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The Right Note: Will Democrats Work With Republicans Again in Richmond?

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

A recent lawsuit on the House of Delegates boundaries resulted in a court order to the General Assembly to redraw the lines by the end of October. A new standard of constitutional review in regards to the consideration of race in determining legislative districts is now being insisted on by the courts.

This week Republicans released a second plan that seeks to meet the requirements of the court. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Democrats say they still want to find a legislative solution. This is encouraging as Governor Northam had previously expressed the view that the courts should just redraw the lines. The same Times-Dispatch article seems to indicate some in Democrat circles were still debating if they should find a compromise or wait to see if they will get a better political outcome from the court.

Nationwide, there is an effort to take the ability to draw legislative district lines out of the hands of the legislative and executive branch and put it in the hands of unelected independent commissions. This is a valid public policy debate that can be voted on by your elected representatives.

More disturbing is the idea that political parties who did not control the redistricting process are running to the courts to overturn the results. And it is not just about the consideration of race. In Pennsylvania, the state supreme court struck down a Republican-drawn Congressional district map simply for being too partisan. A federal court did the same thing in North Carolina.

Turning our attention back to the Virginia House of Delegates map. It would be a complete abrogation of the duty of our elected representatives to simply toss this decision to the courts. The judges are simply not directly accountable to the people for the results.

The original plan was agreed to in a truly bipartisan fashion, with an overwhelming majority of Democrats supporting it. The General Assembly should produce a plan again. When they do, Governor Northam should sign it.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

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