Editor’s Note: This weekly column is written by Jason Howell, former independent candidate for U.S. Congress. This is the second of three weekly opinion columns that ARLnow.com will be publishing in 2013. The columns, from local thought leaders across the political spectrum, are intended to introduce fresh ideas and spark community conversations about issues of local and state interest.
Long before there were political parties, there were independent minded individuals. Along the way, despite the warnings of the first elected Independent, President George Washington, party factions took over our political system. Today, they are strangling it. In Virginia, we don’t register to vote by party in part, I imagine, because we are citizens before we become partisans. That is the spirit of this column.
Beginning today, thanks to your thoughtful editor, ARLnow.com will host a regular column that pays tribute to the independent minded viewpoint founded in all of us. This column is called “Independent’s Day” and will celebrate one day a week when we can tackle local issues without partisanship. Unlike the 4th of July, which celebrates our independence as a country, on these published days we will celebrate our independence as citizens. Each is our day, hence the intentionally possessive title of the column.
Every column belongs to the reader rather than the writer. Like my 2012 campaign, all of my “wins” were yours. When I was asked to write this column I mentally added one win to that list. Serving Arlington and the entire 8th Congressional District of Virginia as a candidate was difficult but not hard. I enjoyed meeting so many of you as I knocked on doors, manned booths at festivals and stood at the Metro Stations.
Last Thursday, the 112th Congress left the stage and the 113th Congress was sworn in at noon. I looked really hard at the crowd on C-SPAN but my wife and I were not in it. Despite this rather cruel fact, I have committed to serve you in unelected ways and this column is one of those. I have also committed to stay as close to the issues as I was during the campaign. Because we are a Republic, “we the people” are responsible for the outcome of our country. I believed that during our campaign and that gave me the courage to run as an Independent for United States Congress. I believe that now, as a lay citizen of the country and Arlington resident.
ARLnow.com readers are some of the sharpest thinkers in the county. I can surmise this by your razor sharp sense of humor and your follow up research in many of your article comments. You will be happy to know that many of your neighbors are also as sharp, thoughtful and interested in keeping our neighborhoods some of the best places to live in the world. I have been asked to focus this column on local and state issues rather than the federal issues that consumed most of my campaign. Thankfully, there are many of these issues and I am excited to share an independent-minded perspective.
It is harder to be non-partisan. Not just in a campaign but when filtering the news sources and statistics that are often created by “special” interests. I will do my best to remain apolitical when analyzing the issues discussed in this column. I know you will do your part in keeping me honest.
Thank you for reading this far, caring about Arlington, Virginia and the country. Your citizenship will help us get past the partisanship. With your continued attention, we will always be better tomorrow than we were yesterday.
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Arlington is poised to take a proverbial weed whacker to commercial properties with overgrown lawns and all properties with obstructive vegetation. Last month, a proposal to change the ordinance pertaining…
Meet the beautiful Koda, a glass half full kinda dog who searching for his forever home.
It appears as if Courthouse’s newest date night spot won’t be open for Valentine’s Day. The opening for the hotly anticipated Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd has been…
Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.
$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.
$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.
$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.
Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.
On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.
Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.
On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village