Balancing the Books: Members of the city council identify priorities

James Libresco

Affordable housing, teacher pay and guaranteed income are among the topics being considered by members of City Council as they approach a budget vote on May 1. After City Manager Jim Parajon presented his proposed budget last month, council members had the opportunity to request more or less funding in specific areas. Council members are expected to hold a work session finalizing the requests.

Many of the proposed revisions aim to provide more resources to low-income families. One, submitted by council members Sarah Bagley and Canek Aguirre, would continue a guaranteed income pilot program called ARISE. The program, which started in late 2022, provides $500 monthly payments to 170 residents at or below 50 percent of the area median income. At the April 13 budget public hearing, several residents shared their support for ARISE.

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2024 Candidate Profile: Kirk McPike runs for second Council term

Caitlyn Meisner

Longtime political operative Kirk McPike, who is gearing up to campaign for a second term on Alexandria’s City Council, has enjoyed his role as the candidate and official since being elected in 2021.

“I’ve come to this job with a long history of dealing with constituents. … They want a representative to answer a question, take a position [and] to help solve a challenge,” McPike said of his role on Council. “It’s really gratifying to be the person who gets to talk to a constituent … [talk] to our city staff to highlight it and then hear back from that constituent.”

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Kirk McPike Statement on Alexandria's Withdrawal from Consideration of the Potomac Yard Arena

Kirk for Alexandria Press Release

Alexandria City Councilman Kirk McPike released the following statement:

“The announcement from the City that it is withdrawing from the process of considering the arena project at Potomac Yard makes official what has been evident to me for some time: the arena deal is dead.

“For the City to have ever considered the arena proposal, first legislation would have had to have passed out from Richmond to create the authority framework and provide scoping and funding for issues such transportation improvements. However, it became clear that no such bill could have passed in a form that would address our local concerns regarding transportation, neighborhood impacts, labor standards, or local representation on the authority board.

“Council Members must be willing to consider proposals to bring new businesses and revenues to Alexandria with an open mind, without a reflexive position in favor or in opposition — to do otherwise would be a disservice to our constituents. That is the approach I took on the arena. I was open to considering the proposal, but I also had very clear questions and concerns that I raised with those working on it in Richmond. I made it clear that I wouldn't support a proposal that underrepresented Alexandria on the stadium authority board, that didn't meet the needs of our workers, or that left us holding the tab on transportation improvements. Those concerns were never addressed in the proposal.

“The arena project is behind us, but the challenges our City faces in terms of our budget and catalyzing the long-desired redevelopment of North Potomac Yard remain. Before I was on Council, I was a member of the City's Budget & Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee. I understand our City's fiscal challenges and the need to bring new businesses to Alexandria to address them. I will continue to support the work of AEDP, our City staff, and our partners to seek out the sort of entertainment and business proposals that can help us improve our budget outlook and achieve our redevelopment goals, while not upending the qualities and values that make us love our City.

“I appreciate the work of City Manager Jim Parajon, his staff, Stephanie Landrum, and the team at the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership on this project, and the messages, emails, and comments I received from residents on all sides of this question over the past three months.

“Alexandria is a great City. There's no challenge we can't conquer. No obstacle we can't overcome. Alexandria's future is bright and our potential is limitless, and it is an honor to serve on our City Council.”

Kirk McPike Seeks Re-Election to Alexandria City Council

Kirk for Alexandria Press Release

Alexandria, VA - First term Alexandria City Councilman R. Kirk McPike announced today that he will run for reelection in 2024. Councilman McPike is the first member of City Council to announce his re-election campaign and is the only openly-gay member of the Council.

“Two and a half years ago, Alexandria Democrats chose me as a nominee for City Council, and serving our City in this role has been an incredible honor. I have been proud to serve on a Council that has taken bold actions to address big challenges such as our housing crisis, climate change, and flooding. On Council, I worked to ensure that our City lives out its progressive values as we signed historic collective bargaining agreements with our first responders, made major investments in affordable housing, expanded our transit services, changed local laws to protect access to abortion in Alexandria, and stood up against Glenn Youngkin’s attacks on young trans Virginians,” Kirk McPike said.

During Councilman McPike’s first term on City Council, he joined efforts to address longstanding challenges related to housing, transit, and flooding, supported the creation of the City’s Office of Climate Action, and voted for historic investments in public safety — including collective bargaining agreements for police officers, firefighters and EMTs, expanding the number of mental health co-response units, and investing in Alexandria’s youth summer employment and out of school time programs.

Councilman McPike has also led the Council’s efforts to stand in defense of Alexandria’s progressive values. He authored the Council’s response to the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, and spoke out against Governor Glenn Youngkin’s efforts to undermine the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ Virginians, particularly trans students in Virginia schools.

