Last week, we invited the four candidates running in the general election for a seat on the County Board to write a post about why our readers should vote for them next Tuesday (Nov. 2).
Here is the unedited response from Audrey Clement:
I’m Audrey Clement, Ph.D., Independent candidate for Arlington County Board. As a 17-year Westover resident, long time civic activist, and former member of the Transportation Commission, I’m running for County Board because it has pushed harmful policies resulting in:
- overcrowded schools,
- loss of green space, and
- a 10-year average annual effective tax rate increase that is more than double the rate of inflation.
The pandemic has challenged residents’ ability to make ends meet, with many businesses shuttered and people out of work or facing eviction. In response other Northern Virginia jurisdictions reduced their tax rates earlier this year. Not so Arlington County Board, which adopted a tax package that together with rising assessments increased the effective real estate tax rate by 6 percent. (See FY 2022 Adopted Budget, Revenue Summary, p. 114)
Another Board priority that I oppose is its push for so-called “missing middle” housing–multi-family dwellings in single family home neighborhoods. Contrary to what the County says, “missing middle” is a euphemism for up-zoning that will not make housing more affordable. Instead, it will inflate land values, resulting in higher housing prices, overcrowded schools, more traffic congestion, loss of tree canopy, increased runoff and more air pollution.
The County under my opponent’s leadership has packaged up-zoning as the solution to racial inequality despite the fact that few minorities will qualify for mortgages on up-zoned lots.
Finally, while I agree with the police reforms recently adopted by the General Assembly, I oppose symbolic gestures. The fact that Lee Highway has a new name and the County has a new logo, means nothing to people of color facing inferior employment, housing or educational opportunities.
Changing the name of W&L High School in 2019 did not close the minority student achievement gap. In fact, it helped hide the dirty little secret that the County was investigated by the Justice Department in 2018 for discriminating against English language learners.
The inequitable policies pushed by Arlington County government are the direct result of the fact that it has been controlled by the same political party for decades. Some have criticized the fact that I’m a repeat candidate for public office. I’m proud of my record of challenging the political machine that runs this County, and I solicit your support in defeating it.
If elected, I pledge to:
- Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
- Say YES to affordable housing and NO to “Missing Middle” up-zoning.
- Preserve Arlington’s cultural heritage. Stop permitting the destruction of historic structures like the Rouse estate that was demolished in March, 2021.
- Save our parks, streams and tree canopy. Stop clearcutting wooded areas along Potomac tributaries in the name of stream bed restoration.
- Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.
- Promote real democracy. End one party rule in Arlington County.
If you share my agenda, then:
- Spread the word about my candidacy.
- Donate to my campaign.
- Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
Are you ready to buy your first home, but concerned about saving for a down payment? Grab a drink and join us for 45 minutes to learn more about how you can buy your first house with 3%, 5%, or