Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Although the streetcar system (which the Sierra Club supports) is often cited as the determining factor between the two candidates, the Sierra Club does not endorse based on one issue or position. Instead, we look for the best environmental candidate across a range of issues, including clean air, energy efficiency, open space, recycling, smart growth as well as transportation as a whole.
Before endorsing Alan, we looked at Alan’s written statements, interviewed Alan, and reviewed his environmental work. Based on that review and his impressive accomplishments, we chose to endorse him.
We previously endorsed Alan when he was one of two 2010 Democratic primary candidates (together with current Del. Patrick Hope) we supported for the then open 47th District seat.
Since 2010, Alan has continued to work for sound environmental initiatives — ones we believe will make him a Board member who will make decisions to support a more sustainable Arlington.
For example, Alan has actively supported expansion of the Arlington ART bus service and Capital Bikeshare stations, both adding to residents’ transportation options. As a member of Arlington’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee, he supported the Complete Streets program that makes Arlington streets accessible for pedestrians, bikes and vehicles.
Alan has spoken out about the need to address global warming and the threat that it poses to Arlington, including critical infrastructure such as National Airport and the Water Pollution Control plan. He knows Arlington can’t solve this issue on its own — but that we can take concrete action in our community to reduce carbon emissions and make our community more resilient.
Professionally, Alan has participated in a number of initiatives evidencing to the Sierra Club his deep environmental commitment.
Alan started his own energy audit firm to help homeowners make decisions that benefit the environment and save money. He worked on IBM’s Smarter Planet program, which helps the public sector create energy efficiency systems. He has worked for Virginia’s Natural Resources office and on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Alan understands the need for smart growth and the importance of matching smart growth with policies to protect and expand committed affordable housing. The Sierra Club has guidelines for local activists on affordable housing and neighborhood redevelopment to help guard against gentrification. Alan demonstrated a commitment to helping retain affordable housing and replacing market-rate affordability with committed affordability that protects those units for the next 20 or 30 years. Making sure people living in the affordable units have adequate public transit is part of our guidelines.
The local Sierra Club group (named the Mount Vernon Group, but consisting of members in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and eastern Fairfax and Prince William Counties) endorsed in 2007, and continues to support, the planned streetcar system that will include Arlington, Fairfax County and, eventually, Alexandria. We expect that the system will ultimately be part of a broader regional system.
Our 2007 streetcar review led us to believe that a streetcar system starting at Bailey’s Crossroads and running down to and through Crystal City was the best long term transit option for the growth that was sure to take place on the Columbia Pike and Route 1 corridors.
We looked at that decision again in 2012, when Arlington prepared to submit an application for federal funding. Although Arlington is no longer seeking federal funding, based on our 2012 review, our conclusion remained that the streetcar is the right option. The corridor already has the heaviest bus transit in all of Virginia and BRT simply is not suitable for the streets that will comprise the system. Only the streetcar will meet long term capacity requirements. And we will get a cost-effective system that is expandable and fits within the regional transit structure.
A plus in Alan’s column was his decision to support the streetcar and leveraging substantial funding from other sources to complement the $130-$140 million in dedicated transit funds that Arlington will use to pay for its portion of the build.
But it is his overall environmental record that places him head and shoulders above the competition and convinced us he would be an outstanding County Board member.
Rick Keller is (Robert C) Keller is the Chair of the Mt. Vernon Group, Virginia Chapter, Sierra Club. He is retired from the U.S. Department of Labor and has lived in Arlington since 1960.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 14680 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…
Police issued a traffic ticket every six minutes, on average, during an enforcement effort in front of Nottingham Elementary on Thursday afternoon.
Police swarmed the Rosslyn neighborhood after an alleged thief led an officer on a brief foot pursuit.
It’s holiday time and the lights are coming on in Arlington. Over the next several weeks, a slew of tree lightings, Santa visits, markets, and holiday celebrations are happening around…
Join us December 10 & 11 for our Annual Handmade Holiday Workshop Series. We have a myriad of fun and festive programs from linoleum block wrapping paper printing and buttonhole book making workshops led by Eliza Clifford to a meditative grid workshop and Calligraphy Card Making with Anjelika Deogirikar. Join these wonderful artists and get creative this holiday season!
If you’re looking for a mental health professional in Virginia, Washington D.C., or Maryland, we can help.
We provide a confidential and convenient way to get the help you need from the comfort of your own home.
We offer a free 15-minute consultation to see if our services fit your needs.
The services we offer are:
Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!
Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration
Experience the festival of lights!!
*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah