This week, we asked the Democratic candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them in the Democratic caucus. The caucus is being held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. today and from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Here is the unedited response from Cord Thomas:
This election is about asking several very important questions:
- Would Arlington benefit from a different perspective? Or do you want the status quo (more of the same)?
- With a 20 percent commercial vacancy rate and dwindling tax revenue, who is the best person to improve our small business relationships, recruit new business, and support entrepreneurs? A consultant, and accountant or a small business owner and entrepreneur?
- Do you want a candidate who continues to spend on large, unnecessary capital projects? Or do you want a small business owner who understands how to deliver projects on time and on budget?
- Do you think a non-establishment candidate with strong Democratic values and business experience would be an added benefit to the board?
If you answered these questions like the majority of Arlingtonians, then please allow me to introduce myself … My name is Cord and I am running for Board!
Like the opinions of thousands of Arlingtonians, I too believe that the greatness of Arlington is in its diversity of experiences — and that is why I’m running for Board. I believe in the importance of real-life experience. At 15 years old, I had lost both of my parents; my mother to a violent crime and my father after an auto accident. As an orphan, I had to rely on social safety nets and the kindness of a school teacher.
Nearly 10 years ago, I moved to Arlington and started enviroCAB, the nation’s first all-hybrid taxi company. EnviroCAB changed an industry proving that transportation and the environment are not mutually exclusive. I am also a founding partner of Elevation Burger’s Franchise Company. Today, Elevation Burger operates over 40 restaurants in seven different countries. Because of my experience in business, I know how to build relationships and get things done. I will bring these same skills-sets and resolve to the Arlington County Board.
Arlington is a great place to live, shop, and work. However, our communities are growing and schools face overcrowding while our tax base is shrinking. Now more than ever, we need to bring new business to Arli
ngton and focus on ensuring our tax dollars are spent wisely. I am the only Democratic Candidate that has said publicly that I lack confidence in Arlington’s ability to build the “Columbia Pike Streetcar.” I am also the only candidate that has taken issue with the Long Bridge Aquatics Center and its outrageous costs.
If elected, I will help our community focus on essential services by not funding legacy projects but rather funding community projects. I will prioritize reaching out to our shrinking commercial tax base and will actively support and recruit new businesses.
I am the only candidate running who has developed, built, and operated a successful business in Arlington County. Through my business experience, I have a proven track record of fiscal responsibility. My personal experience gives me an appreciation of the impact of social safety net programs.
The current Board is currently comprised of champions of affordable housing, education, and environmental issues, however, the Board lacks the perspective and experience I have when it comes to what accounts for 50 percent of our tax base: business.
At the end of the day, this election is a job interview. My resume, real life experience, and desire to serve all Arlingtonians — not just the same 40 people in a room — is why I am the best candidate for the Arlington County Board.
And heck, my name even rhymes with the job … CORD for BOARD … so vote for me Jan. 30 and Feb. 1!