Since beginning his first term on the Alexandria City Council in 2016, Councilman Willie F. Bailey, Sr. has been pragmatic and a no-nonsense advocate for people all across the City of Alexandria. Councilman Bailey's priorities over his first term include bringing more affordable housing to Alexandria and ensuring schools have the facilities and tools for the City's youth to succeed. He now seeks his a second term to continue his fight to make Alexandria an inclusive community for everyone.
Councilman Bailey was born in Richmond, VA. When his parents moved further north to look for work, he moved to his grandmother’s house in Scottsburg, a poor rural community in southern Virginia. He remembers the wood stove, lack of running water, single light bulb and working the farm during his childhood. Once his parents became more established he moved with them to Alexandria City. It was through these experiences and the teachings of his father and mother, Willie and Gertrude Bailey that he harnessed his gift of giving back to the community. A graduate of T.C. Williams High School in 1983, Councilman Bailey later served his country in the United States Army, retiring with over 21 years of service. For over 26 years, Councilman Bailey has served as a firefighter in Fairfax County, rising in the ranks to Battalion Chief. He also served as vice-president of the largest public safety union in the Commonwealth for numerous years. Councilman Bailey continues to live in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.
As a member of City Council, Bailey serves on the following local boards and commissions: Local Emergency Planning Committee, INOVA Alexandria Hospital Task Force, Eisenhower Partnership Board of Directors, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Air Quality Committee, Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission, and Alexandria Works! Coalition, Library Board, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission, and the Community Policy and Management Team.
Councilman Bailey has a passion for bringing individuals together to help the less fortunate, which resulted in him founding the nonprofit, Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue. Bailey noticed a growing need in the community for holiday gifts, winter coats, and school supplies. To combat this, Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue provides thousands of less fortunate children every year with backpacks and school supplies, new winter coats, new sneakers, and gifts for the holidays. He also serves on the board of directors of Coats for Kids, Operation Warm, and Senior Services.
Councilman Bailey works annually with Operation Warm to distribute over 3,000 new coats to children in Alexandria and throughout Northern Virginia; remarking that “If a child doesn’t have a warm coat to wait at the bus stop, there is a chance that child will not attend school. There is also a good chance they are on free or reduced lunch which means they will miss two important meals that day. The body has to be nourished before the child can sit in class to feed the brain."
Due to Councilman Bailey's exemplary leadership skills, he has received numerous awards and accolades. He is a member of the Departmental Progressive Club, a membership organization concerned with improving the general welfare of the community. Prior to his election to City Council, Bailey was a recipient of the Alexandria Living Legend award in 2013. He is dedicated and willing to work hard for what is right for the City of Alexandria. Councilman Bailey is a single parent who has put his two children through college. His son Willie F. Bailey, Jr., whose passion is music, is a graduate of the Art Institute of Washington. His daughter Melondey, is a graduate of North Carolina State University.