Al Alix, ponytail and all, says he's running against Moran

Al Alix, ponytail and all, says he's running against Moran

Says his lawsuit will be filed this week

PAWTUCKET - Al Alix, the man who is suing the city over its pit bull ban, has announced his candidacy for Pawtucket City Council in District 1.

Alix told The Breeze he believes introducing himself to voters now is important given one of his primary motivations in running, city officials' continued support for the pit bull ban. He expects his lawsuit to be filed in Superior Court this week. The election is still many months away.

Alix, 61, said he's had "a lot of people reaching out" to him as he's quietly discussed running, and he is already setting up a network of people willing to work on his campaign. He said many of his early supporters are dog owners who are backing him as he fights to keep his pit bull Chubs.

The lawsuit from Alix seeks to challenge a 2004 ban on pit bulls that some say was overturned earlier this year when the General Assembly outlawed such bans. City officials maintain that the new law only applies to future bans and have continued enforcing the ban.

A District 1 race would pit Alix against City Council President David Moran, a supporter of the pit bull ban and a man Alix says has been a "rubber stamp" for what he calls Mayor Donald Grebien's "opposition" on the City Council.

Alix says he plans to have a strong base of support among the people he has developed relationships with over the years, especially among three groups of people, dog lovers, his many friends from softball, and those he's met through his work in real estate.

Alix said he believes in what Grebien has done for the city since he took office in 2011, and believes the mayor needs a third ally on the council. Grebien is "definitely moving the city in the right direction," said Alix, and he feels Moran has acted as a "roadblock" to getting things done.

"I think a lot of residents in the city are tired of the same names in politics," said Alix. "It's time to change names."

Alix said he would not be a "rubber stamp" for Grebien, and would keep the mayor accountable for his actions.

If he ends up filing papers to run, the first-time candidate said he doesn't plan to change much about himself, including his practice of wearing jeans and a ponytail. His bushy beard would be "kept a lot neater," said Alix, but he won't be shaving it.

"I'm running as Al Alix, not a stuffed suit," he said. "I'm not going to change what I am."

Moran declined to discuss Alix's planned candidacy.

"I will stand on my record and let the voters decide and will put my faith in them," he said in an email. "It is too premature at this time to comment on any potential candidates."

A lifelong resident of Harris Street, Alix said he has long been involved in Pawtucket politics, but a run at the District 1 seat would be the most public he's ever been about his interest in local government. He's proud of his work helping former Mayor Robert Metivier win a campaign for mayor against William Lynch and his work on multiple Grebien campaigns, among others.

"I've always followed local politics," he said.

Alix said he would bring "common sense" to the City Council, tapping into his business background in real estate and the coffee industry to promote business development in the city. He is especially concerned that officials take great care as they guide the redevelopment of what could one day be the city's "jewel," the former Division Street hotel project at 45 Division St.

A Tolman High School graduate, Alix received his bachelor's degree in business from Bryant University. He is separated from his wife and has three daughters.