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Candidate Essay: Libby Garvey

Earlier this month 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 during the March 27 special election.

Here is the unedited response from Libby Garvey (D):

Like many ArlNow readers, I believe this is a pivotal time in Arlington. We are a vibrant, energetic community – without a doubt, Arlington is a great place to live and do business. But the years ahead present very real challenges and opportunities for our community as well as some very significant decision points for our community’s leaders.

The candidate who wins the March 27 special election will play a crucial role serving on the Board when Arlington faces critical decisions about how we manage change and opportunity in a time of limited resources. Our County Board must be clear about Arlington’s priorities and stay grounded in the fact that it serves you — the Arlington citizen. Our County Board’s priorities must be reflective of our community’s priorities.

While others make promises about improving our County, I have a record of accomplishment. My role in improving our public schools clearly demonstrates my ability to work effectively on an elected board to accomplish defined, measurable goals and objectives. As readers likely know, I have served the Arlington County School Board for more than 15 years, including five terms as Chair. I am proud of my School Board leadership and the work the Board has done to anticipate and adapt to the County’s changing landscape.

When I came to the Board in 1997, our capital program was a mess. Now, we have renovated and rebuilt almost every one of our schools, largely on time and on budget. Because projects were shovel-ready when the recession began in 2008, the Wakefield High School reconstruction project began earlier than initially thought possible, saving taxpayers nearly $30M. When completed in 2013, Wakefield will serve not only as a high school, but also as a valuable – and much needed — community resource.

Although our schools still have work to do, we’ve closed the achievement gap between majority and minority students by about 50% as shown by Virginia Standards of Learning. The Washington Post’s Challenge Index ranks our 4 high schools in the top 1% nationally. People like Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and companies like Boeing move to Arlington, in part for our excellent schools. And, as more people choose to live in Arlington, the student population grows. As a school system, we have worked aggressively to accommodate rising enrollment, through a number of coordinated short-, mid-, and long-term strategies.

This is not a race for School Board, but the traits and characteristics of a successful board member on an effective, responsive Board are the same. They are:

  • Establishing, and sticking to, clear goals and priorities that reflect what citizens have made clear are the most important needs of our community;
  • Being transparent, monitoring progress and reporting back to the taxpayers, even when the reports aren’t so good;
  • Being a team player who remains an independent thinker, one who speaks up, who questions and proposes alternatives.

For 15 years, you have seen me maintain that necessary balance. Independent, original thinking coupled with my years of service and experience is exactly the combination our community needs in our next County Board member.

Finally, we also need someone who has stood, and will continue to stand, up for our core civic responsibilities: public safety, education, transportation, physical infrastructure, affordable housing, and concern for the most vulnerable.
Again, I have a long track record. A commitment to civic responsibility — and to building a better community for everyone – is the thread woven throughout the fabric of my life. I am proud of my service – in the Peace Corps; as a PTA leader; on the School Board; and, and in the wake of 9/11, representing area school boards on the National Council of Governments’ Emergency Preparedness Council.

Whether born in Arlington or a transplant from elsewhere, we Arlingtonians share something important: a sense of community and a commitment to making Arlington a place where the system works for everyone. As we grow and change, we must keep that sense of community and shared values. That is why I’m running for County Board.

If elected, I promise to work as I always have — to listen to you, to look ahead, and to make decisions that I believe will serve our entire community well. I ask for your vote on March 27.

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It is the decision of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) to implement the Proposed Action: the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update (Pentagon Master Plan) as the framework to guide future decisions regarding land use and infrastructure at the Pentagon site and Mark Center. The Pentagon Master Plan aims to provide an update to the existing conditions at the Pentagon and Mark Center and presents projects and revisions to land use categorizations that will address the specific needs to reduce the Pentagon’s environmental impacts and advance sustainability, security, and resilience. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review has been completed through preparation of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate environmental impacts arising from implementation of the projects. WHS has concluded that no significant impacts to the human or natural environment will result from implementation of any projects, and recognized negative effects will be reduced by adherence to standard best management practices, applicable permit and consultation conditions, and standard operating procedures. This decision is further documented in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed on March 20, 2024.

This notice announces the availability of the FONSI to implement the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update.

For further information and to request a copy of the Final EA or FONSI, please contact Brian King, Environmental and Sustainability Program Manager, WHS/Facilities Services Directorate/Standards and Compliance Division/Environmental and Sustainability Branch; (703-614-3658 or [email protected]). Please include “Pentagon Master Plan Final EA and FONSI” in the subject line.

Submit your own Announcement here.

The 3rd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference will feature Thomas Silverstein, renowned Fair Housing expert and Associate Director of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Come hear the latest news about fair housing enforcement, policy, and programs within Arlington County, Virginia, and across the country! Our expert panelists and guest speakers include fair housing advocates, elected officials, and government officials tasked with advancing housing equity at the local, state, and federal level.

Arlington has made substantial strides in advancing housing equity and improving fair housing policy with the adoption of the Regional Fair Housing Plan in 2023. Come learn what’s next to fight housing discrimination, incorporate equity for marginalized populations in our housing policies and programs, and increase awareness of fair housing rights under state and federal law.

We’ll have updates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing federal rule, a panel discussion of fair housing progress at the General Assembly and across Virginia, and a panel of local experts discussing the progress Arlington has made and what remains to be done.
Please RSVP in advance to ensure you receive your free lunch at the conference. Free and open to the public.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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“The Secret Garden”

The St. Andrew’s Players Present “The Secret Garden”

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