Earlier this week, we invited the candidates running in Tuesday’s general election to write a post about why our readers should vote for them. Find information here on how and where to vote in Arlington on Nov. 8.
Below is the unedited response from independent County Board candidate Adam Theo.
As Vice-President of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association, a voting delegate to the Arlington County Civic Federation, and co-founder of the grassroots housing advocacy group YIMBYs of Northern Virginia, my heart is in Arlington’s future prosperity and security.
I am a veteran of the Air Force Reserves as a structural civil engineer with a deployment to eastern Afghanistan. The military taught me the incredibly useful skills of carpentry, welding, masonry, and even some plumbing and electrical work – all very handy for the “civilian world,” too.
I’ve lived both sides of law enforcement: not only as a video producer working alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement officers in their important work towards public safety and homeland security — but also incarcerated in county jail back down in Florida after some troubled teenage years. That was the start of my awakening to the desperate need for criminal justice reform, which became a passion of mine for the rest of my life.
Before moving to Arlington a decade ago, I had been homeless — twice! — including during DC’s Snowmageddon winter 13 years ago, which I spent doing day labor at construction sites, moving furniture, and shoveling snow for various towns and businesses around the region while living out of my car. Today, I do what I can to help others in even worse situations by volunteering with Bridges to Independence — an excellent organization full of great people.
It’s these experiences — unlike any other County Board candidate in our lifetimes — that have made me into the strong-willed and optimistic champion for our future that will always fight for those most in need.
I’m always willing to get my hands dirty. My volunteer and advocacy work extends to organizing trash cleanups and county park adoptions, helping improve the Mount Vernon and W&OD trails, consistently speaking for affordable housing, and being a champion of the controversial “Missing Middle” housing reform — taking hold of that lightning rod despite fierce opposition.
But enough about myself, it’s Arlington that is the most important topic. We deserve an Arlington that is safe, affordable, and accountable. With your help, we will:
- Prioritize Public Safety in our county budget to finally deal with our dangerous roads, flooding, and insufficient mental health programs.
- End the Housing Crisis with an “all of the above” solution that includes lowering property tax rates from historic highs, more townhomes and garden condos with “Missing Middle” housing reform, and doubling our affordable housing investments.
- Bring True Accountability and Reform to our county operations by fully funding the County Auditor’s office, implementing Ranked Choice Voting in local elections, and prying open full transparency from the county government.
I want to earn your support to be your challenger to the establishment and move Arlington forward. My supporters are not the party insiders trying to preserve the status quo, nor are they the selfish interest groups fanning fear about change. My supporters are the activists and outsiders who have a clear vision for our future and the dedication to see it through.
I am endorsed by Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County, both former Young Democrat and former Young Republican leaders, fierce public safety activists, and highly respected advocates for governance reform.
My name is Adam Theo, the independent candidate for Arlington County Board. Find out more about the campaign at the website, donate, and sign up to be a volunteer on election day. Thank you.
Editor’s note: Candidates for local races are invited in advance to submit candidate essays, via contact information ARLnow has on file or publicly-listed contact information on the candidate’s website. Reminders are sent to those who do not submit an essay by the evening before the deadline.
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