City of Alexandria

Alexandria City Council Candidates for 2024 Respond to Our Climate Questions

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) and Build Our Future sent questionnaires related to the climate crisis to all eleven candidates running in the Democratic primary for the Alexandria City Council election which will be held on June 18, 2024. 

Six responded. You can read their responses by clicking on their names:  Sarah Bagley, John Chapman, Abdel Elnoubi, James Lewis, Kirk McPike, and Jesse O’Connell

The questions are:

  • Alexandria’s City Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and set city-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
    1. Do you agree that Alexandria is in a climate emergency, and if so, where do you rank the climate emergency among your priorities? 
    2. Are you committed to achieving the goal of 50% GHG reduction in our community-wide emissions by 2030, or do you see this as aspirational? 
  • Alexandria established an Office of Climate Action in 2023 to lead its climate change work.
    1. How will you evaluate our progress on achieving the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets included in the City’s Environmental Action Plan?
    2. How will you hold the City Manager accountable for achieving the reductions necessary to meet these targets?
  • Alexandria is updating its Green Building Policy to improve building sustainability.
    1. How do you respond to the developers’ threats that they will go to other jurisdictions if we upgrade energy efficiency requirements in new buildings approved under the DSUP process?
    2. Will you support a Green Building Policy that requires levels of energy efficiency in new buildings, such as reaching net-zero energy use, that are in line with our 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction goals?
    3. How should Alexandria estimate and plan for the multigenerational social costs to our community if developers continue to put up buildings that waste energy and burn methane?
  • Buildings are responsible for about 60% of our community’s greenhouse gas pollution, and existing buildings are responsible for about 95% of those emissions.
    1. What level of priority should be given to reducing building energy use and methane emissions in existing buildings, and how would you propose financing and supporting such efforts?
    2. Which of the above-mentioned ideas [current actions] would you support, and what other ideas can you offer for reducing the energy use of our existing buildings by 50% by 2030?
  • Climate change is steadily increasing flooding and extreme precipitation risks.
    1. How should projected changes in flooding and extreme weather events over the coming years be accounted for in our City’s infrastructure investments?
    2. Will you support providing funding to increase planning and maintenance of trees with a priority in our hottest neighborhoods, adequately connecting residents to cooling centers if they cannot afford air conditioning, and other needed actions?  
  • Transportation is another significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
    1. Do you support continuing free DASH service, and investments in bus rapid transit (BRT) routes and bus stop infrastructure?
    2. Do you support establishing protected bike lanes along key routes to connect all Alexandrians?  

Although FACS is a nonpartisan nonprofit that does not endorse candidates, we believe it’s important to understand where 2024 city council candidates stand on these important issues so critical to the lives of all of us. 

Interested in joining?

The FACS Alexandria Hub engages with local elected officials and other community stakeholders to support forward-looking and equitable climate perspectives in budget and policy decisions.  We support a robust city Office of Climate Action, implementation of Alexandria’s Environmental Action Plan 2040, sustainability in city schools, and other community efforts. Our Hub also helps congregations by connecting them with resources and serving as a local network for faith-based climate action and support. Join us!

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