Alexandria City Council candidate John Chapman (D) received the endorsement of longtime family friend Mayor Bill Euille at his campaign kickoff Sunday at in Old Town.
Chapman’s mother, Michele, grew up with Euille and the mayor spoke Sunday of holding Chapman shortly after he was born and then watching him grow into a civic activist in Alexandria.
“John Chapman is from a different mold,” Euille said. “[He] came back to Alexandria after college and never stopped being involved. … He has paid his dues. He’s ready and prepared and that’s why I am endorsing him.”
Euille highlighted Chapman’s involvement with the Alexandria chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (where he currently serves as president), the Northern Virginia Urban League and the Alexandria City Public Schools Budget Advisory Committee, among many other organizations.
Chapman, a graduate of St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School and St. Olaf College in Minnesota, currently works as an administrator at Edgar Allen Poe Middle School in Annandale.
“I think I am very well qualified,” Chapman said. “I’m a lifelong Alexandrian. I know people, businesses and organizations and I know how to get them all to come together on a common ground to solve problems.”
Chapman, 30, said he would make affordable housing a focus. With state and federal funding being cut, Chapman said its up to the city to find solutions.
He mentioned pursuing public-private partnerships to create more housing like Beasley Square, an eight-unit affordable rental development for seniors located on Duke Street. It was created by a partnership between the city and .
“I know we have huge churches with huge congregations,” Chapman said. “I know we can get them involved.”
If elected, Chapman said he planned to use the position as a “pulpit” to get more organizations involved in different issues the city is facing—from education to transportation.
He mentioned tapping into Alexandria’s well-educated citizenry and fostering more connections with the community in planning processes.
“I read that more than 60 percent of Alexandrians have a college degree and almost 30 percent have graduate degrees,” Chapman said. “There are a lot of well-qualified people to help solve our problems.”
Chapman is one of 12 Democrats running for council. Six will be selected for the General Election ballot in a primary scheduled for June 12.