Mayor Allison Silberberg
Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia

Allison Silberberg, the Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, is a writer and lifelong advocate for social justice issues. She has worked to promote civic engagement and address unmet social needs. She has served as Mayor since January 1, 2016. Read the 2015 Election results.

As Mayor, Allison has prioritized ethics, transparency, and inclusiveness. She initiated and drafted, and the Council signed, the City’s Statement on Inclusiveness, which has garnered national attention. Allison’s position as a staunch environmentalist has resulted in actions to protect the environment, including achieving a crucial goal to address and resolve the City’s longtime sewage outfall issue, tripling the number of trees planted each year in the City, and adding beautification to public spaces across the City. Under her bold leadership, the City Council approved three new schools in one year; doubled the repaving of roads; tripled dedicated funding for affordable housing; created an Arts District in North Old Town; adopted the first Age-Friendly Plan in Virginia endorsed by AARP and WHO; moved the Potomac Yard Metro Plan forward; and maintained the AAA bond rating.

Prior to serving as Mayor, Allison served as the Vice Mayor of Alexandria. Endorsed by EMILY’s List and many local leaders for her Council seat, she served as Vice Mayor of the Alexandria City Council from 2012 to 2015. Read the 2012 Election results.

Her writing focuses extensively on the role of the individual in effecting social change. She is the author of Visionaries In Our Midst: Ordinary People who are Changing our World, an inspiring book that profiles individuals who are making a difference in our country. Endorsed by Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger, Marvin Kalb, Helen Thomas, and Paul Loeb, Visionaries In Our Midst focuses on public unsung heroes who are committed to social change and demonstrates what is possible. The book received strong praise from the ALA Booklist, Publishers Weekly and ForeWord Magazine, hitting #1 on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases in Philanthropy & Charity for over two weeks and in the top 10 of that list for five months. ForeWord Reviews named Visionaries In Our Midst a finalist for its Book of the Year Award for 2009.

In 2014, the Society for Women’s Health Research, whose mission is to ensure that women are included in medical research, clinical trials, and drug testing, commissioned Allison to co-author a book. SWHR is finalizing the book before publication.

Allison is also the author of And Life Will Be a Beautiful Dream: A Book about Peggy and Alvin Brown, a commissioned memoir about the meaningful life of a philanthropic family.

Her writing has appeared on in conjunction with Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s documentary series, The War, as well as in conjunction with David Grubin’s documentary series, The Jewish Americans. Her columns have appeared in The Washington Post and The Dallas Morning News. Her column about the contentious creation of the King holiday on the op/ed page of The Washington Post in January 2008 went to #1 on the paper’s web site the day that it ran. In late 2011, she had a column in The Washington Post about the Alexandria waterfront debate and the future of Old Town Alexandria. She has also written for politicians. In 1989, she wrote an episode for the hit television series, Mama’s Family.

Allison has over 25 years of experience in community leadership and public service, including: interning for Senator Edward M. Kennedy; working as Chief Editor and Chief Research Assistant for Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen; starting and leading a nonprofit called Lights, Camera, Action! (LCA!), which used film to mentor youth in Anacostia; grantmaking to local nonprofits; and serving on the World Bank’s Community Outreach Grants Committee. For nearly a decade, she hosted monthly charitable events, which gave all proceeds to local nonprofits focused on children at risk and families in distress.

Allison’s high-impact grantmaking caught the attention of the World Bank. In 2005, the World Bank asked her to serve a three-year term on its Community Outreach Grants Committee, which disbursed major funding (over $1.3 million) to local nonprofits in Washington. She has received two awards for her community work: the 2004 Reatig Award for Outstanding Service to the Film & Video Community and a 2003 Culturatti Award (an honor given to 15 in the D.C. region for their contributions to the area’s culture and arts scene).

Allison’s photography, which specializes in portraiture, has appeared in The Washington Post as well as other major newspapers and magazines in the States and abroad.

Her photograph of
Coretta Scott King has garnered national attention and is represented by Getty Images. 

From 2004 to 2012, Allison was appointed to Alexandria’s Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC), which serves as an advocate for the city’s most vulnerable. Legislative issues include: employment, affordable housing, health care, homeless prevention, utility costs, and abusive lending practices. From 2010 to 2012, she served as chair, focusing the EOC on job creation and affordable housing as well as initiating the EOC’s annual public service day, “All Hands on Deck.”

In July 2011, the EOC’s first, annual “All Hands on Deck” gave a “facelift” to the Alexandria Community Shelter, which is the City’s shelter for the homeless and which is managed by the nonprofit, New Hope Housing. Together with more than two dozen donors, including Home Depot, and 100 volunteers, “All Hands on Deck” was a great success. To see photos and media links, or to watch the three-minute video that was donated by Double R Productions, please click here. In June 2012, the EOC’s “All Hands on Deck” focused on Community Lodgings, and Patch captured the day with a story.

Allison’s accolades include New Hope Housing’s 2012 Leadership/Servanthood award for her role in leading the EOC’s “All Hands on Deck” project to renovate the Alexandria Community Shelter. Poppy, a short film she directed and produced with Anacostia teens for LCA!, won a CINE Golden Eagle and an award from the American Association of University Women. Seven of the eight LCA! participants went to college.

Since 2007, she has served as a founding honorary board member of the National Chamber Ensemble. In 2014, she served as the Secretary/Treasurer, a corporate officer, for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. She served as the president of the board of the Georgetown Senior Center, 2010 - 2012.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Allison has a B.A. in international relations and history from American University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles. An Alexandria resident since 1989, Allison has lived in Parkfairfax since 1992.

To read more about Allison’s community and political work, please click here.

Political Experience & Community Work | Contribute

2012 Campaign | 2015 Campaign | 2018 Campaign

Civic Engagement | Grant Making

Lights, Camera, Action! | Poppy: A Story of Courage

Accolades | Excerpt | Columns | Buy the Book | Contact


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