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by ARLnow.com — November 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Tannia TalentoLast week we asked the two candidates for Arlington School Board to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the November 8 election.

Here is the unedited response from Tannia Talento (D), who along with Nancy Van Doren is running unopposed:

Thank you to ARLnow.com for the chance to engage Arlington voters before the election on Tuesday.

I decided to run for Arlington County School Board because I believe that every student, regardless of their circumstances, should have equitable access to a quality education and I have been advocating for this throughout my life. My focus as a member of our school board will be to expand mental health education and resources for all of our students, eliminate the achievement/opportunity gap, and address our capacity needs with transparent and robust community engagement.

We have strong community involvement in our schools. Many of our stakeholders work very hard to make our school system the best it can be, but there are stakeholders in our community who are underrepresented, who should be involved in the process. I will advocate for these communities and bring everyone to the table. As a first-generation American to immigrant parents, I know how hard it can be to get involved in the school system and have a voice if you are an immigrant, a working parent, a minority, or face a language barrier. I will make sure to bring these perspectives to our Board.

Arlington Public Schools is making slow progress to improve our mental health support systems and as a board member, I will ensure that we make mental health a priority in APS’ Whole Child Initiative. According to a recent NPR Ed Series on mental health, 1 in 5 students has symptoms of a mental health disorder in any given year. We need to work harder to address the mental health needs of our students. I will make sure we continue to focus on this issue and to bring awareness and education to our students, parents, and community on how this silent epidemic is affecting Arlington students.

Arlington’s school challenges are community-wide challenges that can only be faced with the support and input of every stakeholder in the county. Our achievement/opportunity gap can be eliminated, but only if we have every stakeholder at the table working towards the common goal of creating an education system that works for every student, not just most students. One of the ways I will address this is to review our data at a granular level to truly understand the reasons for the gap so that we work together to serve our students as individuals and not as statistical blocks. We have the passion, commitment, and resources in our schools and community to make this happen but we cannot serve our students if we do not understand their needs as an individual.

Finally, I plan to address our capacity needs with transparent and robust community engagement. Again, we will have to work together to come up with creative solutions that support the new Virginia Board of Education’s Profile of a Graduate initiative and the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Both of these new measures will affect how we prepare our students to be 21st-century learners and ensure they are college and career ready students that can enter our colleges and workforce prepared and with choices for life-long success.

Since the Democratic Caucus in May, I have continued the work on advancing these goals and advocating for every student. This summer and fall, my focus has been on meeting with numerous parent and community groups on how to share my goals and vision and to learn about their priorities and concerns. I have also been meeting with our existing School Board members and County Board members to ensure that I am informed, prepared and ready to start working on day one if elected.

I look forward to serving this community and working hard to make Arlington, not one of the best school systems in the country, but rather, the best school system in the country. I humbly ask for your vote on November 8th. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my candidacy and my vision for our schools. For more information about me and my campaign, please visit my website at www.tanniatalento.org.

by ARLnow.com — November 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Nancy Van Doren

Last week we asked the two candidates for Arlington School Board to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the November 8 election.

Here is the unedited response from incumbent Nancy Van Doren (D):

I am seeking re-election to the Arlington School Board and ask for your vote on November 8, 2016. I also ask that you vote for our “Stronger Together” Democratic team, including Tannia Talento, Libby Garvey, Don Beyer, Tim Kaine, and Hillary Clinton. Please vote “Yes” on the School and other County Bond Referenda.

Since joining the Board in 2014, I have brought family and community voices to the table to ensure that APS maintains the highest educational standards while expanding capacity for its growing student population. In recognition of this work, I have been endorsed by A-PAC, the political action committee of the Arlington Education Association.

As a member and now Chair of the School Board, I have maintained my focus on instruction and educational excellence. My primary goal is to prepare every student to be successful in our 21st century economy. To this end, I have ensured an increase in specialized interventions for struggling readers, expanded opportunities for students with disabilities to succeed alongside non-disabled peers, ensured high expectations for English language learners, and supported the expansion of foreign language classes at all elementary schools. I continue to support APS’ digital learning initiative, which provides all students with access to technology to strengthen their learning. I fully support the launch of Arlington Tech, a new STEM-centered high school program that includes hands-on learning, industry credentialing, and dual enrollment classes for college credit.

