Citing the rapid pace of change in the city, needed support for its vulnerable populations and problems percolating in Richmond, kicked off his campaign with a Sunday launch party on Prince Street.
“There’s a lot of change happening in the city…There’s development in every sector of the city,” Holihan said, adding that he was prompted to run for a place on the dais to “protect the most vulnerable among us” who have diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
Education issues also resonate with him.
“About 55 percent of kids at go to college,” he said to a packed first floor at the afternoon event hosted at the house of Nikki Enfield and Andy Bechhoefer. “People look at those statistics. Half of Alexandria’s students are on a free or reduce-price lunch. We need affordable housing. We can’t price people out of the city.”
Holihan also noted that Republican lawmakers in Richmond have lost the pulse of what the people want. He noted the that would have required a transvaginal ultrasound performed prior to an abortion and expressed deep concern over legislation to adopt children in the state.
He told Patch later that other top issues for him include public services safety, workforce development and transportation and said his experience working in Richmond distinguishes himself from the field of other Democratic candidates for council.
“This isn’t a kick-off party,” said Holihan, who is also NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s advocacy and communications manager. “This is the last fun we get to do” before the hard work begins.
At the event, Holihan picked up the endorsement of City Councilman Rob Krupicka, who is not running for re-election. Del. David Englin (D-45) .
Krupicka spoke at 309 Prince St., saying Holihan would make an ideal councilmember for his “in-the-weeds experience and in-depth knowledge of how Richmond works.”
Krupicka added that Alexandria should be attracting young professionals and families, which he called a “sign of prosperity” for a region.
He added that he’s a strong believer in new blood and new ideas and believes that City Council shouldn’t be a career, but a time to delve into issues of importance and show a passion for service.
The event was also attended by City Councilwoman Del Pepper and former Councilman Lonnie Rich, Democratic Party leader Dak Hardwick and Democratic council candidates Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson, John Chapman and Donna Fossum, among other Democrats and supporters.
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