The June 1 editorial “For Alexandria mayor,” an endorsement of Justin Wilson for mayor of Alexandria, missed the mark. Despite his impressive technical abilities, Mr. Wilson, the vice mayor, is not the leader the city needs. Mayor Allison Silberberg is the voice of progressive Alexandrians who rejected old politics in their city three years ago. Mr. Wilson is a tech-savvy throwback to the hidebound tradition of City Hall-insider rule in Alexandria.
Mr. Wilson promotes failed development policies of his political mentors, consistent with the wishes of his major campaign contributors. He trumpets new development even as the new economy reduces office-space demand.
Mr. Wilson would be no upgrade to Alexandria government. He has used his position to raise residential taxes by millions of unbudgeted dollars. His ever-fresh social media presence comes at the cost of attention to issues before the City Council. His drive for efficiency has often kept community input out of decisions. His opposition to dedicated funding for affordable housing and open space flouts community values.
Ms. Silberberg probably cannot text as fast as Mr. Wilson. She tests the patience of her colleagues at meetings. But she knows the role of the mayor of Alexandria is not to gavel meetings quickly to a close. She speaks for an inclusive city embracing the future. Contrary to the editorial, Ms. Silberberg already is the upgrade from the old club of political insiders behind Mr. Wilson. She is the leader Alexandria should keep.
George M. Foote, Alexandria
The writer is a volunteer for Allison Silberberg’s mayoral reelection campaign.