the mixed feeling of relief and excitement on their shoulders.
Following the inductions was a video presentation from the Alexandria Pipes and Drums, followed by a message from the Town Crier, a recording of the National Anthem, and a prayer.
Electoral Board Secretary Powers then presented the election results, which have been certified through the end of 2024. Each member will receive an official signature and seal from the Electoral Board at their next in-person meeting on Jan. 11, 2022.
An ethics pledge was taken by each member before moving into the motion to elect a Vice Mayor.
Councilwoman Alyia Gaskins motioned to elect Amy Jackson, and R. Kirk McPike seconded the motion. Vice Mayor Jackson stated, “I am so humbled and grateful and appreciative to Alexandria for wanting to have me back. I am overjoyed of my new title.” She then went on to thank her family, her mother, her treasurers, and team Amy. “What an amazing group of women that just wanted to push me through the finish line,” she noted, “and I am forever grateful for that.”
With that, here is a full list of your 2022 Mayor, Vice Mayor, and City Council of Alexandria:
Mayor Justin Wilson
Vice Mayor Amy B. Jackson
Councilman Canek Aguirre
Councilwoman Sarah R. Bagley
Councilman John Taylor Chapman
Councilwoman Alyia Gaskins
Councilman R. Kirk McPike
Mayor Wilson closed the meeting with some final remarks.
“I want to start by congratulating my colleagues new and returning. We have all kinds of folks who live in this city… the voters of our city have given us their proxy and we must work together to serve their interests.
“Before us is the task of moving forward. Our future is going to look nothing like it looked in February of 2020. Everyone says Alexandria is a small city that does big things. Alexandria needs to be a city that does big things, but it also needs to be a city that does [fewer] things and does them better. How do we ensure [people] want to live here? We build a community where generations of Alexandrians wants to live not just because we are close to something, but because we are something. Let’s go get to work.”
From approving future ground breakings to actually being there to break the ground to witnessing plans come together as Alexandria grows, this new city council will be making history on top of an already historical few years.