Councilman McPike also took the lead in improving transparency at City Hall by creating a series of City Council Town Halls, which provide residents with a new way to learn about City initiatives and provide feedback.

“I’m running for re-election because, even with all we’ve accomplished, there’s still so much that needs to be done. We need to ensure that the projects and policies we’ve put in place produce the affordable housing we need to fight displacement. We need to address our budget challenges and diversify our revenue sources to keep Alexandria on a firm financial footing. We need to work with our delegation to Richmond to give us the tools and funding we need to keep Metro running, to combat climate change, and address local challenges like flooding, speeding, and public safety,” Kirk McPike said.

Kirk McPike is also proud to announce that his re-election campaign has been endorsed by the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, the leading national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ+ leaders to public office.

In 2024, Alexandria voters will have an opportunity to vote for six members of City Council and Mayor in addition to contests for President, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. The Democratic Party Primary for City Council will be held on June 18, 2024 and nominees will advance to the General Election on November 5, 2024.

About Kirk McPike

Kirk and his husband, Jason Kaufman, live in the Seminary Hill neighborhood of Alexandria’s West End. Kirk came to Alexandria more than 12 years ago to run Adam Ebbin’s campaign for the Virginia State Senate. Kirk has served in volunteer roles as a former chair of the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission, and member of Alexandria’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee. Kirk was elected to the City Council in 2021, and currently works as the Chief of Staff to Congressman Mark Takano, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and a leading progressive voice in the Congress.

Justin Wilson and incumbent council members win big in Democratic primary

Cody Mello-Klein & Olivia Anderson, Alexandria Times

All three incumbent members of City Council also had big victories on Tuesday night, alongside three newcomers. The six council candidates who received the most votes and will appear in the general election are: incumbent John Chapman, at 13,284 votes or 12.07%; Alyia Gaskins, at 13,167 votes or 11.96%; incumbent Amy Jackson, with 12,144 votes or 11.03%; incumbent Canek Aguirre, with 10,954 votes or 9.95%; Sarah Bagley, with 9,810 votes or 8.91%; and Kirk McPike, with 7,958 votes or 7.23%.

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City Council candidates talk Seminary Road Diet, colocating affordable housing on public school property (Part 1)

James Cullum, ALXnow

The Seminary Road Diet took center stage Tuesday night, as City Council candidates met in the first of three West End forums.

City Council candidates Canek Aguirre (incumbent), Alyia Gaskins, Kirk McPike, Patrick Moran and Sarah Bagley were the first batch of candidates to speak at the Seminary Ridge Civic Association candidate forum.

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My View: Why I'm Running for Council

R. Kirk McPike, The Alexandria Times

I believe that Alexandria’s future can be brighter than its present.

I am running for City Council this year because of this simple belief. However, I also recognize we can only achieve a brighter future if we make the right choices as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and elect leaders who are ready to do the job on day one.

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Candidate Profile: Kirk McPike wants to connect the city

Will Schick, The Alexandria Times

When Kirk McPike came to Alexandria 10 years ago to work on Adam Ebbins’ campaign for the state senate, something unexpected happened. McPike fell in love.

McPike, who is originally from Texas and spent several years working in the legislature for his home state, said that there was something special about Alexandria. It was the place he knew he belonged.

“I knew within a short time of arriving that this was a place where I felt comfortable, where I felt like people shared my values,” McPike said. “I just fell in love with the city … I didn’t want to leave.”

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Alexandria City Council candidates focus on racial equity, affordable housing and flooding in DPC forum

James Cullum,

Affordable housing took center stage on Tuesday night, as Alexandria’s mayoral and City Council candidates participated in a long candidates forum hosted by the Departmental Progressive Club (DPC)....

The city recently doubled its stormwater utility fee to contend with 90 stormwater capacity projects, many of which have been overlooked by previous city councils.

“We’re dealing with spots that flood and capacity issues for the whole system,” Council candidate Kirk McPike said. “And if we fix spots before we fix the capacity, we might just be shoving water back into the system where new flooding locations are going to be created… So that as we’re fixing the spot flooding, we are putting that water into a system that can actually handle it. I think we can also expect more of developers who are coming into our community not only that they make their properties that they are working on more absorptive of water, but they actually pay into the fund to help lower the cost to local tax payers.”

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Lucky 13: June 8 primary will feature more than a dozen Democrats running for six seats

Michael Lee Pope, Connection Newspapers

Recent years have seen a dramatic shift in city politics. Three years ago, the incumbent mayor was unseated in an election where two incumbent City Council members were turned out of office. Now three of the six seats on the council are open, and 13 candidates are running for six seats. All of the candidates spoke this week to members of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, which conducted a straw poll that shows an unofficial pecking order heading into the spring campaign season....

Kirk McPike is the chief of staff to Congressman Mark Takano (D-Calif.). He's a member of the city's Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee, and a former chairman of the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission. If elected, he says he'll work on housing affordability, address flooding and end classroom overcrowding.

