Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
In a Morning Notes story this week, ARLnow linked to a letter to the editor of the Sun Gazette. The writer of the letter suggested enacting mandatory term limits for Arlington County Board members via a term limit ballot proposal.
Although the letter writer did not say so, his proposal would have to be authorized by a new Virginia law. Current Virginia law does not authorize such ballot proposals, although current law does authorize a petition process that could lead to the recall of an individual County Board member by Arlington’s voters.
The ARLnow story generated a huge outpouring of passionate commentary about the pros and cons of mandatory term limits. Many argued vehemently that term limits were the only way to change bad public policies. They attributed those bad policies to the dominance of Arlington’s local government by long-time Democratic incumbents.
Others argued just as passionately that in a democracy, it’s up to the voters to make these decisions. If the majority of Arlington’s voters keep electing Democratic incumbents, then the majority has spoken. For this group, that’s all there is to it.
Most people who participated in this ARLnow debate were convinced they were right, the other side was wrong, and they were not going to change their own opinions.
Regardless of the passion that mandatory term limit supporters are likely to retain, it just ain’t gonna happen. The Virginia legislature — composed entirely of incumbent elected officials — would have to change the law. Don’t invest your emotional energy counting on this possibility.
But, those who cavalierly dismiss complaints about Arlington’s public policy shortcomings, saying voters who want change can just vote out those long-time Democratic incumbents, are underestimating how hard that is to do.
So, what’s the solution?
The solution lies primarily in the hands of my party — the Arlington Democratic Party. There are two parts to it. The first is to make primary challenges more acceptable and more common. The second is to encourage more of our Democratic elected officials to limit voluntarily how long they remain in the same office.
We have a very talented and deep bench among Arlington’s Democrats. These men and women can hit major league pitching. They just need their turn at bat.
Peter Rousselot is a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
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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
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
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