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Initial Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy and his transition team gathered at the Bolton Avenue Community Center to begin work on laying out a foundation of ideas and plans for the next four years. Mr. Roy spoke for approximately forty-five minutes, instructing team members on their duties and his vision of smart growth (or community-based planning) for Alexandria. Urban planner Pat Moore, who will advise the Mayor-elect on Vision, gave a twenty-minute presentation on smart growth principles and what he called "growing buffalo food" (which, he explained, are ways in which a community can bolster its ability to attract and keep jobs). The team then broke into committees and subcommittees. I can only speak for the discussions we had in two subcommittees to which I was assigned, housing and community development. The initial findings of the community development subcommittee were that Alexandria needs to better market itself and its cultural and artistic communities and events. Additionally, I believe (and I've said this before on the blog) that we need to improve our amphitheater. The subcommittee discussed, among other things, ways in which we can diversify and increase the conventions we hold, city-wide events like Quein' on the Red and Third Street block parties, and utilizing public access television to share regularly updated information about upcoming events in the city. The housing committee recognized the dearth of affordable housing in Alexandria and developed several strategies for dealing with this problem. (All of which will be explained as the ideas become more fleshed out). The initial summary conclusion of the housing subcommittee says it best:

"The biggest housing issue for purposes of quality of life is the lack of affordable housing. This stems in part from the high percentage of residents living below the poverty line. It should also be noted that the last public housing project was built 30 years ago."
If you have any questions or suggestions for housing or community development, please feel free to leave a comment.