"We need to get past the obstacles that lay directly ahead of us," said McPike. "I will work every day to improve communication and transparency between the city and its residents so that you feel listened to, heard and understood on the issues that matter most to you."

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Two gay candidates enter race for Alexandria City Council

Lou Chibbaro Jr., Washington Blade

Gay Democratic and civic activists James Lewis and Kirk McPike are running for seats on the Alexandria, Va., City Council in the city’s June 8 Democratic primary....

A Victory Fund statement announcing its endorsement of McPike says McPike currently serves as chief of staff to gay U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.). The statement says prior to serving on Takano’s staff McPike “spent nearly a decade working in Democratic politics in Virginia, California, and Texas.” It says he has served on key Alexandria city commissions that deal with affordable housing and the city budget.

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Alexandria's Future of Progressive Values

Kirk McPike, Alexandria Living Magazine

Alexandria is a wonderful place to live, a community of diverse and open-minded people brought together in a city that features beautiful historic districts, lovely neighborhoods, and wonderful parks, stores and restaurants. Alexandria is also a city that has reached an inflection point in the road to its future. How we respond to the challenges facing us today will determine what sort of city the next generation of Alexandrians will inherit.

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LGBTQ Victory Fund Endorses Kirk McPike for Alexandria City Council

Kirk for Alexandria Press Release

Alexandria, VA – Today, the LGBTQ Victory Fund – the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office – endorsed Democratic candidate Kirk McPike for Alexandria City Council. The endorsement signals Victory Fund’s confidence that Kirk is well-positioned to win the council race and will be a strong voice for equality once elected.

"LGBTQ Victory Fund is pleased to endorse Kirk McPike for Alexandria City Council," said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. "Kirk will bring unique skills, valuable experience, and a commitment to inclusion and transparency to the Alexandria City Council. When Kirk wins the June primary and November general election he will restore LGBTQ representation on Alexandria's City Council."

LGBTQ people remain severely underrepresented in government nationwide – holding just 0.18 percent of elected positions despite representing at least 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, according to Gallup.

As an openly LGBTQ leader, Kirk will be an unwavering voice for equality on the Alexandria City Council. His priorities in office will include supporting our public education system, affordable housing, and increasing transparency in city government.

“On the City Council I’ll work to ensure that Alexandria remains a welcoming place for LGBTQ people, and that we continue to lead the way when it comes to inclusivity and embracing the diversity of our community,” said Kirk McPike.

Earlier this year, the city of Alexandria received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s LGBTQ Municipal Equality Index for its policies to protect LGBTQ city employees and residents against discrimination. Only one other city in the Commonwealth of Virginia achieved this distinction.

Victory Fund will promote Kirk’s endorsement among its hundreds of thousands of supporters nationwide. More information about Victory Fund can be found at More information about Kirk McPike's campaign for Alexandria City Council can be found at

Democrat Kirk McPike Enters Race for Alexandria City Council

Kirk for Alexandria Press Release

Democrat Kirk McPike announced today that he is running for Alexandria City Council in the June 8, 2021, primary. He also announced that State Senator Adam Ebbin and Alexandria School Board Member Jacinta Greene would serve as co-chairs of his campaign committee.

Kirk and his husband, Cantor Jason Kaufman, live in the Seminary Hill neighborhood of Alexandria’s West End. Kirk is a member of the city’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and previously served as chair of the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission.

In his professional life, Kirk is chief of staff to Congressman Mark Takano, a leading progressive Democrat in the United States House and chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

“I am running for City Council to ensure that Alexandria will be an even better place to live, work, and raise a family in the future than it is today. That means bringing a renewed focus on our schools, housing affordability and transparency to the council,” McPike said. “As our city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need leaders who are ready for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. My experience on commissions that deal with housing affordability and the city budget, along with my work in legislative offices, have prepared me to serve on the City Council in these trying times.”

State Senator Adam Ebbin and School Board Member Jacinta Greene enthusiastically endorsed Kirk’s candidacy.

“Kirk is a problem solver, creative thinker, and a community-minded advocate. He will work hard to advance Alexandria's progressive values and keep our city a fun and thriving place to live. He will be a great addition to the City Council,” Ebbin said.

“Kirk knows that a strong public education system is vital if we want our city to thrive. He will fight to ensure that our schools are at the forefront of planning decisions, so that all children in Alexandria have the opportunity to succeed,” Greene said.

Kirk is running for City Council to be an advocate for Alexandria’s school system, to fight to keep Alexandria a great place to live, and to improve communication between the city and its residents.

Kirk will hold an online campaign launch event in February and is looking forward to opportunities to speak with people from across Alexandria about the future of the city. For more information about Kirk and his candidacy, please visit