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Alan Howze: Why You Should Vote for Me

Alan HowzeThis week, we asked the candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them in the special election on April 8.

Below is Democrat Alan Howze’s unedited response:

Please Join Me and Move Arlington Forward!

I am optimistic about Arlington’s future.  We have built a great community. Together we can make it even better.  I ask for your vote on April 8 so that we can preserve what makes Arlington special and create a brighter tomorrow for everyone in our community.

Progressive Values

Values guide decisions. So you should know where the candidates stand.

I was born in Arlington Hospital and grew up on Jackson Street.  My wife, Pam, and I are raising our three children here because we love Arlington and its progressive Democratic values of equality, opportunity and shared prosperity.

I believe in protecting a women’s right to choose, and would defend it from TRAP efforts.

I believe we should care for our neighbors.  This is why I strongly support expanding Medicaid to cover more than 6,000 Arlington residents who do not have access to healthcare today.  Expanding coverage would protect jobs and the fiscal health of Arlington’s our largest private employers, the Virginia Hospital Center.  It would also save millions of dollars that Arlington County spends today to provide local healthcare services, and would allow for additional state funding for other important priorities such as education, public safety, and the environment.  Expanding Medicaid is fiscally responsible and it is the right thing to do for our people, our local economy, and our community.

This is why I have called upon my Republican-backed opponent, Mr. Vihstadt, to tell voters if he supports expanding Medicaid coverage, or if he stands with Republicans who are blocking access to healthcare for thousands of Arlington residents.  Arlington voters deserve to know.

Investing in Education and Transportation

The investments we have made in our community are the foundation of our success. As a County Board Member, one of my top priorities will be making smart investments in education and transportation. This means continuing to improve Metro – including by adding capacity to reduce the Orange crush – and creating new, high-quality transit through the Arlington Streetcar Line.

And this means thoughtful investments to ensure Arlington’s schools remain among the best in the nation. School overcrowding is one of the biggest challenges we face. As a County Board Member, I will find solutions. I have a personal stake in this: no other candidate in this race, or current County Board Member, has children in Arlington Public Schools.

A New Voice for Innovation & Oversight

I have worked hard to reach out to all of Arlington.  I have knocked on thousands of doors and listened carefully to resident’s needs and concerns.  I will use my community experience — Civic Association President, Fiscal Affairs Commission, PTA, Housing Solutions Board — and my business experience to find solutions to school overcrowding, neighborhood safety, and affordable housing.

I am proud to have the support of Arlington Educators, the Sierra Club, LGBT Democrats of Virginia, National Organization of Women, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, and labor organizations LiUNA!, IBEW, and UFCW, as well as community leaders including Paul Ferguson, Mary Hynes, Emma Violand-Sanchez, Frank O’Leary, Ingrid Morroy, Beth Arthur, Mary Margaret Whipple, Bob Brink, Abby Raphael, Jay Fisette, Noah Simon, James Lander, Ed Fendley, Dave Bell, Sally Baird, Karen Darner, Judy Connally and Joe Wholey, plus many more. 

My experience working for Gov. Mark Warner and nearly a decade working for IBM have given me insights on how to improve our local government.  While most Arlingtonians I’ve spoken with are optimistic about our community, cost overruns on some key county projects threaten to erode confidence in our government’s management.  I know we can do better.

On the Fiscal Affairs Commission, I pushed for enhancements to the County’s audit, financial management, and analytics capabilities. I have also strongly supported a focus on core government services, recommending increased funding for paving and leading a task force that focused on the maintenance needs of our parks and facilities.  However, a focus on core services does not mean, as some have suggested, that we should stop investing for the future needs of our community.  That short-sighted approach will undermine our future prosperity.

We have a great community, built on progressive values, care for our neighbors, and sound long-term infrastructure investments.  I ask you for your vote so I can l work with you to find innovative, durable and fiscally sound solutions to the challenges that we face.

Together, we can move Arlington forward.

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As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

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