Archive for the ‘Alexandria’ Category


75th Anniversary of the Alexandria Library Sit-In – August 21, 1939

August 21, 2014

ax-tucker080702140717857175 years ago today, on August 21, 1939, Samuel W. Tucker organized probably the first sit-in of the American Civil Rights Movement at the public library on Queen Street in Alexandria, VA. Five young men were arrested: William Evans, Otto L. Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray, and Clarence Strange; with a sixth, Robert Strange, serving as a lookout for Tucker who followed events from his office three blocks away at 901 Princess Street. Today, CPAP MPA student Janet Arrechea and I are participating in a celebration of the 75th Anniversary organized by the Alexandria Libraries. Here is the announcement:

Please join the Alexandria Library at the Barrett Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, on Thursday, August 21, 10a.m., to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the 1939 library sit-in. Keynote speakers will be Civil Rights Activist and Director of the African American Civil War Museum Frank W. Smith and NC Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) and newly appointed Civil Rights Commissioner Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Music provided by Doc Night and the Hypnotix and refreshments from Rocklands (BBQ).


Here is a recent column about the Tucker and the sit-in by the Washington Post’s Patricia Shields.

Here are links to some of my other posts about Samuel W. Tucker’s remarkable legacy.




Workshop on Appointees – May 4-5th

May 2, 2012

This Thursday and Friday!

Appointee Politics and the Implications for Government Effectiveness

Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs


The Center for Public Administration and Policy and the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech

Dates: May 4 and 5, 2012

Location: Alexandria, Virginia


Matthew Dull and Patrick Roberts, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,

Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International


William Resh, Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Registration: Andina Nagler, Virginia Tech (

Local Host: Patrick Roberts, Virginia Tech, (, 202-549-4987


The workshop will engage scholars and government officials in empirical and theoretical questions about the role of Senate-confirmed appointees in American government. The workshop aims to build a community of scholars working on appointees, and it aims to connect scholars and government officials concerned about reforms to the appointment process. We hope this will be the first in a series of events.

Here’s the Workshop Agenda.


Out of Obscurity

May 1, 2012

A belated thank you to Matt Spangler, producer/director of Out of Obscurity (2000), a documentary about the 1939 Queen Street Library Sit-in organized by Samuel W. Tucker, for joining members of my Policy Analysis class recently for a viewing and discussion of the film. The interview footage in Out of Obscurity is fascinating – it’s some of the only footage you’ll find of Tucker and the participants in this too-little-documented moment in American history.


National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership – Thursday (9/15)

September 13, 2011

Alexandria Quality of Life Initiative Lunchtime Workshop Series

National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership:

Case Studies on Using Data for Community Change

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Noon -1pm

Join us on September 15 for a discussion about the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a nationwide initiative of 35 cities that seeks to advance the use of data systems for policy analysis and community building in U.S. cities.

Our speaker is noted expert Tom Kingsley, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, who will highlight several case studies on using data for community change from NNIP members. Tom also will discuss best practices for data collection, analysis and action from the perspective of public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Among the questions we’ll cover include:

■ What can we learn from other communities that have successfully implemented a Quality of Life initiative similar to Alexandria’s?

■ What national data files have small area data that we might use?

■ What types of data can and do other communities develop?

Tom’s research specializes in housing, urban policy, and governance issues. He served for over a decade as Director of the Institute’s Center for Public Finance and Housing and currently directs the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.

LOCATION: Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314

Street parking nearby and also accessible via Alexandria’s DASH bus service

No charge to attend. Seating is limited; please RSVP by Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Read the rest of this entry ?


Eco-City Alexandria and Community Indicators – Lunchtime Forum – July 14th

June 29, 2011
Alexandria Quality of Life Initiative Lunchtime Workshop Series Cosponsored by ACT for Alexandria ■ City of Alexandria ■ Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria ■ Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy

Eco-City Alexandria and Community Indicators

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Noon -1pm

Beginning in spring 2007, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning Program (UAP) to design and facilitate a new, strategic collaborative planning process, called Eco-City Alexandria, to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward sustainability. Eco-Cities are places where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment. They work to harmonize existing policies, regional realities, and economic and business markets with their natural resources and environmental assets. Eco-Cities strive to engage all citizens in collaborative and transparent decision making, while being mindful of social equity concerns.

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VT Washington Semester

June 16, 2011

This summer Derek Hyra and  I are co-teaching the Virginia Tech Washington Semester program – which combines a summer internship in the DC area and one day a week dedicated to coursework and site visits. Here’s a copy of the course syllabus.  I’m also the self-appointed Washington Semester 2011 staff photographer. A few pictures from the summer so far:

Roosevelt Island Junket Read the rest of this entry ?



May 31, 2011

In the Washington Post (5/29):

“A Virginia Tech graduate student hit save on her overview of the state workers’ compensation commission one spring day, but before her professor could take a look at it, someone else began deleting entire sections, calling them trivial and promotional.

 It wasn’t a teaching assistant on a power trip — it was a Wikipedia editor known only as “Mean as custard.”

 “I had worked on it for almost an entire day,” said Amy Pearson, a public administration master’s student. “It was kind of shocking.”

 This school year, dozens of professors from across the country gave students an unexpected assignment: Write Wikipedia entries about public policy issues.”

What lazy academic subjects students to the arbitrary authority of a nameless Wikipedia editors?

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