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President Joe Biden and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe will be holding a “grassroots event” near Ballston on Friday.

The campaign event is being held at Lubber Run Park, next to the new Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive). Gates are slated to open at 5 p.m. for members of the public who RSVPed online to attend.

“President Biden and Terry will discuss Virginia Democrats’ commitment to creating good paying jobs, making health care more affordable and giving every Virginia child a world class education,” the McAuliffe campaign said in a press release.

The location was not initially revealed when the event was first announced last week.

McAuliffe, who formerly served as governor prior from 2014 to 2018, captured the Democratic nomination for another term last month. He is running against Republican nominee and businessman Glenn Youngkin.

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President Joe Biden is planning a visit to Arlington next week.

Biden will be visiting the county on Friday with former Virginia governor and current Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, according to McAuliffe’s campaign.

“On Friday, July 23, President Joe Biden will host a grassroots event with Terry McAuliffe in Arlington, Virginia,” says an RSVP page for the event. “President Biden and Terry will discuss Terry’s commitment to creating good-paying jobs, making health care more affordable, and giving every Virginia child a world-class education.”

The exact time and location of the campaign event has not been revealed.

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Less than a week before the primary, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Del. Alfonso Lopez, and Virginia Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn paid a visit to Acme Pie Company on Columbia Pike.

All three Democrats are running for office in the upcoming primary, set for Tuesday, June 8 — with early voting happening now. (Filler-Corn is unopposed in the primary.)

Around slices of blueberry and lemon curd pie, joined by Acme’s owner Sol Schott, they discussed small businesses, economic recovery, and their love of pie.

“The best pie in America,” Lopez said about Acme’s offerings. A few moments later, McAuliffe bought a whole pie.

“I got five kids,” the McLean resident and former governor said as his reasoning.

The campaign stop was intended to highlight the plight and hoped-for recovery for Virginia’s small businesses.

“Almost 41% of Black and Brown [owned] businesses have closed. How do you rebuild? How do you bring small businesses back?,” McAuliffe asked. “We do microloans, access to capital, and working on the regulatory structure.”

While Acme Pie has found ways to survive over the last year, it’s been rough going with the shop losing a large slice of its wholesale business.

The business did get a Paycheck Protection Program loan and Schott said that one of the most frustrating aspects was dealing with paperwork and navigating the legalese.

“I would like to see some more hands-on help with paperwork,” Schott told ARLnow. “I did get help from Alfonso personally on that.”

Lopez, who is facing an intra-party challenger in his run for re-election in the 49th District, agrees that the paperwork and amount of work that small business owners need do to gain access to loans and capital can be a barrier.

“What we need to be doing is dealing with procurement reform… and changing the definition of what a small business is,” Lopez said in an interview with ARLnow. “There’s so much more we could do to help these folks who are literally putting everything into their dream of a small business and be able to take care of their family.”

McAuliffe, who is seen as the front-runner for the competitive Democratic gubernatorial nomination, told ARLnow in an interview that the Commonwealth needs to be directly involved in providing access to capital to small businesses.

“We as a state should stand up our own, basically, investment bank structure to help small businesses, to get them off their feet, and work with them,” he said. “The state being involved in micro-financing and other lending opportunities, I think is very important for us.”

The four spoke about other issues impacting residents in Arlington and across Virginia, including education and affordable housing.

“We’ve got to invest in education… You’ve got to have the best education system if you’re going to recruit businesses in the 21st century,” McAuliffe said. “Today, [Virginia] is 50 out of 50 states in average teacher pay. That’s disgraceful… so, raising pay above the national average.”

Read More

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The Trump campaign famously has had boat parades. Over the weekend the Biden campaign organized a car parade in Arlington.

On Saturday, the first day of expanded early voting, Biden’s Virginia campaign held a Latino Car Parade “to encourage¬†Latinos¬†to vote early and highlight the importance of the¬†Latino¬†vote in Virginia.”

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), Arlington School Board member Tannia Talento, and School Board candidate Cristina Diaz-Torres participated in the morning event, which culminated in early voting at the Walter Reed Community Center near Columbia Pike.

“The Biden-Harris Administration will get this pandemic under control, protect¬†Latinos’ access to health care, and reform our broken immigration system,” the campaign said in a press release about the event.

Those participating in the car parade and subsequent rally were required by the campaign to adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions, “including wearing masks, temperature checks, and practicing social distancing.”

President Trump’s reelection campaign, which is based in Rosslyn, does not currently have any publicly-listed events planned in Arlington.

The car parade was not the only local Democratic political happening of note this weekend. Elected officials, including Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Don Beyer, visited several early voting locations on Saturday.

