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JD Spain: Why you should vote for me

County Board candidate JD Spain (courtesy photo)

Last week, we invited the candidates running in competitive races in the June 20 Democratic primary to write a post about why Arlington residents should vote for them. Find information on how and where to vote here.

Below is the unedited response from JD Spain, candidate for Arlington County Board.

My entire career has been focused on public service because of a sense of duty and service that my parents instilled in me at a very young age. We’re at a pivotal point in our community where proven leadership is of the utmost importance to effectively serve and earn the electorate’s trust. As a 14-year resident of the Penrose Community who has worked diligently with many stakeholders over the years, I have seen firsthand how focusing on single issues fails us. Without diversity of thought and robust community input in the public policy process, we are left with a deeply divided community. That’s why I am a uniter of people and the one candidate who has a track record of bringing people together. Moreover, I am the only candidate with broad working experience at the highest levels of our local, state, and federal governments, internationally, and with nonprofits. I will be ready to lead on day one.

I care deeply about addressing the mental health care needs of Arlington residents, especially because children and young adults are struggling. I am laser-focused on  increasing our affordable housing, protecting our environmental resources for the next generation, and improving community safety and economic security for our businesses, residents, and seniors. I want to help build an innovative economy where all Arlingtonians may thrive.

What will that look like? You can expect from me faithful and transparent stewardship of our budget, our environmental resources, and a push for more sustainability in our governmental practices. You can expect better pedestrian and public transit infrastructure so that everyone – younger, older, with different levels of mobility – can get around safely in our communities. You can expect me to take a thoughtful approach towards increasing housing affordability and opportunity so that the children we educate here can start their adulthood here, and so that our workforce spends their dollars locally to benefit our economy, not just in commuting from elsewhere. You can expect me to protect workers’ rights against wage theft and exploitation. You can expect an experienced leader in civil rights and inclusion who will tackle the systemic barriers that prevent our residents from unleashing their full potential. Finally, you can expect focus from day one on our population’s acute mental health needs, with creative solutions to provide support that helps improve and save lives.

I will collaborate extensively with our community to shape an Arlington that’s more innovative, inclusive, sustainable, affordable, and united, pulling upon my 30+ year track record of thoughtful public service. I served our country honorably for 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring in December 2016. The hallmarks of a Marine are honor, courage, and commitment, and those characteristics are part of my moral fabric. I will bring these qualities and values to the County Board, always putting people first.

Having served on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate, on a diplomatic assignment abroad for four years, as a Senior Legislative Advisor-Pentagon, and a former federal investigator, I thoroughly understand what it takes to socialize, shape, and enact public policy. I am a team player and results-oriented, transformational leader. I served as president of the Arlington Branch NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, from 2018-2022, working alongside many local leaders to ensure our government is fair and impartial to its citizenry.

I am happy to have the support and trust of Senator Barbara Favola, County Board Members Matt de Ferranti and Takis Karantonis, School Board Members Mary Kadera and David Priddy, former School Board Members Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez, Nancy Van Doren, James S. Lander, and Monique O’Grady, and many others along with community leaders including Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, Jr., Saundra Green, Janeth Valenzuela, Kellen MacBeth, Andrew Schneider, Lloyd Wolf, Adele McClure, and Chanda Choun. In addition, I am pleased to have earned the endorsement of AFSCME, VoteVets, Sierra Club, NoVA LABOR, Greater Greater Washington, Moms Demand Action Candidate Distinction, Northern Virginia Realtors-PAC, YIMBY’s of NOVA, IBEW Local 26, VoteProChoice, LiUNA, and Arlington Education Association, among others.

This campaign is about proven experience, trustworthiness, judgment, inclusion of all people, and vision. I hope my body of work and my vision of a greater Arlington will inspire you to allow me to represent you on the County Board and finally put the people first. I am requesting your 1st choice vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 20. Learn more at Thank you!

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