WAMU 88.5 FM’s Kojo Nnamdi hosted his “Kojo in the Community” program in Arlington last night. The show just finished airing, and there were so many topics raised over the course of two hours that it’s hard to summarize everything. Look back over this web site for past four months and you’ll get a taste for about half of the discussion.
Kojo started out by talking about the past and present of Arlington. Long-time residents spoke in wonder of the pace of development over the past 20 or so years. Many people lamented that the development is hurting the area’s diversity by making it more expensive to live here. Despite Arlington’s push for affordable housing, it seems there are many who feel that not enough is being done.
There were other assorted complaints, but almost universally, those in attendance at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish said that they really like it here. Of course, many of the speakers were people who either work for the county or are part of community organizations — people who are in their positions in the first place because they are passionate about the community.
During the course of the discussion, one thing became clear: we in Arlington think we’re pretty smart. Multiple speakers referenced how intelligent the residents of Arlington are — which is empirically true, if you look at census data. But it was notable how many people raised it as one of Arlington’s key characteristics.
Another part of the program focused on the future of Arlington. From the redevelopment of Crystal City to revitalization and streetcars on Columbia Pike, to the ever-present change-of-government debate, the discussion was wide-ranging and all-inclusive, like a community planning stream-of-consciousness.
There was no shortage of residents with something to say during the two hour discussion. This community is vibrant and interesting (and, dare I say, intelligent) enough that Kojo could have probably been here for 20 hours and people would have still had new topics to raise. Thanks to WAMU for the giant pat on the back for Arlington. It is nice to live here, after all.