Councilman Bailey is seeking reelection to the Alexandria City Council to continue to shape the direction of Alexandria. Alexandria has seen numerous changes since he was a young man growing up in Del Ray. While some changes have been beneficial to the City, other changes have been less favorable to the culture and history of the City.
Affordability for All
Councilman Bailey with a supporter at his annual school supply give away.
Far too many residents feel disenfranchised and disconnected from Alexandria. Alexandria has just become too expensive to live in for our veterans, public employees and our seniors. After 21 years of service to his country, Councilman Bailey remains an ardent supporter of Alexandria's veterans community. He is committed to supporting workforce development programs that make it easier for returning veterans to transition back to civilian life and for growing the City's affordable housing stock to ensure Alexandria is a community for all.
Councilman Bailey is dismayed that only 11 percent of public employees (i.e. Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, etc.) work and reside in Alexandria and this is primarily due to the high cost of living. That is just unacceptable. Public employees deserve to live in the City they work in and we must do more to ensure Alexandria stays affordable through measures like a 1 percent increase to the City's meals tax. The additional funds would be dedicated to expanding affordable housing in the City.
Taxes and the budget must fully reflect our values and priorities as a city. We must invest in our youth and schools. We do this by not cutting education funds and programs that support our children. It is critical that every child in our city is able to obtain a quality education. Additionally, the City needs to continue our summer youth employment program for young Alexandrians to get solid work experience. Through collaboration with local businesses, nonprofits, and City agencies, participants can be provided with opportunities to develop skills, set career goals, earn money, become financially empowered, and learn more about the community in which they live. Councilman Bailey succeeded in starting that expansion in last year's budget and will continue to do so while on City Council.
The City must renew its focus on expanding the commercial tax base. Without economic growth and policy changes, the city’s budget will have to be balanced on raising real estate assessments and increasing the tax rate. This is hard to digest, but we cannot deliver more services today than we had ten years ago, with the same funding allocated from ten years ago. Our taxes are our main source of revenue here in the City and we must explore ways to provide tax assistance to our seniors and those on fixed incomes while generating enough income to address our priorities.
As a 26 year veteran firefighter, public safety has consistently been a top priority for Councilman Bailey since taking office. He is committed to keeping Alexandrians safe by efficiently addressing quality of life issues, educating residents on fire safety, support for pedestrian and bicycle measures, and monitoring trends in crime and drug addiction. Moreover, Councilman Bailey strongly supports the efforts of Alexandria's first responders. Not only do they keep City residents and visitors safe, but help to cultivate a vibrant community.
When our residents go about their daily lives, they should never fear crossing our many streets and intersections. Councilman Bailey is a strong supporter of more targeted measures like Alexandria's Vision Zero Action plan to ensure Alexandria remains a safe place to live and work.
There is work ahead of us to ensure that public safety remains our top priority. Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely to ensure that our residents and businesses thrive in a safe community. Councilman Bailey commends Alexandria's first responders, many of whom work around the clock to protect City residents and who work to make our community stronger and more resilient.
Shift discretionary spending to what is important. Fixed expenses, such as maintenance and infrastructure improvements should never be cut. The City has to do a better job at assessing the costs of new development. We should never seek to chase a “quick fix” to solve some of our most pressing challenges. Development generates its own set of costs, such as impacts to our schools, transportation, public services, sewer infrastructure, the environment, and we have to be sure to take all of this into account when considering new projects.
Councilman Bailey is not afraid to tackle the challenges ahead and he will continue to passionately fight for and uplift all communities across Alexandria.