The Test Still to Come

Alexandria Forward
4 min readApr 25, 2021


Group of more than 40 Community Leaders Endorse Mayor Justin Wilson, Councilman John Taylor Chapman, Councilman Canek Aguirre, Alyia Gaskins, and Kirk McPike.

The past year has tested Alexandria. In the face of an era-defining global health crisis, our city came together to keep each other safe. We have been a leader in administering tests and vaccinations. We have fought to keep businesses and child care centers open. We have helped non-profits continue their valuable work. We have done all this equitably in support of all Alexandrians. As former elected officials, business leaders, and community activists we have seen these efforts up close and we have been impressed.

We are convinced that Alexandria is meeting this moment because of creative, clear-eyed leadership that can collaborate, make tough choices, and deliver results.

There is no greater challenge or higher priority facing Alexandria than our full and equitable recovery from Covid-19. We must get our hotels, restaurants, and iconic local stores fully open and thriving. We must address gaps in access to affordable housing and economic opportunity that only widened during the pandemic. We need to rebuild and reinvest in the city’s infrastructure. We must get our students safely back in school five days a week and make up for lost learning. We need to ensure childcare is up and running. We must protect community health.

Our backgrounds and viewpoints are varied and we don’t always agree. But our city faces stark challenges. The decisions to be made are tough and require bold, consensus-building leadership. We are encouraged by the number of candidates stepping forward to run for City Council and Mayor this year. We think there are some in particular that stand out as ready to lead us through the recovery.

That is why we enthusiastically endorse Mayor Justin Wilson for re-election as Mayor. For Council we strongly endorse Councilman John Taylor Chapman, Councilman Canek Aguirre, Alyia Gaskins, and Kirk McPike.

These candidates have demonstrated the characteristics of public service and leadership that are needed to pass the test still to come. They have a range of backgrounds and ideas, and are capable of consensus building and working together in ways that will continue to move Alexandria forward.

“I have lived in this city my entire life. Never has there been a more challenging time for the City Council. We need leaders who are ready on day one.” Former Mayor Bill Euille.

“The response from our Mayor and City Council has far been vital to the survival of our small business community, particularly our brick and mortar businesses who were most impacted by the pandemic. More than ever, we need experience, vision and leadership as we enter recovery from this pandemic.” Danielle Romanetti, small business owner of fibre space.

“It is so important that our City Council reflect the character of this great city and also that it is capable of helping us through one of the hardest times in our history.” Nicole McGrew, small business owner of Threadleaf.

When Alexandria heads to the polls starting on April 23, and up through Election Day on June 8, please join us in voting for Mayor Justin Wilson, Councilman John Taylor Chapman, Councilman Canek Aguirre, Alyia Gaskins, and Kirk McPike.


Kerry Donley, Former Mayor
Bill Euille, Former Mayor
Ludwig Gaines, Former Councilman
Rob Krupicka, Former Delegate and Councilman
Lonnie Rich, Former Councilman
Paul Smedberg, Former Councilman, Current Chair of WMATA
David Speck, Former Delegate and Councilman

Katya Ananieva, She’s Unique
Mango Mike Anderson, HomeGrown Restaurant Group
Donna Anderson, HomeGrown Restaurant Group
Jen Atkins, Former Chair, Alexandria Park & Recreation Commission
Stephanie Babin, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Michael Babin, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Carter Batey, Former Chair, Alexandria Social Services Advisory Board
Bill Blackburn, HomeGrown Restaurant Group
Marcia Call, Citizen Activist
Lynnwood Campbell, Community Activist
Michael Cook, Citizen Activist
Kathy Dalby, Pacers Running
Teal Dye, Lotus Blooms
Amy Eggers, Small Business Owner & Chair DRBA Marketing Committee
Maria Elizabeth, Salon deZen
Charlotte Hall, Local Business Leader
Bradley Halsey, Building Momentum
Glenn Hopkins, Hopkins House
Julie N. Jakopic, iLead Strategies
Stephanie Kapsis, Former School Board Member
Jim Kapsis, Former Chair, Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission
Ally Kirkpatrick, Old Town Books
Ben Klein, Former Chair, Alx Budget & Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee
Mindy Lyle, Member, Alexandria Planning Commission
Nate Macek, Chair, Alexandria Planning Commission
Laurie MacNamara, Citizen Activist
Jody Manor, Citizen Activist
Nicole McGrew, Threadleaf
Michelle Millben, Citizen Activist
Pat Miller, Citizen Activist
Judy Noritake, Former Chair, Alexandria Park & Recreation Commission
Jesse O’Connell, Chair, Alx Budget & Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee
Danielle Romanetti, fibre space
Amy Rutherford, Red Barn Mercantile + Penny Post
Scott Shaw, Alexandria Restaurant Partners
Matthew Sisk, Lost Dog Cafe - Alexandria
Chad F. Sparrow, Common Plate Hospitality / Mason Social
Kalle Thompson, Stitch Sew Shop
Victoria Vergason, The Hour

Contacts: Jesse O’Connell & Rob Krupicka
Date: April 24, 2021