Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Local Dems Tout Big Wins — “Heading into the critical 2020 presidential race, we’re especially excited about the tremendous grassroots enthusiasm that fueled Democratic victories statewide. This historic victory belongs to the grassroots activists as much as it belongs to the Democratic Party.” [Press Release]

Leaf Collection Schedule Announced — Courthouse, Clarendon and other neighborhoods are on tap for Arlington County’s first vacuum leaf collection pass of the season, starting Monday. [Arlington County]

Amazon Gives to Some Local Pols — “In the Democratic leadership ranks, House Democratic Caucus Chair Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, received $1,000. Her district is just outside of Amazon’s new Arlington home. And the company sent $1,500 to Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, and $1,000 to Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, who both represent Arlington neighborhoods a stone’s throw from HQ2.” [Washington Business Journal]

Walgreens Applying for Sign Permits Updated at 10:15 a.m. — Walgreens signs are going up on former Rite Aid stores across Arlington, after the chain acquired stores from its drug store competitor nearly two years ago. [Twitter]

Investment for Company With Arlington HQ — “CoreMedia, a global content management platform and developer of CoreMedia Content Cloud, is excited to announce that it has successfully partnered with OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, on a majority growth investment… Terms of the investment were not disclosed.” [PRNewswire via Potomac Tech Wire]

First Snow Possible Next Week — “Back-to-back Arctic cold fronts are predicted to sweep across the eastern United States over the next week, the second of which has a small chance to squeeze out some snowflakes in the Washington region late Monday and/or Tuesday.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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(Updated at 10:20 p.m.) There were no surprises in Tuesday’s general election in Arlington, as Parisa Dehghani-Tafti was elected Arlington’s new prosecutor and all Democratic incumbents won new terms.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney race saw an elevated level of write-in votes — 10% of the overall vote — but the result was never in doubt as Tafti received 90% of the vote. She will take office as the top prosecutor for Arlington and Falls Church starting in January.

Tafti ran a progressive campaign centered on criminal justice reform during a contentious and expensive primary. She ran unopposed in the general election after beating incumbent prosecutor Theo Stamos in a surprising upset in the primary, with 52% of the vote to Stamos’ 48%.

“It was really surreal,” Tafti told ARLnow of her win, after the final precinct results came in.

The incoming prosecutor added that she was “lucky” she had time between the June primary and the November election to start work on her transition. Tafti she’s looking forward to rolling out reforms come January — which one expert has said is the most aggressive policy transition for the office in living memory.

“I’m really excited to get a restorative justice program started,” she told ARLnow.

Elsewhere on the ballot, Arlington County Board incumbents Katie Cristol (D) and Christian Dorsey (D) defeated independent candidates Audrey Clement and Arron O’Dell with 40% and 38% of the vote, respectively. Clement’s 13% and O’Dell’s 7% compares to the 10% Clement and 19% Republican Mike McMenamin received in 2015, when Cristol and Dorsey were first elected.

In contested General Assembly races in Arlington, state Sen. Janet Howell, who ran unopposed in the primary, won out over Republican candidate Arthur Purves, 73% to 27%. Del. Alfonso Lopez defeated independent challenger Terry Modglin, 83% to 16%.

Other Democratic candidates won bids for re-election tonight after running uncontested races:

  • Del. Patrick Hope
  • Del. Mark Levine
  • Del. Rip Sullivan
  • State Sen. Barbara Favola
  • Sheriff Beth Arthur
  • Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy
  • Treasurer Carla de la Pava
  • School Board member Reid Goldstein

Acknowledging that most of its candidates were not facing strong challengers, the Arlington Democratic party has instead focused on supporting other Virginia progressives they hoped could flip the GOP-controlled state House and Senate. As of 10 p.m., the Associated Press projected that Democrats would, in fact, win control of both.

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Today may be Election Day in Arlington, but the Arlington Democratic party may well be watching other jurisdictions’ elections more closely.

Virginia is one of the few states with a “serious shot” at flipping both its House and Senate blue this election, an outcome Democratic leaders have long hoped for to pass a more progressive agenda in Richmond and boost Democratic presidential candidates come next November. Acknowledging that Arlington voters overwhelmingly vote blue already, the local party is casting its support out wider to help other Democratic candidates in the state.