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Morning Notes

Dorsey’s Union Check ‘Lost in the Mail’ — “The $10,000 donation that cost Metro board member Christian Dorsey his position was returned to the agency’s largest union five months ago, but the check was never cashed — because it was lost in the mail, Dorsey and the union said.” [Washington Post]

Opioid Overdoses Rise in Arlington — “Since the start of the year, nine individuals have recovered from opioid overdoses following the deployment of Nasal Naloxone (also known as Narcan) by responding officers. This comes as the number of¬†police investigated incidents¬†involving opioids begins to rise, with fatal incidents now surpassing those reported in 2019.” [Arlington County]

Crash in Crystal City Last Night — “ACPD on scene of an overturned vehicle and downed tree on Route 1 at 20th Street S. Two people self-extricated from the vehicle, reported to be a black Mercedes.” [Twitter]

Arlington Man Facing Child Porn Charges — “An Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigation by federal, state and local agencies has resulted in the arrest of an Arlington man. Detectives arrested Christopher Morse, 51, and charged him with five counts of Possession of Child Pornography.” [Arlington County]

5G Antennas to Be Deployed on Light PolesUpdated at 9:10 a.m. — “We are excited to share that a new 5G streetlight pole prototype is on display in Courthouse (southwest corner of 14th Street North and North Courthouse Road) until Aug. 7. ” [Twitter, Arlington County]

Differing Views on Trail Widenings — “Some who oppose¬†NoVA Parks’ proposed W&OD Trail widening in Arlington,¬†support¬†widening the northern section of the Mt. Vernon Trail. Longtime bicycle activist Allen Muchnick says the proposed Mt. Vernon Trail widening is not really comparable to NoVA Parks’ proposed W&OD widening for multiple reasons.” [Audrey Clement]

Va. Real Estate Market Heating Up — “According to the June 2020¬†Home Sales Report¬†released by Virginia REALTORS, home sales in most regions of Virginia are rebounding, following spring’s slowdown due to COVID-19. There were 13,176 home sales statewide in June 2020, up 0.5% from a year ago and up nearly 30% over May 2020 sales.” [Press Release]

Flickr pool photo by Cyrus W.

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While many elections are spaced out over months, sometimes even years at the presidential level, three Arlington candidates have been running for County Board in a 61-day sprint towards the special election on July 7.

Takis Karantonis (D), Susan Cunningham (I) and Bob Cambridge (R) are all first-time candidates in the most unconventional race in recent memory.

“It’s unprecedented and extremely short,” said¬†Karantonis. “We have the COVID-19 [pandemic] and¬†it is a special election [held] right after Fourth of July. Everything you can imagine that is non-typical for an election is typical for this one.”

The 61-Day Campaigns

The special election was triggered by County Board member Erik Gutshall’s resignation in April. Ten days later, Gutshall died after a battle with brain cancer. On May 7, Karantonis bested three other candidates to be chosen as the Democratic nominee¬†in a closed caucus.

Karantonis, and economist and the former director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, faces opposition in the election from Cunningham, a business executive and independent who has been involved in several major planning efforts, and Cambridge, a Republican and former instructor in the CIA.

For each candidate, it’s been a struggle to adapt over the span of weeks to national and local changes — from the phased reopening to the Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd.

“It was right at the end of April [when Gutshall resigned], ” Cunningham said. “I mulled it over, talked it over, then filed before the end of the month and before the party caucuses. It was not particularly premeditated — it was an unusual time with a lot of grieving and a lot of need. The rest of us were shaken by Erik’s death and we had to get a lot of signatures in the middle of the pandemic.”

Without a party infrastructure to back her up, Cunningham said she has had to take a grassroots approach in a compressed election cycle when traditional door-to-door campaigning grassroots tactics weren’t viable. Cunningham considered throwing her hat into the ring for the Democratic primary but said she felt more comfortable running as an independent.

“I thought long and hard about whether to run as an independent because there’s only, like, one example of that working,” Cunningham said, referring to independent John Vihstadt’s victories over Democratic candidates until he was bested in 2018. “It really was a values-based decision. I’ve always through local government should be non-partisan. The issues are not the national party issues; it’s potholes and schools.” Read More

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieig is coming to Arlington this weekend, and might be bringing some traffic headaches along with him.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana will be holding a large, town hall-style event at the Washington-Liberty High School football stadium on Sunday from around 2:45-5 p.m.

Arlington County Police are warning of¬†“large crowds and increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area related to the event.” Police will be on hand to monitor traffic and potentially implement some road closures, the department said.

Parking is limited in the area, but a rideshare drop-off and pick-up done has been established across the street from the high school, at Quincy Park. The school is also within walking distance of the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations.

More from ACPD:

A public Town Hall event is being held at Washington-Liberty High School stadium, located at 1301 N. Stafford Street, on the afternoon of Sunday, February 23 from approximately 2:45 PM until 5:00 PM.

The public can anticipate large crowds and increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area related to the event. The Arlington County Police Department will monitor traffic conditions and may implement road closures in the interest of public safety. Those traveling in the area should follow the direction of officers.

Getting to the Event

Parking in the area is extremely limited. Participants are encouraged to arrive using multi-modal and public transportation options to reduce vehicular congestion. The Ballston and Virginia Square metro stations, located on the orange and silver lines, are a short walk to the event location.

