Progressive Voice is a new weekly opinion column. It will be written by a rotating group of contributors. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Arlington is a great place to live and work. Arlington has for many years enjoyed attractive communities, safe streets, excellent schools, wise planning and prudent investments. No community is perfect, to be sure, but Arlington continues to grow and attract new residents because it consistently delivers quality services and effective government.
Arlington’s successes are no accident; they are the result of decades of sound, fiscally responsible progressive leadership. This column – which will run weekly on ARLnow.com – will present articles from a series of authors who believe – as does a large majority of Arlingtonians – that Arlington’s progressive values matter and should remain at the core of Arlington’s decision making. Individual views on particular issues may differ, but what unifies us – and advances our Arlington community – is our shared commitment to keeping Arlington dynamic, diverse, and highly successful.
The result of over 30 years of progressive leadership in Arlington is a richly diverse, well-educated population and a community that continues to offer the best of urban living while retaining strong neighborhoods and the values of a smaller town.
A generation of farsighted planning, coupled with the community’s willingness to make investments in its future, have created the strong transit-oriented, mixed-use corridors that are so attractive to young adults, empty nesters and others who prefer to live and work in higher-density centers. For young adults, Clarendon was recently named the #1 place in the entire region – and one of the top places in America – to live.
These corridors have also generated much of the revenue supporting core County services. Commercial taxpayers account for approximately 50% of all property tax revenues, compared to approximately 30% regionwide. This growth has enabled Arlington to spend more per pupil than any other Northern Virginia jurisdiction and earn accolades for some of the country’s very best public schools. (Indeed, Arlington has continuously increased funding for its schools even though almost 88% of Arlington households have no school age children.)
At the same time, through smart planning, community input, and well-managed growth, Arlington has protected parks and open space and Arlington’s neighborhoods retain their basic character. Many such neighborhoods are attracting young families – a trend that has increased our school-age population. In addressing the challenges of our growing schools population, we cannot shortchange investments in other priorities that attract people to Arlington and make our education spending possible.
Our progressive vision has also placed Arlington in the forefront of the effort — locally, in Richmond, and at the federal level — to promote affordable housing options and look for ways to accommodate those who want to keep living in Arlington as they enter their senior years.
All the while, these progressive policies, investments, and fiscal prudence have given Arlington one of the best credit ratings of any locality in America – saving millions of dollars in borrowing costs – and ranking Arlington among the top places in America across a broad range of success criteria.
To keep moving Arlington forward, we cannot abandon the progressive vision that has made our community such an attractive place to live. We cannot stifle managed, well-planned growth that we will need in order to generate revenues necessary to sustain core services and educational achievement. And we cannot ignore, or create false economies about, the infrastructure and transit investments that are necessary to achieve those revenues and objectives.
Our Progressive Voice columnists are looking forward to discussing this sensible progressive agenda with you in ARLnow in the weeks and months to come.
Carrie Johnson is a local civic activist, a progressive Democrat, and served as a member and two-time chair of the Arlington County Planning Commission.
Everyone has flat screen TVs already so how about a more interesting Black Friday special? The ARLnow Press Club for free, to try out the daily Early Morning Notes email…
There’s not a whole lot going on in Arlington today, save for activity at local shopping centers, so we’re going to fast forward right to the top story countdown. Here…
Statues of Liberty gives thanks this holiday season and grateful for a few things this year.
It’s turkey time. Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and extra revelry can be expected at some local bars tonight, ahead of the holiday. Please be careful on the roads and…
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 76th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 25th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to huge 14 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garlands, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Art House 7 is a small art studio in Arlington – offering instruction in painting, ceramics, sewing and more. We are looking for kind, dedicated people who love both creating and teaching.
Ceramic Teachers are needed to teach wheel-throwing to adults and 6-12th graders and to teach hand building to elementary grades. Classes have 3-8 students.
Drawing teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. For kids, we offer cartooning, manga or traditional drawing. For adults, we only offer traditional drawing.
Painting teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. We offer oil, acrylic or watercolor for adults or teens. All elementary classes use acrylic and tempera.
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist