Alexander M. Padro was born in the Bronx, NY in 1964. His father Wilfred was an electrical and mechanical engineer, born in New York of Puerto Rican descent. His mother is Luz Padro, age 101, a retired seamstress and member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, who immigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States in 1948.

Alex attended the New York City Public Schools, graduating from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science in 1981. He majored in Journalism and minored in Classical Civilization at New York University, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in 1985.

After running his own public relations firm in New York for several years, Alex began a 15 year career in the nonfiction, educational, scientific, technical and legal reference publishing industry, beginning as a marketing manager with Milady Publishing, John Wiley & Sons and Van Nostrand Reinhold before progressing into editorial acquisition. He moved to the DMV in 1994 to join a legal and technical publisher and later was associate publisher for a newsletter publisher. He was a consultant when he left publishing to become executive director of Shaw Main Streets, which he helped found in 2002.

Alex first entered civic activism in the District when he led the successful effort to name the Shaw Historic District in 1999. The research he conducted as part of that campaign resulted in his becoming an 
acknowledged expert on the history of the Shaw neighborhood. Other areas of specialization include Washington, DC’s African American landmarks and monuments and memorials. He was appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams to the African American Heritage Trail Advisory Committee and was one of the first three mayoral appointees to the DC Commemorative Works Committee, where he served with Dr. Dorothy I. Height. Alex is a past Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of Washington, DC and a past DC Preservation League Landmarks Committee Chair.

In 2000, Alex was appointed to the DC Library Board of Trustees by Mayor Williams. During his tenure, he advocated for increased funding for the library system, resulting in increased service hours and the renovation and replacement of library facilities including the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library. He opposed plans to sell the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library and successfully led the effort that convinced the DC Council not to dispose of the building.  Alex subsequently served on advisory committees on the modern landmark building’s renovation.

In 2000, Alex ran for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2C01 seat, defeating an incumbent and a previous candidate. He was subsequently re-elected nine times, serving as Commissioner for 6E01 after redistricting. During that time, he served as the Commission’s chair and vice chair, and then chaired the Commission’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Licensing Committee and sats on the Commission’s Transportation and Zoning and Planning Committees. After the 2020 redistricting, Alex returned to elected office as the first Commissioner for ANC 2G02 and Chair of ANC 2G. 

In 2002, Alex led the effort to organize Shaw Main Streets, in fulfillment of a campaign promise to support the revitalization of the neighborhood’s commercial corridors. The organization received designation as a DC Main Streets local program in 2003, and Alex became the organization’s first board chair. He became the nonprofit’s executive director in 2004, with responsibility for managing the organization’s mid-six figure annual budget. During his tenure at Shaw Main Streets, the organization has twice had its service area expanded, now serving over 340 businesses and winning the 2016 Great American Main Street Award and the 2015 Innovation on Main Street Award, both conferred by Main Street America’s National Main Street Center.

Alex is a member of Leadership Greater Washington, having completed the organization’s signature program in 2008. He is a member of the Capital Stonewall Democrats. He has served as the chair, vice chair or Board member of numerous neighborhood and citywide organizations. He is a sought-after speaker on commercial revitalization and historic preservation topics before local and national audiences and local colleges and universities. His WalkingTown DC tours of the Shaw neighborhood have been among the annual event's most popular for a decade and a half.

Alex has lived in a historic row house in Shaw since 1997 with Pleasant Mann, his partner of 28 years. Alex speaks Spanish, which he learned at home as a child, and French. He enjoys cooking, photography, travel, theater, and visiting art museums and historic sites.

1519 8th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-3205

Telephone:  202.518.3794
Facebook: @alexpadrodc
Twitter: @alexpadrodc
Instagram: @alexpadrodc

© 2016-2023 | Alexander M. Padro. All Rights Reserved.


Helping Shaw Achieve Its Dreams: Alex Padro, ANC 2G02!