To meet APS’ growing capacity needs, I supported the internal renovation project at Washington-Lee High School that added 300 seats. I support similar projects at Wakefield and Yorktown High Schools as well as the recent renovation of the Fenwick building, which now houses an additional 300 seats for Arlington Community High School. I voted for additions and renovations at Stratford, Abingdon and McKinley Schools as well as for a new secondary school in Rosslyn and elementary school in South Arlington to be built and opened by fall 2019. I served as the School Board liaison to the APS/County Community Facilities Study and am working to implement its recommendations to better coordinate County and School facility resources. I strongly support funding in APS’ 2016 Capital Improvement Plan to complete needed current and future projects on time and within budget. I will continue to advocate for funds to increase high school and elementary school capacity as soon as possible, so APS can meet the needs of what will be a 30,000-student school system by 2022.

Today, my priorities remain clear:  maintaining a keen focus on educational excellence for all our students while building a strong infrastructure to meet the needs of our expanding school system.

Before joining the School Board, I volunteered on various APS committees covering instruction, transportation, and special education.   I served as Jefferson Middle School PTA president, founded the ArlingtonADHD and ArlingtonReading parent support groups, and co-founded the Arlington Latino Network.

Prior to moving to Arlington, I lived overseas with my husband, Jack Zetkulic, in Serbia, Sweden, and Switzerland. We have lived in Ashton Heights with our four children since 2004.  In addition to my Arlington school system experience, I had previously worked in business and communications. I spent 12 years in the private sector with Connecticut National Bank, The Travelers Companies, and The Hartford Courant in Hartford, CT. and then at Newsday in New York. I am a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and have a Masters in Management from The Hartford Graduate Center/ Rensselaer. I lived in Spain and Nicaragua and am fluent in Spanish.

by ARLnow.com — November 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Polling place volunteers work with voters at Arlington Traditional School

Who should you call should you suspect election fraud or voting rights abuse at the polls on Election Day next week?

The regional U.S. Attorney’s Office says to give them a call.

In a press release, prosecutors say that such complaints on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 8) will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Gillis, who can be reached at 703-299-3700.

For more mundane problems at the polls that don’t rise to the level of a federal offense, voters can notify one of the poll workers or call the Arlington County elections office at 703-228-3456. Officials say Arlington is well-prepared for the anticipated crush of voters during a particularly contentious presidential election year.

The full U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, after the jump.

File photo

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by ARLnow.com — October 27, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Audrey ClementAudrey Clement is running for Arlington County Board, again.

It’s true, Clement may be a perennial candidate, but she has dedicated supporters and, more importantly, she goes to the trouble of running for local office when other serious challengers to the Democratic candidate are often nowhere to be found. It’s hard to view that as anything other than a positive in our democratic system.

Clement’s ideas may seem a bit incongruous — she bikes everywhere but doesn’t like bike races, she is in favor of affordable housing but generally against new development — but she is consistent in her views.

On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we asked Clement about her opposition to those bike races; her opposition to development, particularly recent development in Westover; her support of renewable energy; and her desire to lessen the tax burden on Arlington residents.

Listen below or, better yet, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com — October 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm 0

Congressman Don Beyer delivers a speech at the Arlington Jobs and Infrastructure Press Conference outside of Courthouse Metro StationOur podcast guest this week is Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.).

Beyer is a freshman member of Congress who’s running in his first reelection campaign.  Since succeeding long-time congressman Jim Moran, Beyer has been focused on a number of issues of importance to voters in the Eighth District of Virginia, which includes Arlington.

We asked Beyer about some of those issues, like the rehabilitation of the Memorial Bridge and aircraft noise from Reagan National Airport, as well as this year’s election and, of course, the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

Be sure to subscribe to ARLnow.com’s podcast, 26 Square Miles, on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com — October 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm 0

Charles Hernick (screenshot via charleshernick.com)At a time when Donald Trump is at the top of the Republican Party’s ticket, GOP congressional hopeful Charles Hernick is, well, not anything like Donald Trump.

He’s a policy wonk who isn’t one for heated rhetoric. He’s an economic conservative who’s largely a libertarian on social issues. He believes more needs to be done about climate change.

Hernick truly believes he can do a better job in office than Rep. Don Beyer (D), but — unlike the current presidential race dynamic — doesn’t think Beyer should be jailed. In fact, Hernick acknowledges that Beyer is basically free of skeletons in his closet, which makes running against him even more of an uphill battle than he would otherwise face in the deep blue Eighth District of Virginia.

