Last week, we invited the two candidates running in the Democratic primary for Arlington County Board to write a post about why our readers should vote for them next Tuesday (June 8).

Here is the unedited response from Chanda Choun:

People always ask me why do I run for elected office.  As a 15-year Army Reserve veteran, business manager and technology professional, I continue to believe that I am the best person to provide missing skills and experience in local government that will lead us successfully into a post-pandemic new world. Each run adds to our collective story and forces changes, both large and small. But there are also other fundamental reasons.

As a Christian by way of the church that sponsored my family as Cambodian refugees to America during the Vietnam War era, I believe that giving my life to others is the ultimate act of love.

As a Buddhist by way of my family heritage, I believe that we are accountable for all that came before us and bear the responsibility for all who will come after us.

Thus, we have a system that needs fixing and wrongs that need righting.  My Freedom and Justice Plan for Arlington, a culmination of five years of community campaigning and study, calls for fundamental changes to local power and policy. It will:

  • Secure the local economy amidst the remote work revolution.

  • Be aggressive, adaptable, accountable with vaccine rollout.

  • Close the Digital Divide by ensuring that all Arlingtonians will have universal access to fast, affordable internet by 2023.

  • Protect our middle and working class.

  • Grow our diverse communities.

  • Update the local form of government to become more representative and responsive.

With me:

  • We can take a stand on what Arlington will look like 20 years from now.

  • We can get on a path that is sustainable — financially, environmentally, and socially.

  • We can get back to work, back to school, and back to living.

Folks, I’m not a flash in the pan.  This isn’t the first time I’ve run for local elected office.  This is the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time depending how you count it (see campaign platform again about updating local form of government).  My initial run last year got wrecked by the pandemic and then emergency Arlington County Democratic Committee party candidate nomination rules created in response to the special election, which only allowed little more than 200 party officials and current electeds to choose the Democratic nominee.

The people deserve a fair open election, and now they are getting one this June 8. I believe in the lower D democratic process.  I believe in the civic process: the Arlington Way.

I’ve been an officer of my civic association in Buckingham for many years.  I’m a delegate to the Arlington County Civic Federation and formerly on its Board of Directors.  I’m a current Arlington County Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commissioner and Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families Out of School Time Councilmember.  I’m also a member of the John Lyon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3150 located off of Lee Highway near Mom’s Organic Market.

For Arlington County, will we own up to our current transformative developments and challenges?

  • The lost diversity of people in both race and economic class the past 20 years.

  • The lost tree cover and historic neighborhood floods in the face of development pressures.

  • The increasing taxes and fees on residents by thousands of dollars year-after-year to close never-ending budget gaps.

I will be the transformative Arlington County Board Member that fundamentally takes on these challenges.  Vote for the Freedom and Justice Plan this June 8, and let’s have a good election.  It’s the democratic thing to do.

(Name pronounced CHAHN-duh CHOON): https://chandachoun.com/meet-chanda/

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