Arlington, VA

Last week, we asked the four candidates seeking a seat on the Arlington County Board to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election. 

Here is the unedited response from independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement.

I’m Audrey Clement, Ph.D., Independent candidate for Arlington County Board — a 15-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist, and member of the Transportation Commission. Why am I running? Because my opponents indulge in constant doublespeak.

Katie and Christian say they want to preserve trees. Yet in 2018 they allowed a developer to chop down a 75-year-old state champion Dawn Redwood near a Potomac watershed in North Arlington, replacing it with a McMansion in contravention of the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance.

On September 24, they approved a deal to cede a VDOT acquired parcel of land at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn site to a private developer contrary to a prior pledge to preserve it as parkland.

My opponents claim to support affordable housing. Yet, they’ve permitted dozens of market-rate garden apartments in Westover Village to be razed, replacing them with luxury townhouses, tree denuded lots and flooded streets.

True. County Board approved a deal to purchase and renovate some of the Westover properties as committed affordable units, but at the expense of half the existing tenants, who were thrown out because they weren’t income qualified.

For over 3 years, Katie and Christian have been sitting on a citizen petition to preserve the remaining buildings as historic, preempting a legally required public hearing on the matter.

Katie and Christian say they can provide more affordable housing by upzoning single family neighborhoods. This is an illusion. When North Arlington is upzoned, there will be 2 to 4 new town homes priced a $1 million each for every single family tear down.

At a recent candidate forum, Christian Dorsey refused to recuse himself from union business on the WMATA Board even though unions contributed the bulk of his campaign funds this year–$10,000 alone from the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Christian says he doesn’t have a conflict of interest in accepting union money as a WMATA Board member, because WMATA doesn’t deal with union matters. Yet WMATA Board minutes indicate that it has approved 4 union contracts since September, 2018.

If you’re tired of Board member’s doublespeak, it’s time for a change. If elected, I will do what I say and say what I mean. I will also:

  • Say NO to tax-rate increases and pay grabs by County Board
  • Insist that developers pay their fair share for public infrastructure;
  • Develop a flood prevention and mitigation program;
  • Install renewable energy on County-owned buildings; and
  • Provide a voice for all taxpayers on County Board
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