We talked with Hernick about the issues, about Trump and about Hernick’s own one-time intra-party foe, the ever-interesting Mike Webb.

Be sure to subscribe to ARLnow.com’s podcast, 26 Square Miles, on iTunes, Google Play,Stitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com — October 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) “Girls” star Lena Dunham campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Rosslyn Tuesday afternoon.

The actress, writer, producer and director attended a lunch with Arlington young professionals at Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd) around 12:30 p.m. She spoke of the importance of electing Mrs. Clinton and defeating GOP candidate Donald Trump.

“The message I just wanted to share with millennials, with people my age… is just to say that voting isn’t the only way that you engage civically, but it’s one of the most important ways,” Dunham said. “So many people don’t [vote] and it’s so important that we take advantage of that power. None of us wants to see a country that Trump is imagining… and the only way we can prevent that is getting out on November 8th.”

“Something that I say a lot is that I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton because she is the lesser of two evils, I’m voting for her because she’s the president that I’ve wanted since I was six years old,” she said. “I know so many women and men who feel that way and it’s so heartening to see a room full of people who I know are ready to advocate for that.”

After the Rosslyn event, Dunham was scheduled to attend subsequent events at George Mason University and in Falls Church, where she was to encourage Northern Virginia residents to check their voter registration status and register to vote by the Oct. 17 registration deadline.

“Dunham will lay out the stakes of this election, discuss with voters why Donald Trump’s pattern of disrespecting and demeaning women makes him unfit to hold our nation’s highest office, and share her support for Clinton’s agenda to make us stronger together and raise the minimum wage, fight LGBT discrimination, ensure women have access to reproductive health care, and tackle climate change,” according to a Clinton campaign press release.

A rush transcript of Dunham’s remarks at the restaurant, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

The Aurora Highlands polling station during a 2010 electionVirginia voters heading to the polls on Nov. 8 will have five presidential candidates to choose from.

The state certified five candidates for the general election and sent a notice to local election officials today.

The qualified candidates, in the order they will be listed on the ballot, are:

  • Hillary Clinton (Democrat)
  • Donald J. Trump (Republican)
  • Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
  • Jill Stein (Green Party)
  • Evan McMullin (Independent)

Another independent candidate, “Rocky” Roque De La Fuente, did not qualify for the ballot.

by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

The polling place at Barrett Elementary School is slow for the 2014 special electionThe presidential election showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has been endlessly covered on cable news, online and in print this summer. The Arlington County Board race — considerably less so.

Next week, the week of Labor Day, is the traditional kickoff of the local election season, with such landmark events as the Arlington County Democratic Committee chili cook off and the Arlington County Civic Federation candidates forum.

The rule of thumb is that most voters aren’t paying much attention to local races between the primaries and Labor Day.

But that hasn’t stopped certain local candidates from doing some campaigning this summer. Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement, for instance, just sent out a press release detailing a number of campaign pledges, including building more school capacity at a lower cost.

Clement is facing off against Democratic incumbent Libby Garvey in November.

Republican congressional candidate Charles Hernick, meanwhile, sat down for a Reddit Ask Me Anything session in July. And Mike Webb, who’s running as an “independent conservative” write-in candidate in the congressional race, has blasted out some 100 press releases since he lost to Hernick in the Virginia 8th District GOP convention. (During that time Webb also accidentally made national news.)

Hernick and Webb will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Don Beyer and little-known independent candidate Julio Gracia in November.

Our question for readers: what has been your level of interest in these general election races so far? Is it even worth trying to campaign in the summer, or should candidates perhaps stick with the Labor Day conventional wisdom?

by Tim Regan — August 18, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Michelle Kwan, photo via Twitter : Hillary for VAA decorated former Olympian will campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Arlington today.

Olympic medalist and former figure skating world champion Michelle Kwan is slated to attend three Clinton campaign events in Northern Virginia, two of which will be in Arlington, according to a press release.

Kwan will make stops at a phone bank in Arlington’s Dominion Hills neighborhood and at a Thai restaurant in Ballston “to discuss Clinton’s agenda for tax fairness and help launch ‘Asian American and Pacific Islander Virginians for Hillary.'”

