This past Saturday, I listed my 8 criteria for choosing the Democratic nominee in the 8th CD race. How do these criteria apply to specific candidates? I started with former Virginia Lt. Governor Don Beyer, continued with Del. Mark Sickles and Del. Charniele Herring, Bruce Shuttleworth, Del. Patrick Hope, Lavern Chatman, Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Alfonso Lopez, and Mark Levine. We now turn to Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille.
1. The next Representative from the 8th CD should be a strong, rock-solid progressive.
On his campaign website, Bill Euille writes that he has served “on numerous boards and commissions across the Eighth District, including the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Washington Area Council of Governments, and the Governor’s Council on Virginia’s Future.” He also says that with “over three decades of experience as a member of the Alexandria School Board, City Council, and now Mayor, I have a track record of getting things done to improve our communities.” With regard to specific issues, Euille’s website says:
*Environment and Transportation: “Mayor Euille believes the city government must lead by example and work towards becoming more energy efficient…he looks forward to creating green jobs and an alternative energy economy…Mayor Euille will continue to fight to make sure public transportation is properly funded, and will work towards including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Alexandria…Mayor Euille will continue to work with City Council to identify ways to make Alexandria more pedestrian and bike friendly.”
*Education: “Mayor Euille served for a decade, he will continue to advocate for academic excellence in all of our schools and for all of our students…Mayor Euille understands that we must work hard to attract the best teachers to our school system… Mayor Euille believes strongly that we must prepare our students for a multitude of career paths and educational opportunities.”
*Managing Our Fiscal Priorities: “While Mayor Euille believes we must take steps now to have a more efficient city government and to guard against future budget shortfalls, he will not support cutting the basic, core services and safety nets for our community’s most vulnerable citizens…Mayor Euille is committed to working together with the City Council to set priorities for delivery of services that ease the tax burden on homeowners and businesses.”
*Quality of Life: “Mayor Euille is grateful for everyone who serves our city and understands that public safety is a top priority…Mayor Euille will continue to work to preserve our affordable housing, and will continue to partner with developers to build housing for all of our residents…From our dog parks to our soccer fields, Mayor Euille has worked to expand and improve our open spaces, and will continue to do so.”
*Euille is also a signatory to the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.
*Euille “endorsed and signed “the 2005 U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement along with 278 other mayors…committ[ing] Alexandria to meet or exceed the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas reduction targets through the use of local land use planning, urban forest restoration, public outreach campaigns, and other greenhouse gas reduction strategies.”
*Euille testified before the U.S. Senate about “three critical environmental challenges: climate change, clean energy, and the new green economy.” He described the “the Eco-City Alexandria initiative, to guide the city over the next 30 years toward becoming a true Eco-City: a place where people can live healthier and economically productive lives, while reducing their environmental impact.”
*Euille signed the National Mayors’ Resolution for Diplomacy with Iran, which opposes “a unilateral, pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iran, argues that “a pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iran would violate international law and our commitments under the U.N. Charter and further isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world,” and urges “Congress to prohibit the use of funds to carry out any military action against Iran without explicit Congressional authorization.”
*Euille announced his “support for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s bill before Congress to expand bans on certain assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition devices.”
*Euille signed a letter arguing that “the time is ripe for Congress to pass legislation that fixes immigration and creates a system that builds our economy, meets the nation’s future workforce requirements, eliminates the incentives to enter the country illegally, humanely deals with the undocumented persons already here, and works to keep families together.”
*During the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial campaign, Euille ripped E.W. Jackson’s statements as “divisive and hateful rhetoric that demeans the intelligence of African-American voters.” He also criticized Ken Cuccinelli’s tax plan as an “unrealistic ideological proposal that would have serious negative impacts on local government, including Alexandria.”
Bottom line: Euille appears to be a strong progressive on a wide range of issues. Of course, most of his involvement has been at a local level, so I look forward to hearing more from him about national and international issues as this campaign gets going.
2. I want to see a tenacious, indefatigable FIGHTER for progressive values
Euille has mostly been focused on the city of Alexandria, but see item #1 for examples of Euille fighting for progressive values.
3. We need a Representative who will fight for the 8th CD.
Euille has certainly fought for Alexandria, so presumably he’d do the same for the 8th CD.
4. We’re going to be losing some big-time seniority and need to build it back up.
I believe that Euille is in his mid 60s, not sure how long he’d want to stay in Congress in order to build back seniority we’ll be losing with Jim Moran’s retirement…
5. We want, need, and deserve a Representative who has the highest ethical standards and who makes us proud every day.
I am not aware of any ethical concerns regarding Bill Euille.
6. A superb, impressive track record of accomplishment over the years.
Euille’s bio notes:
In 2003, Bill was elected Mayor, the first African-American to hold this position in the 254-year history of the City of Alexandria. Re-elected mayor in 2006, Bill previously was elected three times to the Alexandria City Council (elected in 1994, 1997-when he served as Vice Mayor, and in 2000). Prior to his service on City Council, Bill served on the Alexandria School Board from 1974-1984.
Euille also spent 15 years with a “local construction company” (AA Beiro Construction Company, I believe) rising to “vice president/controller,” then in 1987 founded “construction services firm” Wm. D. Euille & Associates. Mayor Euille “represents Alexandria on the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Washington METRO Council of Governments (COG), as Vice Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, as Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Neighborhood Task Force, and as a member of the NOVA Transportation Commission (NVTC).” Finally, Euille has won a variety of awards, which you can view here.
Overall, Euille has a strong record of accomplishment at the local level, pretty much involved in everything…
7. Obviously, we want someone who will do a great job on “constituent services.”
Presumably, that’s an important part of his job as Mayor of Alexandria – making sure streets are cleared, potholes are paved, etc. I’m also told by a politico from Alexandria who I greatly respect that Euille is excellent at constituent services.
8. I want to see a “heavyweight” in this job — someone who is a serious policy wonk, someone who really loves diving into the weeds of legislation, someone who can go toe-to-toe with Republicans and Tea Partiers (and conservative and/or corporate Democrats for that matter) in the battle of ideas.
This one’s really an “incomplete,” as I don’t have much evidence one way or the other of Euille going at it with Teapublicans or being a “serious policy wonk.”
Overall: Euille appears to be a strong progressive, but he’s been involved overwhelmingly at the local level so it’s hard to know how that would translate to the national stage. To the extent I can judge his record – and I was strongly tempted to just give him an “incomplete” for now – I’d give him somewhere in the B/B+ range, but I really need to listen carefully to what he has to say during the campaign about national and international issues to know how best to grade him. I’m also very interested to see whether or not he puts together a serious campaign, as I’ve heard a good amount of skepticism in that regard.