Alexandria City Councilman reflects on his career

Suzzone McAfee, Howard University News Service

City Councilman John T. Chapman is president of the local NAACP branch and now running for his third term as city councilman, working to serve the constituents of Alexandria, Va., by focusing on affordable housing and education initiatives.

“I was born and raised in Alexandria, a fourth generation Alexandrian,” Chapman said.

“After I graduated from high school, went out to Minnesota to college; I went to a small school, Saint Olaf. Got a bachelor’s in education then came back here (to Alexandria), started working at Alexandria City Public Schools, but then went to work at Fairfax County government, where I was working in recreation and after-school programs.”

Chapman said, “I focused on affordable housing and education, getting some of our at-risk communities involved and supported.”

Fellow City Councilman Willie F. Bailey Sr. described Chapman as "diligent."

“He has insight and understanding of the local parent/family world, and he is a real team player,” Bailey said.

Chapman serves on the Child Youth and Family board, getting tasks force work done for the Eisenhower development partnership, which is one of the many committees created on the council.

Mayor Allison Silberberg (D) commented on her relationship with Chapman, “Councilman Chapman and I were both elected Alexandria City Council for the first time in 2012, and we developed a friendship as the two newest members of the council. Since then, we have worked together on many issues, including policies to help the most vulnerable, such as affordable housing.”

Vice Mayor and City Councilman Justin Wilson added, “When I think of John I think of passion, a passion for service and our community and that shows in everything he does.”

Chapman said he enjoys being a city councilman, working on boards and presiding over committees such as affordable housing committees, and may someday go on and become mayor of the City of Alexandria.

But for now, Chapman said he's planning his re-election to the city council.