Parking meter old town alexandria virginiaThe Alexandria City Council, at their recent legislative meeting this week, discussed next year’s FY 2015 City budget. Sources tell me that one of the discussions were about the City Manager’s proposal to extend the parking meter hours in Old Town and in the Carlyle neighborhood.

The City Manager’s proposal is based on a recommendation from the Old Town Area Parking Study Work Group and is expected to bring the City approximately $500,000 in more revenue.

Here’s what you need to know…

Residents and guests in both areas start paying for parking at 8:00 AM. This won’t change under the City Manager’s proposal. The only thing proposed to change will be when meter operation ends. Currently, it is 7:00 PM in Old Town and 5:00 PM in the Carlyle neighborhood. Under this proposal, both of these areas will extend to 9:00 PM for metered parking.

One thing to note is that parking in Carlyle, under this proposal would no longer be free on Saturdays and residents and guests in that neighborhood would pay for parking on Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

If you are interested in providing feedback on this proposal, the City Council is holding their regular monthly public hearing on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM. I believe this is the FINAL public hearing prior to the vote on the FY 2015 budget.

If you can’t make the public hearing, you can also submit your comments to the City online via this link and via email at this link. For more on the FY 2015 budget, visit this link.

What are your thoughts on this proposal? As a resident of the Carlyle neighborhood, I can’t help but think that this will make an already tenuous retail/business situation worse. What say you??

Spring2Action logoAlexandria’s annual online giving day, Spring2ACTion, generated a record-breaking $1,031,282 for 121 Alexandria nonprofits in just 24 hours on April 9. More than 7500 individuals joined forces with local restaurants and boutiques to participate in this fourth annual crowd-funding event. Hosted by ACT for Alexandria, Spring2ACTion is the only citywide giving day in the region designed to strengthen the impact of 121 local nonprofits.

Participating nonprofits represented a wide variety of causes, including legal services, animal rescue, food and shelter, arts and music, and early care and education. From providing scholarships to summer camp to building playgrounds and providing meals to low-income families, the money raised during Spring2ACTion will continue to have a tremendous impact on the community in the coming year.

“When the whole community comes together, it’s amazing what we can achieve. Achieving an ambitious goal like this requires the support of the whole community – and we are so thankful for the generosity shown by so many caring individuals” said Brandi Yee, Chief Program Officer at ACT for Alexandria. “The money raised goes toward so many worthy causes from food banks to mental health care to workforce development.”

In addition to competing for $30,000 in prizes provided by ACT and its community partners, nonprofits had the opportunity to benefit from the proceeds of sales contributed by the Old Town Boutique District as well as from local restaurants, Holy Cow, Pork Barrel BBQ and Sweet Fire Donna’s. Two $500 prizes were awarded to the nonprofits that were chosen most frequently at stores in the Old Town Boutique District and at the three restaurants.

Top Prize Winners Included:

  • Most Dollars: Casa Chirilagua (1st), RunningBrooke (2nd), Maury Elementary PTA (3rd), King Street Cats (4th), Alexandria Soccer Association (5th)
  • Most Donors: Homeward Trails Animal Rescue Incorporated (1st), Casa Chirilagua (2nd), Alexandria Soccer Association (3rd), Maury Elementary PTA (4th), Carpenter’s Shelter (5th)
  • Free Agent Fundraisers (Individuals fundraising on behalf of a nonprofit): Carpenter’s Shelter-Team Development (1st), Empowered Women International-Rockstar Staff for Empowered Women (2nd), Urban Alliance-Double Down (3rd)
  • First Timers (Nonprofits participating in Spring2ACTion for the first time): Homeward Trails Animal Rescue (1st), Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture (2nd), Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia (3rd)

Last year, crowd funding across the globe raised $5.1 billion (CraigConnects, 2014). As online giving and peer-to-peer fundraising continues to increase in popularity, Spring2ACTion is on the forefront of online giving. While the average global crowd funding donation by an individual totaled $88.22, in 2014, the average Spring2ACTion donation was $103.45.

