Last week, we invited the two candidates seeking a seat on the Arlington County Board to write a post on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 3 general election.
Here is the unedited response from the Arlington County Board Chair and Democratic incumbent Libby Garvey.
I appreciate the opportunity to say why ArlNow readers should vote for me. Strong, experienced leadership is always important, but during the difficult year ahead as we move through the pandemic into recovery, it is more important than ever to have good leadership on the County Board. I am the candidate most able to provide that leadership.
During the 15 years I served on the School Board I focused on equity and helped close the achievement gap by over 50%. I focused on wise spending and helped renovate or build new almost every school building in Arlington on time and on budget, including the first LEED certified school building in Virginia.
In my 8 years on the County Board, I have continued to focus on equity, wise spending and the environment. I have helped increase support for affordable housing and programs for our elderly residents so they can stay in their homes and stay part of our community. I’m proud the Board adopted an equity resolution last year and hired our first chief equity officer this year. The planet and our own environment have always been a focus for me. I have helped improve parks throughout the County and support their maintenance and protection. We adopted our Community Energy Plan last year, setting a goal for 100% of our electricity coming from renewable sources. We are well on track to meet that goal. This past March we joined the global Biophilic Cities network which fosters connections with nature.
Since my time on the School Board, I have continued to focus on wise spending, halting unwise projects like the streetcar and the too-expensive aquatics center which was redesigned and now is being built within budget. I helped bring in project management practices that ensure against cost overruns. I helped bring Amazon HQ2 here with conditions that are very favorable for Arlington.
Having come to Arlington in 1977, raised two daughters and now with grandchildren growing up in Arlington, my roots are deep in our community. Nevertheless, while I helped build the Arlington we have today and know our community pretty well, I continue to learn new things every day. It is one of the many things I love about my job.
Another thing I love is how I am able to use the regional networks I’ve built over the years to help Arlington. The pandemic has shown everyone how very interdependent we are across Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC. Over the next year or two, we will need to work even more closely with businesses and our regional colleagues to recover in a way that leaves us stronger, more equitable and more resilient than before.
This year, as Chair of the County Board, I often found myself thankful for the years of experience I could draw on to help lead our County through one of the most difficult years I think any of us can remember. Looking forward to the next 4 years, I believe the focus area themes of equity, innovation, and resilience that I set out in January will continue to serve us well.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you. My lifetime of experience, relationships, values, and commitment will continue to serve you well as we face an uncertain future.
I hope I will have your vote and support so I can continue to work on the County Board to make Arlington a community where everyone can thrive.
For more information about my service and positions go to libbygarvey.com.