Sierra Club Virginia Chapter (Courtesy Photo)

The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Justin Wilson for mayor of the City of Alexandria. Wilson is competing for the Democratic Party nomination for mayor in a primary election on June 12.

Wilson, Alexandria’s current Vice Mayor, is a strong supporter of public transit and has advocated for smart growth throughout his three terms on the council. Wilson has shown a strong commitment to work alongside the Sierra Club to have Alexandria achieve a goal of utilizing 100 percent clean energy in all sectors by 2050.

A swift transition to clean energy is essential to fighting climate change and more than two-thirds of Virginia voters favor a goal of generating 100 percent of the state’s electricity using clean sources by 2030.

“Wilson has a history of building coalitions to get things done, and he will continue to hold Alexandria to a high standard, especially when it comes to climate and the environment,” Corrina Beall, Legislative and Political Director for the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said. “As mayor, he will work to secure Alexandria’s clean-energy future and ensure Alexandria prioritizes strong environmental solutions, including pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly smart growth.”

Wilson is known for his detailed knowledge of Alexandria’s budget, a strong focus on infrastructure and his ability to work across jurisdictional lines toward effective progress. He has a strong record of environmental success with his clean water initiatives and work raising the bar for green building.

The Sierra Club has also endorsed six candidates for Alexandria City Council including incumbents Del Pepper, John Chapman, Paul Smedberg, and Willie Bailey, Sr., and candidates Dak Hardwick and Elizabeth Bennett-Parker.

Pepper, Chapman, Smedberg and Bailey have all been strong stewards of the environment during their time on Alexandria City Council. The Sierra Club endorsed Pepper, Chapman and Smedberg in the previous election in 2015.

“Alexandria faces a broad swath of environmental issues, from energy efficiency projects to solar initiatives,” Bob Shippee, Political Chair of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said. “These seven candidates will ensure the Alexandria City Council is the best it can be and will put a strong emphasis on ensuring clean air and water for all Alexandrians.”

Bailey is a long-time Alexandria resident and supports bettering Alexandria’s transit system to reduce traffic and offer alternative environmentally-friendly transportation options. He is on the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and is a proponent of a West End Trolley. Bailey also supports denser development around Metro stations and advocates for bike lanes and electric buses.

Hardwick received the Sierra Club’s endorsement because of his focus on both local and global environmental issues. He is committed to identifying a pathway for Alexandria to reach the 100 percent clean-energy goal by 2030.

Bennett-Parker has significant experience in agricultural sustainability and is directly aligned with the Club’s climate goals. She is involved with multiple nonprofits, advocates for community action and is committed to a strong update of the City’s Environmental Action Plan.

“The 2018 primary election is important in our effort to make Alexandria a climate leader in Virginia and our region,” Pat Soriano, Political Chair of the Sierra Club Mount Vernon Group, said.