Kwan’s full schedule of appearances is below:

Small Business Retail Walk

WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 12:00 PM
WHERE: Eden Center, 6751 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church, VA

Arlington Phone Bank

WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 4:30 PM
WHERE: 6035 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA

AAPI Virginians for Hillary Launch Happy Hour

WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Tara Temple Thai Restaurant, 4001 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA

Photo via Twitter / Hillary for Virginia

by Adrian Cruz — August 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) speaks alongside Del. Charniele Herring (D) at a press conference outside of the Courthouse Metro station

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would help fix Memorial Bridge and the Metro system if she is elected president, local congressman Don Beyer said today.

Speaking at a brief press conference outside the Courthouse Metro station, Rep. Beyer (D-Va.) said Clinton would make it a top priority in her first 100 days in office to break through Washington’s gridlock and make the biggest investment in jobs and infrastructure since World War II.

Her economic plan would add jobs to the economy via investments in U.S. infrastructure, Beyer said, including Northern Virginia’s “two great priorities” — Memorial Bridge and Metrorail.

Without more investment, Metro’s long-term capital budget and the deteriorating bridge — which just received a federal grant — would continue to suffer, he said.

“We know the incredibly important role that infrastructure plays in job creation, economic development and raising incomes,” Beyer said. “In Virginia, we expect our leaders to enact policies that help our economy thrive. Hillary Clinton is committed to building an economy that works for everyone in Virginia and America, not just those at the top.”

Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s former chief economic adviser, who joined Beyer and Del. Charniele Herring (D) at the news conference, said Clinton’s plan would have economic benefits for everyone.

“Hillary Clinton’s vision is an inclusive vision where economic growth benefits not just those at the very top, but middle class and lower-income households as well, where investments are made not simply in the bank accounts of those at the very top of the scale, but in people across the income scale,” he said.

According to the Clinton campaign, an analysis by Moody’s economist and former McCain adviser Mark Zandi suggests that Clinton’s economic plan would create 271,000 jobs in Virginia, compared to a projected loss of 89,000 jobs under Republican nominee Donald Trump’s economic plan. (Trump updated his plan in a speech today.)

Not everybody was impressed with the mid-morning press conference. An ART bus driver, picking passengers up at a nearby bus stop, asked a news photographer what was going on. Upon hearing that it was a pro-Hillary press conference, and that the candidate would not be attending, the driver said he was voting for Trump, before driving off.

by ARLnow.com — August 2, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Audrey ClementAudrey Clement says those who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary should come over to her side in the Arlington County Board election.

Clement, a perennial candidate who is running as an independent this year, after formerly running under the Green Party banner, says that she shares the “disappointment that Senator Sanders did not succeed,” a still touchy subject among some Democratic voters.

“I happen to share a lot of Bernie’s values,” Clement says in a press release, below. “I will place meeting the needs of all Arlington residents first and the wants of wealthy special interests last on my agenda when elected to County Board.”

Clement later says that her opponent, incumbent County Board Chair Libby Garvey, has gone back to “rubber stamping the Arlington Democratic Party’s agenda” after splitting from party leaders over the Columbia Pike streetcar.

The full press release:

I’m Dr. Audrey Clement, Independent candidate for Arlington County Board.

I applaud the efforts of all those Arlington voters who worked hard to make Bernie Sanders the Democratic Nominee for President, and I share your disappointment that Senator Sanders did not succeed.

I happen to share a lot of Bernie’s values, among them a sincere interest in good government. As an Independent, I will place meeting the needs of all Arlington residents first and the wants of wealthy special interests last on my agenda when elected to County Board.

So I’m asking you to join my campaign in order to make progressive changes locally that you tried to make nationally.

I live in affordable housing that’s in danger of being bulldozed for million dollar townhomes, displacing seniors, students, the disabled, and the working poor. I want affordable housing preserved and new affordable housing built that’s actually affordable for everyone in Arlington.

I’ve ridden a bicycle everywhere for decades. But bicycles shouldn’t be Arlington’s only transportation alternative to more parking for thousands more single-occupant vehicles.

And it’s time for on-site renewable energy installed throughout our County.

It’s time for electric vehicles throughout our County, charged by renewable energy sources.

It’s time to put a moratorium on Smart Growth — which is just a euphemism for gentrification — until there’s a comprehensive evaluation of where Smart Growth is taking our County.

Who wants to live in a County that is unaffordable to anyone who earns less than 100% of area median income, or $110,000 per year?

Not me.

My opponent says she’s “progressive”.  She initially voted against the Pike Streetcar and the most extravagant excesses of the Democratic Old Guard.

