Last week we asked the six Democratic Arlington County Board candidates to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them during the June 9 primary. Two County Board seats are up for grabs this year.
Here is the unedited response from Christian Dorsey:
On June 9th, voters in the Democratic primary will select their nominees for two open County Board seats. Six candidates. Two slots. I ask that you select me, Christian Dorsey, for one of them.
Serving on the County Board requires having the ability to govern paired with the temperament to provide leadership on a range of issues from unsafe sidewalks to long-term capital investments. And now, perhaps more than ever, Board members must bring practical experience, strategic thinking, a commitment to inclusive decision-making and thoughtful independence if we are to realize what I believe is our shared vision–a strong and sustainable community.
To realize that vision, we need to: make it easier for small businesses to thrive in Arlington so that homeowners do not bear a disproportionate tax burden; prudently expand affordable housing so that modest wage workers, teachers, county employees and retirees are not priced out of our community; build adequate school capacity so that schools can focus on instruction; prioritize the nuts and bolts, like fixing potholes and sidewalks and enhancing pedestrian safety; and create opportunities for growth by improving public transportation.
As a south Arlington resident, daily bus rider and parent of two school-aged children, I regularly experience the issues that we must confront as a County. My professional and civic experiences provide a solid foundation for me to find solutions to our challenges. I have served on the Planning Commission, chaired the Tenant-Landlord Commission and was a member of the Affordable Dwelling Unit ordinance task force. I currently serve on an advisory committee to the School Board that is concerned with facilities and capital programs.
But, my experience has not been limited to providing advice. I have been the CEO of several non-profits that: delivered outstanding literacy support for low-income children; pioneered a pop-up social services center in south Arlington; and developed a model diversity education and inclusion program for students. Additionally, I assembled a development team that built an Earthcraft certified apartment building in the Nauck neighborhood.
As Arlington now faces the fundamental question of how to accelerate economic growth and strengthen the commercial sector to alleviate the squeeze on residential taxpayers, I have a unique and unrivaled expertise to make sure we get it right.
As a senior leader at Washington’s Economic Policy Institute, I lead the development of the alternative federal budget for the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I know what it takes to align a budget with strategic objectives and how to ensure that it delivers maximum value to taxpayers. Furthermore, I understand that the growth we need will be facilitated by freeing businesses from unnecessary red tape and inefficient processes. And retail, in particular, will benefit when we succeed in making housing more affordable so that even when income growth is stagnant, residents will have more money to spend.
Arlington’s future can be bright, but it will require hard work and making smart choices. I am prepared and eager to do my part, and I ask for your vote. To see why Delegate Patrick Hope, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy, School Board Member Abby Raphael, former Delegate Karen Darner, former School Board Member Frank Wilson, the Arlington Education Association PAC, Working Families, New Virginia Majority and many of your friends and neighbors endorse my campaign, visit www.christiandorsey.org.