“Arlington is fortunate to have an electorate that largely supports progressive candidates, as well as very engaged volunteers,” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said in a statement yesterday (Monday). “Arlington Dems decided early to unleash its resources to support strategic contests beyond Arlington.”

“Our volunteers have fought hard across the state to elect Democratic candidates to the General Assembly who will pass important legislation on healthcare accessibility, economic opportunity for all, gun safety, women’s, voter, and reproductive rights, and other critical issues,” said Caiazzo.

Overall, the party said it has lent support to 14 House of Delegates and 7 state Senate candidates in Chesterfield, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, and Prince William counties, as well as the Virginia Beach. The roster of incumbent and challenger candidates supported include:

  • Sheila Bynum-Coleman for Delegate District 66 (Chesterfield)
  • Jennifer Carroll Foy for Del. District (Ashburn/Prince William)
  • Lee Carter for Del. District 50 (Manassas/Prince William)
  • Joshua Cole for Del. District 28 (Fredericksburg/Stafford)
  • Wendy Gooditis for Del. District 10 (Loudoun/Frederick)
  • Danica Roem for Del. District 13 (Manassas)
  • Ibraheem Samirah for Del. District 86 (Fairfax/Loudoun)
  • Kathy Tran Del. District 42 (Fairfax)

In the last two months, the party supported the General Assembly candidates by sending postcards (20,000), deploying volunteer canvassers (100), and running phone banks (25.)

The efforts to bolster Democrats in other jurisdiction began months ago, as the local party highlighted Loudoun County’s candidate for Senate District 13 (John Bell) and Fairfax County’s candidate for Delegate District 40 (Dan Helmer) and Newport News’ Delegate candidate for District 94 (Shelly Simonds) at its annual Blue Victory Dinner in May.

“We believe this election will have historic implications for Virginia and will be a shot across the bow to the White House that 2020 is coming. We are just getting started,” said Arlington Young Democrats President Dan Matthews.

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Morning Notes

It’s Election Day — Voting today in Arlington will take place between 6 a.m.-7 p.m. at your local polling place. Most of the local candidates in competitive races penned essays describing why Arlington residents should vote for them. [Arlington County]

Almost A Century Since Suffrage — “Tomorrow represents 99 years of women voting in Arlington. Arlington’s celebrating with 19 events this year.” [Twitter, Arlington County]

‘Baby Trump’ Greeting Key Bridge Commuters — Arlington Democrats have inflated a 13-foot “Baby Trump” on the Virginia side of the Key Bridge as part of a get-out-the-vote message. [Twitter]

Anti-Trans Group is Based in Shirlington — “From the 12th floor of a glass office tower in the Washington suburbs, a campaign to sway the governor’s race in Kentucky on Tuesday is being waged with an alarmist claim that has little to do with the race itself: If Democrats have their way, soon boys will be able to compete against girls in school sports.” [New York Times]

Growing Season Over in D.C. Area — “As of this morning, the growing season has been declared to have ended across our entire forecast area. Frost and freeze [watches and warnings] will not be issued again until Spring 2020.” [Twitter]

Pedestrian Enforcement in Clarendon Tomorrow — “As part of the Street Smart campaign, officers will conduct high-visibility traffic enforcement… November 6th from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. [on the] 2700 block of Clarendon Boulevard (Pedestrian Enforcement Detail).” [ARLnow]

Nearby: Va. Tech Unveils Plan for Potomac Yard — “Plans are starting to take shape for North Potomac Yard. Virginia Tech has submitted its first concept plan, showing what its Innovation Campus will look like just as the design of the Potomac Yard Metro station nears its final design phase.” [ALXnow]

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Last week, we asked the two candidates in the 32nd District state Senate race to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election. 

Here is the unedited response from Republican challenger Arthur Purves.

I am running to end racial inequality in Virginia public schools.  This is my eighth race in 24 years, and every time I have run on the same platform:  to end racial inequality in public schools by bringing back phonics, arithmetic drill, history, the Lord’s Prayer,  and the Ten Commandments, instead of tax hikes, busing, and police.

The minority student achievement gap that is so visible in high school actually appears in 4thgrade reading and math test scores, because reading and arithmetic are not taught successfully in early elementary school.

