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Matt de Ferranti: Why you should vote for me on Nov. 8, 2022

Democratic County Board candidate Matt de Ferranti (courtesy photo)

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 the Democratic nominee for the County Board, Matt de Ferranti.

Working with all Arlingtonians to address our biggest challenges–growing our economy to expand opportunity for all, combatting climate change and protecting our environment, investing in our schools to foster educational excellence for all, and increasing housing affordability–motivates me to run for re-election to the County Board.

Fighting the Coronavirus

Last year during the height of the pandemic, as County Board Chair I used the bully pulpit to successfully advocate for more vaccines–especially for those most vulnerable to COVID. I worked to provide you with the information you needed to stay safe, and, at my urging, the County made significant efforts to provide rent and food assistance.

Growing our Economy to Benefit All Arlingtonians

Good-paying jobs and a strong commercial sector are critical to a thriving economy. As Chair of the Board, I worked with labor to pass our collective bargaining ordinance and prevailing wage ordinance. Each will help make sure County employees and those who work on County projects are paid a fair wage.

Arlington’s strong commercial sector has historically helped balance homeowner and commercial real estate tax burdens while allowing us to provide good County services. Keeping that balance is why I supported the Amazon agreement.

Combatting Climate Change and Protecting our Environment

I pushed for high goals in Arlington’s revised Community Energy Plan in 2019 and strongly supported the solar farm that will help County government get to 100% renewable electricity in County operations by 2025. I also led on increasing the proportion of county vehicles that are electric and in establishing our office of climate coordination. If re-elected, I will focus on getting Arlington as a whole community to 100% renewable electricity by 2035, continuing to address our stormwater challenges, investing in sustainable mobility and transportation, and protecting our trees and natural resources.

Excellent Public Schools for All Students

I began my career as a teacher, so I know that teachers are the backbone of educational excellence and equity. That’s why in this year’s budget I worked with my County and School Board colleagues to provide a significant salary increase for our teachers and school staff. Continuing to strengthen our schools has and will always be a priority for me. The County Board has a responsibility to work with APS to make sure we have enough appropriate space for learning and the resources needed to deliver a world-class education.

Addressing our Housing Challenges

During my Chairmanship we were able to preserve over 1330 affordable apartments at the Barcroft Apartments AND guarantee that none of the 1100 households living there at the time of sale will be involuntarily displaced. If a private developer had bought the complex, it would have been demolished to become market rate apartments, causing thousands of Barcroft residents to lose their homes. I also led in addressing the conditions at the Serrano apartments, strengthening the County’s oversight of AHIF projects, and in reducing homelessness.

Our housing market does not have enough private market options at various price points for Arlington residents who want to buy or rent here. Over the last 20 years the price of homes in Arlington has skyrocketed. We must act to address that reality, but how we do so is critical. That’s why, on missing middle, I have and will continue to listen to every point of view and do not support the full staff framework that was proposed in late April.

Instead, I support thoughtful, tiered changes to our zoning policies to increase the supply of housing that is available for homeownership and rental units for young families and seniors who wish to downsize. I believe we should allow duplexes on our smallest lots and tier additional units based on the size of lots. I do not support eightplexes, since I believe the costs are not worth the benefits. I am committed to thoughtful policies, a balanced approach, and the significant work still ahead on this issue.

The Choice You Have on Tuesday

Over the past four years, I have worked my heart out, listening to your concerns and engaging to address them. To learn more about me, go to mattforarlington.com, here. For my views on the issues, go here. For a list of the organizations and individuals who support me, go here. Then, once you have considered all of the issues, hire the County Board Member you believe is the best leader to serve you on all of these important issues over the next four years.
I humbly and respectfully ask for your vote.

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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