by Jonathan Krall
On May 18, 2018, Grassroots Alexandria, along with Tenants and Workers United and NAACP Alexandria, hosted a city council and mayoral candidate forum at the Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology. Present were mayoral candidates Allison Silberberg and Justin Wilson, along with city council candidates Canek Aguirre, Willie Bailey, Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, John Chapman, Michael Clinkscale (Republican), Kevin Dunne (Republican), Matt Feely, Dak Hardwick, Amy Jackson, Del Pepper, Robert Ray, Mo Seifeldein, Mark Shiffer (Independent), and Paul Smedberg. J. Chris Hubbard was represented by his wife, who was allowed an opening statement only. Unless noted, all candidates are competing in the Democratic Party primary election on June 12. In person absentee voting has already begun.
In addition to opening and closing statements, candidates were given 30 seconds each to answer each of four questions. This was followed by a “lightning round” of seven yes/no questions. Topics included immigration, affordable housing, police reform, education, safer schools, and LGBTQ human rights. The complete set of questions, along with our brief notes on the answers can be found here.
Photo (L-R): Dak Hardwick, Matt Feely, Kevin Dunne, and Michael Clinkscale respond to the idea of introducing armed “resource officers” into elementary schools (photo by Barbara Hale).
A video recording of the forum can be found on the Tenants and Workers United Facebook page.