Comment Board

Latest comment posted 95 months ago

Strategic Planning Process: Goal 7

Alexandria Is a Caring Community That is Affordable and Diverse With a Rich History and Culture

Caring & Diverse Community Workgroup

  • Council Members: Del Pepper & Alicia Hughes
  • Lead Staff: Debra Collins

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There are several very important projects that have been initiated in City of Alexandria whose completion will enhance the public's understanding of history, provide access for diverse groups, offer more cultural amenities, and increase revenue to the city through heritage tourism dollars. Objectives for each of these projects meet the standard of signifcance within the five year time frame.
First, design, build, interpret, promote and dedicate the Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial and sculpture. As you are aware, the funding for this comes from the Wilson Bridge mitigation funds and from Save America's Treasures. While it had been hoped that this would be completed by 2007, the project is currently in design and the RFQ for sculpture is about to be announced.
Equally exciting for the City is the work now being done on Fort Ward Park. The park will afford the opportunity to interpret the Native American culture, the Civil War history, and the post Civil War - segregation story of those who lived in the Fort Ward area. Funding has been obtained for the current fiscal year, however additional funding will be needed to complete the project. Save America's Treasures and National Trust grants have been secured to assist with the study, interpretation and preservation of the best preserved of the forts that protected Washington DC.
And, lastly, The susquicentennial commemmoration of the Civil War provides the city a unique opportunity to engage our citizens and visitors in learning about our city's central role during this conflict. Many exciting plans are being discussed. The city needs to support our efforts and provide some funding and support. As we go forward in planning the waterfront, the importance of historic preservation and interpretation is key.
It is clear that all of these initiatives connect history to our quality of life, life-long learning, diversity of experience, and to economic sustainability.
Please consider incorporating them as objectives to be completed within the city's strategic plan.
Ellen Stanton, Chair, HARC

Ellen Stanton (73) | User | December 10, 2009 - 7:14 PM

The strategic goals seem poorly structured and difficult to understand in terms of setting goals and policy.
Although it is intended to involve residents, very few actually attend the meetings or provide comments.
The goal: Alexandria is a Caring Community That is Affordable and Diverse with a Rich History and Culture incorporates very divergent interests and groups. Housing and social services should be separate. This is a major responsibility of City government and can impact Strategic Goals 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6.
History and culture provide a sense of place and contribute to the quality of life for all residents. It should not be in the same category as social and community services and affordable housing.
City promotion of history and culture would more appropriately be part of Strategic Goal #1. History and culture can attract business, new residents, and tourists.
Consideration should be given to consolidating and redrafting the Strategic Goals. The emphasis should be on "who are they for and what real purpose do they serve".
Thank you

David Cavanaugh (71) | User | December 8, 2009 - 7:37 PM

I commented (sent in comment) that Goals 1 Economic Development and Goal 7 Affordable Housing and Diverse Community are inextricably linked as two sides of a coin. With that said, Goal 7 is vital to Alexandria.

There are several specifics that must be added to the Goal 7 Objectives:

Objective 1:
A. The City pledges to monitor the availability of affordable housing in Alexandria by both cost and type (tenure and size) and the population need for affordable housing.
B. The City shall set five (5) year goals for the preservation and addition of affordable housing and report annually on the goal achievement.
C. The City shall identify a dedicated source of revenue i.e. a meals tax, a sewer and water tax, personal property fee or a recordation fee, etc that will provide an adequate and sustained source of funds to achieve the City's affordable housing goals.

Objective 3. Supportive services shall emphasize those that will contribute to greater individual and family self-sufficiency.

James Hoben, Co-chair of Housing Action (42) | User | December 3, 2009 - 9:25 AM

I serve on the Economic Opportunities Commission. As a commission, we would ask the City to re-dedicate itself to providing adequate bed space for homeless citizens, and to ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing.

bryan porter (43) | User | October 30, 2009 - 1:24 PM

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