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Candidate Essay: Audrey Clement

Last week we asked the three candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay on why the county’s residents should vote for them on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Two County Board seats are up for election this year.

Here is the unedited response from Audrey Clement (G):

I’m long time resident of Arlington County with a Ph.D. in Political Science. I served as a congressional fellow in the 100th Congress, serving the House Subcommittee on Select Education.  I’m also an environmental activist. As treasurer of the Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation, I fought the I-66 Spot Improvement Project as a waste of taxpayer funds, suing instead for an environmental assessment to study alternatives to widening I-66 piecemeal.

I am an officer of both the national and state Green parties. As treasurer of the Arlington Green Party, I participated in campaigns in 2008 and 2009 to consolidate Arlington’s housing programs to leverage more money for affordable housing by placing a countywide housing agency referendum on the ballot. The referendum garnered more than 30 percent of the vote in 2008, but County Board defeated a similar referendum in 2009 by lobbying the state legislature to impose draconian signature requirements on petitions to place future referendums on the ballot.

I’ve also participated in campaigns to create a year round homeless shelter and ban plastic bags in supermarkets and chain drug stores and Styrofoam in food retail outlets. These initiatives are opposed by County Board.

I think Arlington needs a change in leadership because County Board is in bed with developers. As new office towers go up overnight, employers move into the county, spurring demand for housing that drives up rents and real estate assessments and promotes excessive infill development. Nevertheless County Board continues to award developers with more density—50% more in Crystal City alone. Over the past decade the supply of affordable housing in this county has been cut in half, from 24,000 in 2000 to less than 12,000 today.

My opponents Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes call the gentrification of Arlington County “Smart Growth.”  But I ask you, what is smart about recycling moderate income tenants out of the county? What is smart about saddling taxpayers with expensive, risky, debt ridden, vanity projects like the $6.7 million Artisphere, the $130 million Columbia Pike Trolley, and the $65 million Long Bridge Park Aquatic Center–while the county’s infrastructure crumbles? Walter and Mary argue that county homeowners have the lowest tax rate in Northern Va. Yet the Arlington County Civic Federation reports that the County Manager has cooked the books, and county residents actually have the highest tax and fee burden in Northern Va.

Walter and Mary will tell you that Arlington’s growth is “green” and sustainable. The only thing green about it is the dollars that developers pocket. Nearly all indicators of environmental quality in Arlington—energy use, traffic congestion, recycling rates, tree canopy, green space–are trending down. Our county’s recycling rate is no better than the statewide average, a dismal 40 percent, well below the City of Falls Church’s 58 percent. The school system can’t keep up with enrollments; streets need repaving; and the Metro system is packed during rush hour.

If elected I pledge to:

  • Restore full funding for Arlington public libraries.
  • Restore full funding for social services.
  • Retrofit all public buildings with renewable energy.
  • Increase recycling in apartments and businesses.
  • Reduce litter by banning single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam in retail stores and food outlets.
  • Reduce energy costs by providing free residential energy audits for Arlington homeowners.
  • Consolidate housing programs in one agency to leverage more money for affordable housing.
  • Hire an Inspector General to audit the County budget.

By electing me, Arlington residents will guarantee the preservation of their neighborhoods and the conservation of their natural surroundings. That’s the Arlington Way. Vote CLEMENT for County Board on Tuesday, November 8.

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(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

Read More

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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.

Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.

Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.

See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207

Submit your own Community Post here.

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Azure Dream Day Spa Grand Opening

Azure Dream Day Spa is hosting their Grand Opening Celebration at their beautiful new spa located at 901 N. Quincy St. on Friday, August 12 from 5-9 p.m.

All are invited to come tour the new spa and to take

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