The Old Dominion Boat Club is 130 years old. That is its burgee. The club resides at the foot of King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. It has a nice if unpretentious clubhouse with a mediocre kitchen. The members have a lot of boats floating outside. The members are mostly small business people. I am not a member.
The city of Alexandria is a prize much fought over by developers and citizen activists. The city is 22% African-American but the mayor, the city manager, the city attorney and the chief of police are African American. This percentage of population has been in decline for many years as real estate values rise steadily here and Black people sell and move away, mainly to Maryland. Nevertheless, except for the mayor who grew up in public housing here, all of these officials are from elsewhere. They were imported after "talent searches" conducted under the mayor's benevolent regime. They are all firmly in favor of commercial re-development all over the city and appear to be sturdy allies of the developers. There have been a number of public planning meetings at which they have declared themselve to be in favor of maximum re-development of the city so that it can be something like the Maryland suburbs of Washington ten miles away. The city government is altogether Democratic Party in its orientation and is supported in office by a political coalition of Liberal people recently come from elsewhere, minorities, yellow dog Democrats and the developer/chamber of commerce crowd.
Few of the rest of us really care about the boat club but its resistance to the attempts of the city government to seize private property in pursuit of its "vision" of the city's future has made it a symbol of citizen efforts to force the city government to stop trying to take our property.
Litigation and negotiations between the boat club and the city have been ongoing for fifteen years. The boat club recently won against the city before the Virginia Supreme Court over its property rights in a nearby alley. Undeterred, Mayor Euille intends to press on towards a massive confrontation in the commonwealth's courts.
So be it. I should have joined the ODBC decades ago. pl