The value of giving days such as Spring2ACTion has never been higher. In a recent survey done by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 80% nonprofits respondents reported an increase in demand for services and in 2013, 56% of these nonprofits were unable to meet demand. Many of the nonprofits in Alexandria now rely on Spring2ACTion as an innovative tool to increase funds for their organizations.

Spring2ACTion was administered by Razoo and sponsored by The Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation, the Mason Hirst Foundation, Speck-Caudron Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Washington Forrest Foundation, the Campbell Kent Fund, David and Diann Frantz, and Give Back Alexandria. Community partners include Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, the City of Alexandria, Causetown, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, SpottedMP (Marketing + Public Relations), and Six Half Dozen.

All locally serving registered United States 501c(3) organizations with proceeds benefiting Alexandria are eligible to participate in Spring2ACTion. For a list of all winners and sponsors, please visit:

Spring2ACTion is in two (2) days. Spring2ACTion is a 24-hour online event that encourages everyone to contribute to Alexandria’s nonprofit organizations through a single online giving platform on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Last year, Spring2ACTion raised nearly $660,000 in one day, benefiting 97 local nonprofit organizations. This year, the goal is to raise $1,000,000 for more than 100 local nonprofits.

John Porter, Act for Alexandria’s Executive Director, writes why your generosity, no matter how big or small, is important on April 9, 2014. Click this link to read it and don’t forget to give if you can.

Spring 2 Action Banner

Nannie J Lee Playground in Alexandria, Virginia 1108 Jefferson Street

The City of Alexandria is seeking public comment on a proposal to name the planned accessible playground at the Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center, located at 1108 Jefferson St., the Ruthanne Lodato Memorial Playground. The Miracle League of Alexandria and the Kelley Cares Foundation forwarded the proposal.

Ruthanne Lodato was a dedicated volunteer, sponsor and active participant in the Kelley Cares Foundation. Her fundraising efforts and volunteer dedication supported the creation of programs and activities benefitting the City of Alexandria Therapeutic Recreation Program, which include The Kelley Cares Miracle Field, The Kelley Cares Multi-Sensory Mobile and the Multi-Sensory Room at the Lee Center. In addition to her commitment to children and families with special needs, she was a dedicated music teacher for more than 30 years ensuring thousands of children grew up to appreciate music.

The public is invited to provide comment on the proposal to name the playground at the Lee Center the Ruthanne Lodato Memorial Playground through Friday, May 2. Those interested in providing comments will be able to record their comments by email to, or by mail to RPCA, Attn: Jack Browand, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria VA 22314. All comments received or postmarked by Friday, May 2 will be reviewed by the City Council Naming Committee.

For additional information, contact Jack Browand, Division Chief, at 703.746.5504 or by email at

The Alexandria City Council is seeking applicants to fill the following vacancies on City of Alexandria boards, commissions and committees. Council will act on these vacancies at the April 22, 2014, City Council meeting.

All applicants must complete a Personal Data Record Form and return it to the City Clerk’s Office or file the form electronically via the City’s website no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 11, 2014. Applications received after this deadline will not be forwarded to City Council. Applicants may only submit an application to one committee at a time.

Here’s the listing of vacancies on Boards & Commissions in the City.


As I posted about previously, the 2014 Commuter Challenge is here! Both employees and employers in Alexandria can win GREAT prizes.

The City of Alexandria Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition between employers in Alexandria that encourages employees to leave their cars at home and commute to work using an alternative means of transportation. The challenge is part of the City of Alexandria’s Local Motion program, and takes place for two weeks – March 31 – April 11, 2014.

For example, instead of driving you could:

  • walk,
  • bike,
  • carpool/vanpool,
  • use the bus,
  • take the subway/train,
  • trolley
  • and telework.

Click this link for more information. How are you getting to work?