For residents, businesses and visitors, Alexandria is a connected, inclusive, safe and vibrant historic City that puts the needs of its community first.
Young people are the future of this City. We need to ensure that their ideas are heard and perspectives are leveraged to help build the new Alexandria. The Children, Youth & Families Collaborative Commission, in addition to the Alexandria City Youth and Young Adults programs, need to connect with our community digitally, invest in educational community programs, and take a more active role in engaging underrepresented youth. In our community, African-American, Latino, and immigrant residents have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic - from a lack of affordability, massive evictions, to rising unemployment. Meronne will work in collaboration with grassroots organizations, nonprofits, and community organizations to ensure that minority and youth voices are elevated when advocating for equitable policies.
Alexandria has a growing innovation economy anchored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the National Science Foundation, and now, the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. From historic Old Town to West End, technology solutions can be used to optimize the efficiency of City operations, increase the effectiveness of City initiatives, and connect more easily with residents. Meronne will work to grow this potential and will help transform Northern Virginia to become one of the leaders in pioneering smart cities.
It has become crucial for our small businesses to have a digital presence and eCommerce capabilities during this pandemic. Future job growth in Alexandria is predicted to increase by 40.9% over the next 10 years, and with the new Amazon HQ location coming to neighboring Arlington County, this provides an opportunity for local tech job growth. Simultaneously, this also opens the door to potential displacement of our low-income and minority communities. Meronne will work closely with residents and local small businesses to ensure they have the necessary support to thrive with new commercial businesses and after this pandemic.
The increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, extreme weather conditions, flooding and high temperatures in Alexandria indicate that climate change is not only real but also highlights the need for City leadership to adopt more actionable, robust policy. The City of Alexandria’s Environmental Action Plan, which includes a targeted 50% reduction of city greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and the Alexandria Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Readiness Strategy (EVRS) are key opportunities that Meronne supports for a more sustainable future.
Over 10,000 Alexandria residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 100 have died due to the pandemic. The launch of Virginia’s State-Wide Vaccine Pre-Registration System means that the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) will need to work together with our local community, state government, and private companies like CVS to ensure residents receive the vaccine as soon as possible.