But, having been challenged in a primary election by an Old Guard Democrat, she’s gone back to rubber stamping the Arlington Democratic Party’s agenda.

With your help we can have better, more diverse, County Government at less cost.

Please visit my website — www.AudreyClement.com — to volunteer, donate and/or comment on issues of concern to you.

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

On Friday, Hillary Clinton announced that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was her VP pick, capping months of speculation about the Democratic presidential nominee’s running mate.

The announcement rippled through Virginia politics, with elected officials from a local level on up weighing in on the decision.

Among Democrats representing Arlington in Richmond or across the Potomac, many were quick to praise the pick.

Said Sen. Mark Warner, in a statement:

I enthusiastically applaud Secretary Clinton’s choice. Without reservation, I can say there is no one of higher integrity and trustworthiness.

I first met Tim Kaine in law school 37 years ago, and our paths crossed years later in Virginia politics.  Whether serving as mayor of Richmond, Virginia’s lieutenant governor, governor, and now as U.S. senator, Tim has always shown a commitment to serving others.

He always finds reasons for hope and optimism in every situation, and he is centered by his faith and his family. Our country, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be very well-served by electing Tim Kaine as Vice President.

Said Gov. Terry McAuliffe:

I am thrilled to congratulate my friend Senator Tim Kaine on his selection to join the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton. As a Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor and United States Senator, Tim Kaine has demonstrated that he is the right choice to help lead our country forward as Vice President of the United State. His experience, intellect and dedication to making life better for people from all walks of life will make him an enormous asset to Secretary Clinton throughout the remainder of this campaign and as a leader in her administration over the next four years. This is a proud day for every Virginian.

Said Del. Alfonso Lopez:

Secretary Clinton has made a wise choice in Tim Kaine as her running mate. He is an extraordinary public servant who has dedicated his life to helping others. In his administration, I coordinated and supervised Congressional and Federal Relations for the Commonwealth and the Governor. In that position, I saw firsthand his intelligence, innate decency and ability to get folks from all points of view to work together.

A tireless champion for the citizens of the Commonwealth, Tim Kaine takes a pragmatic and results-oriented approach that has earned him respect on both sides of the aisle. He is a strong addition to the Democratic ticket and will be a true asset to a Clinton Administration.

Simply put, my old boss and friend U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is one of the best public servants and one of the best individuals I’ve ever encountered. In a world that sometimes feels like it has lost its way, the nation will benefit greatly from the leadership, compassion and infectious optimism of Tim Kaine.

Said state Sen. Adam Ebbin:

The speculation about who Gov. McAuliffe might appoint to replace Kaine in the U.S. Senate, should he and Clinton win the presidential race in November, has already started.

Among the local names being mentioned as possible Senate appointees are Rep. Don Beyer, Aneesh Chopra and Del. Lopez.

by Tim Regan — July 22, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine delivers a speech

Who will presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton choose as her running mate? Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) is reportedly on the top of her resume pile.

Kaine, 58, is said to be the frontrunner among the people Clinton is considering as the Democratic National Convention nears its opening in Philadelphia next week.

So far, Kaine hasn’t given much indication as to whether Clinton might choose himbut there are signs that such a pick would make sense. Additionally, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said earlier this week that Kaine is someone President Obama would recommend for the job.

Kaine, who speaks Spanish, attended Harvard Law School and was a Catholic missionary before entering the political realm. He has served as Mayor of Richmond, Governor of Virginia and was elected to the senate in 2012.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is the other top candidate for the job, the Washington Post reported.

Clinton is expected to choose her running mate “soon,” according to Hillary for America director Adam Parkhomenko:

by ARLnow.com — July 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm 0

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) President Fitzgerald Grant will be making a campaign appearance at a Clarendon bar tonight.

“Scandal” actor Tony Goldwyn, best known for his role as President of the United States on the ABC drama series, will be attending a Democratic young professional happy hour tonight in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The event is taking place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at American Tap Room (3101 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon. RSVP is required.

“I have been passionate about Hillary’s campaign for a long time,” Goldwyn said in a recent email to Virginia residents. “She is the toughest, smartest, and kindest candidate we could wish for, and I know she’s got what it takes to be president. (It isn’t an easy job — except maybe when the Oval Office is on a soundstage!)”

“I so look forward to meeting you and hearing the reasons why this election matters to YOU,” Goldwyn continued. “We may even have time for a selfie!”

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