Motorists are advised that no event parking will be permitted at the North Quincy Street Development located at 1425 and 1435 N. Quincy Street.

Rideshare Pick-Up and Drop-Off Location

A designated rideshare pick-up and drop-off zone has been established at the Quincy Park parking lot located at 1021 N. Quincy Street. Rideshare vehicles will enter the lot in the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street and exit in the 3900 block of Washington Boulevard. Drivers are reminded that stopping or standing in travel lanes to discharge or pick-up passengers is strictly prohibited.

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(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) Pete Buttigieg, Democratic candidate for president and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is making another appearance in Arlington — and this time it won’t be in a resident’s backyard.

Buttigieg will be holding an upcoming Northern Virginia town hall meeting in Arlington, at the Washington-Liberty High School stadium, the campaign confirmed Thursday evening.

The event is being held this coming Sunday, Feb 23, from 3:45-5:15 p.m. It’s taking place¬†ahead of the March 3 Super Tuesday primary¬†in Virginia, and after last week’s Elizabeth Warren campaign event at Arlington’s Wakefield High School.

Buttigieg’s last known campaign appearance in Arlington was a private fundraiser at a Waverly Hills home this past June.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin, who endorsed the mayor’s presidential candidacy early in the race, sent the following email to supporters about the event:

On Sunday, February 23rd from 3:45 to 5:15 Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be holding a town hall in Arlington, at a location to be announced.

Throughout my political career I have had the opportunity to work with only a handful of candidates who simultaneously embody pragmatic progressive reform, and possess both the strong commitment to our nation formed by service, as well as the ability to bring Americans from all walks of life together with the common purpose of ensuring that future generations will be better off than their parents.

Mayor Buttigieg embodies these qualities, and has outlined a plan to address gun violence, advance and support communities of color, and build a [resilient] path forward for America.

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A new challenger, Steven Krieger, has entered the already crowded race for the Arlington School Board.

In late January, Krieger joined five other candidates vying for two openings on the School Board after incumbent members Tannia Talento and Nancy Van Doren announced they would not be running for reelection. Candidates Symone Walker, Cristina Diaz-Torres, David Priddy, Sandy Munnell, and Terron Sims made their case for an endorsement to the Arlington County Democratic last month with the caucus scheduled for May 7 and 9.

Krieger is a local attorney with one child currently in Arlington Public Schools. He describes himself as a “social justice advocate” who is, admittedly, “not an educational policy expert.”

Krieger’s platform includes strong¬†opposition to the controversial school swap¬†approved last week, echoing criticism from parents that the shift does little to address school overcrowding. From his website:

Stand Up Against Boundary Changes and Program Moves that Destroy Communities. For Arlington Public Schools to continue its excellence, we must ensure that we have the correct number of seats for our students in the right areas Рespecially as the county grows and neighborhoods are developed.  However, determining exactly where seats are needed, how many seats are needed, when the seats are needed, and how new seats are obtained is a huge challenge. Without this critical information, decisions should not be made. Moving schools and destroying communities should be the absolute last resort for APS Рnot the first solution attempted.

Other topics on Krieger’s campaign page include working to reduce the disparities between white students and minority students, supporting policies that reduce the schools’ ecological footprint, and getting students more involved in School Board policy.

“For too long, Arlington Public Schools hasn’t paid enough attention to input from students and parents,” Krieger said. “In short, they haven’t listened to us. I’m running for the School Board because that needs to change.”

The deadline to file as a candidate is March 2.

Photo via Steven Krieger

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President Trump made a surprise visit to his reelection campaign’s office in Rosslyn around lunchtime today.

The president was accompanied by his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Brad Parscale. For about an hour he took meetings and greeted campaign staff, congratulating them on a more than $60 million fundraising haul in January.

Arlington County Police assisted with the motorcade from the White House to the campaign office.

Trump posed for a photo with staffers, who work out of what’s been described as a “Republican National Committee annex” in “a glass-skinned tower overlooking the Potomac River.” The address is not publicly available.

https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1228032843282026503

Photo via @TeamTrump/Twitter

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Just two days removed from today’s New Hampshire primary, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren will be holding a town hall event in Arlington.

The town hall is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, at Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street), the campaign announced today. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP.

More via the campaign website:

Elizabeth Warren is coming to Virginia!

Join Elizabeth Warren and Team Virginia at a Town Hall on Thursday, February 13th in Arlington, VA.

Elizabeth knows that to create real change–to rebuild the middle class and save our democracy–we need to dream big and fight hard. That’s why she’s in this fight: to have a real conversation about how to level the playing field for working families, and who is best to lead that fight.

Doors open for the event at 6:00 p.m. and the event will begin at 7:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to bring your friends and family along too! Tickets aren’t required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged. Admission will be first come, first served.

Virginia’s “Super Tuesday” primary will be held on March 3.

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