Alexandria_(VA)_City_Hall.jpg

Councilman John Taylor Chapman

Delivers Results In Our Community 

On Council, John will keep fighting for world-class schools, housing that is affordable, and economic opportunity so everyone can live, work, and enjoy the unique and vibrant culture of Alexandria. Learn more about his plans for the City below and his commitment to working with you to move this vision to reality.

Unleashing Creativity & Innovation in Public Education

 

The last year has highlighted the essential role that public education plays in the lives of students and families. The challenge students faced with remote learning - along with parents balancing remote learning and job responsibilities - will not be soon forgotten. School closures have been particularly devastating for children with special needs, whether due to disabilities, food insecurity, or unstable home environments. Given his background in education, John knows first hand that as communities struggle to take care of their vulnerable children and youth, Alexandria must find innovative ways to deliver essential services, from food to education to healthcare. On Council, John will:

  • Support the safe reopening of schools based on the best advice from health experts and in compliance with CDC guidelines.

  • Seek to expand apprenticeship opportunities for students, by partnering with the private sector to engage students on preparing for the future of work.

  • Expand access to Pre-K education and out of school education opportunities, with the goal of ensuring Alexandrians have local options in their neighborhoods.

Fighting for Small Business Relief

As a small business owner, John is committed to protecting small businesses. Small businesses are the heart of communities, providing jobs and economic security. This is especially true in Alexandria, where its independent restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and boutiques are loved by its residents and create a vibrant destination for visitors. Alexandria’s small businesses will drive our economic recovery and be the source of economic success in the future.  John plans to: 

  • Convene an Alexandria Small Business Recovery Task Force to frame the policy changes and initiatives that will aid in the recovery of Alexandria’s business community and shape Alexandria into a strong regional economic community.

  • Launch an initiative to provide free PPE to Alexandria’s small businesses.

  • Connect businesses and consumers through municipal broadband infrastructure.

  • Develop economic activity centers in the West End, such as Landmark Mall and the Greenhill commercial properties.

  • Work with local financial institutions to expand access to capital for small businesses.

  • Explore a Main Corridor Pop-Up Business Initiative, which will partner growing business with vacant space along our retail corridors.  

  • Pursue the next generation of the Torpedo Factory, which will center around the local artist, but create space for other activities, like a rooftop eatery, to continue to attract residents and tourists to this community gem.

Championing Affordable Housing and Homeownership Post Pandemic

 

On Council, John has led the fight for more affordable housing and has pushed the development community to devote more resources to affordable housing and homeownership. John understands that economic recovery from COVID-19 demands an increased need for innovative solutions to address housing affordability and home ownership. On Council, John will continue to:

  • Aggressively push for affordable housing options for current and future residents of all income levels.

  • Support Alexandria Housing and Redevelopment Authority (ARHA)’s efforts to increase the number of sustainable and affordable housing units. 

  • Seek more public/private partnerships to increase long-term housing capacity.

  • Expand the city’s Homebuyer programs, to give working class Alexandrians an opportunity to settle down in the city.

 

Rethinking Economic Growth for the 21st Century

Today’s economic challenges require bold and innovative ideas to usher in equitable recovery. John’s post-pandemic economic development vision for Alexandria is inclusive, sustainable, and adaptive. On Council, he will:

  • Enhance training and workforce development programs to provide Alexandria residents with the skills, training, and entrepreneurial support needed to prepare them for jobs in the economic recovery.

  • Re-establish an Economic Sustainability Task Force to reset our economic development goals after the pandemic. 

  • Create a remote work task force of economic development organizations and private-sector leaders, especially smaller businesses, and provide access to resources for attracting and managing a remote workforce, with a focus on building social and civic connectivity.

 

Leading Critical Infrastructure Enhancements

As hubs of human activity, interaction, and connection, cities around the country have been hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 and Alexandria is no exception. Amidst continuing uncertainty, John believes investments in local infrastructure are critical to post-pandemic life. On Council, he will lead the way to:

  • Revitalize the city’s Master Plan to modernize our digital infrastructure and expand innovation.

  • Champion open space initiatives that focus on health and safety, including creating more pedestrian-only areas and neighborhoods, opening streets for walking, limiting vehicle traffic, and widening sidewalks to cultivate a more walkable community, especially in the West End.

  • Establish a working group to address open space retrofits and redesigns such as alleyways to increase open space. 

  • Push for sustainable infrastructure options to promote a more livable community.

  • Work with WMATA and DASH to improve transportation options for people who work and live in Alexandria and/or work in neighboring communities, including Washington, D.C.

Fostering Inclusive Public Engagement

John believes we have a unique opportunity to reconfigure Alexandria’s relationship with community members. With the diversity of technology that is available, there are many more effective tools to engage people with their local governments beyond traditional public hearings. While important, public hearings reach a limited audience. John wants Alexandria to find new ways to meaningfully engage Alexandrians in decisions that affect them. On Council, he will:

  • Expand citizen input beyond the standard board and commission model.

  • Employ innovative, inclusive, and creative methods of engagement to meet community members where they are, such as expanding the use of participatory budgeting and providing increased access to municipal broadband infrastructure.

  • Cultivate proactive citizen engagement to foster greater community trust, transparency, and buy-in.

See John's Statement on the Taylor Run Stream Restoration project.