The most important years in anyone’s education are grades 1-3 because that’s where students are supposed to master reading and arithmetic facts.  If a student has not mastered reading and basic arithmetic by 4th grade, his academic and economic futures are ruined.  He is doomed to poverty, dependency, perhaps crime, and cannot get a good job, afford to marry, support a family, and father his children.  The resulting demand for welfare, Medicaid, and corrections drives up taxes and siphons money from transportation.

The reason for the low minority test scores in 4thgrade reading and arithmetic is the John Dewey (different from the Dewey of the Dewey decimal system used in libraries) “progressive education” that wrecked American public schools about a century ago. Dewey, a socialist and an atheist, taught at Columbia University Teachers College from 1904 to 1930.  He is considered the Aristotle of modern education.  He and his colleagues wanted America to become socialist, and to that end they developed a curriculum to dumb down the American public.

They replaced phonics with “whole word”, which expects children to memorize words without being able to sound them out.  “Whole word” has created a nation of 14 million dyslexics and an epidemic of ADD and ADHD, which are often associated with reading and learning disabilities.  They said arithmetic drill was unnecessary (“drill and kill”); now we have a STEM crisis.  They crowded out history with Social Studies, so Americans today do not know their history.

Dewey wanted the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments to be replaced by secularism, which the Supreme Court mandated the 1960s.  The absence of religious restraint on the human character has resulted in family breakdown, domestic disputes instead of domestic tranquility, 40% of births outside of marriage, and is the underlying cause of violence, including gun violence. Gun violence is prevalent where fatherlessness is prevalent.  Fathers are the best form of gun control, and the Ten Commandments are the only gun control laws that ever worked.

Affluent children, who are generally white and Asian, learn phonics and basic arithmetic from their families.  The families of low-income children, who are generally Hispanic and African American are unable to teach at home what they were counting on the schools to teach, so Hispanic and African American children fall behind.  Thus, racial inequality in America is caused by the public schools’ embrace of “progressive education,” and not by the Founding Fathers. The legacy of “progressive education” is decades of racial inequality.  However, Dewey’s real goal is happening:  Forty percent of Americans support socialism.  To see the fruits of socialism, visit West Baltimore or North Philadelphia.

“Progressive education” has persuaded the public that low-income children cannot learn.  This is false.  They would learn with phonics and arithmetic drill.

The Virginia General Assembly is responsible for public schools.  However, for the 28 years my opponent, Senator Janet Howell, has served in the Virginia Senate, she has failed to “… ensure … an educational program of high quality …” as mandated by Article VIII of the Virginia constitution. Her solution is tax hikes.  She voted to raise the sales tax, a regressive tax, from 4.5% to 6%.  During her tenure, state spending on education increased from $4 billion a year to $15 billion, which was $5 billion more than needed to keep up with population and inflation.  And what has our “investment” in education bought?  Decades of racial inequality.

For 24 years my solutions have been ignored, while racial inequality, tax hikes, and gun violence have prevailed.  It’s time to vote for Arthur Purves Nov. 5, so you can have a voice in Richmond to stop raising taxes and instead fix the school curriculum to end racial inequality in public schools.  Ending racial inequality in public schools will end it in society as a whole.  That is a progressive goal I share with the citizens of Arlington!

Editor’s note: Purves’ opponent, Democratic incumbent Sen. Janet Howell, did not submit an essay by last night’s deadline. 

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Last week, we asked the two candidates in the 49th District House of Delegates race to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election. 

Here is the unedited response from the Democratic incumbent Del. Alfonso Lopez. 

When I was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, I pledged to be a champion for the Arlington values that have made our community such a welcoming place for people from all over the world. I also pledged to fight to improve our public schools, increase transportation/transit funding, expand health care, address issues of social and economic justice, and protect our environment.

Standing with my House Democratic colleagues, I’m proud to say I’ve kept my promises to you.

Over just the last two years, we’ve fought to end the school-to-prison pipeline by limiting long-term school suspensions, increased teachers’ salaries by 5%, secured a dedicated source of revenue for the Metro system, worked to address criminal justice reform, renewed the Green Jobs Tax Credit, and–perhaps most importantly– expanded Medicaid to almost 400,000 Virginians across the state, including 5,600 of our neighbors in the 49th District.

I believe in a Commonwealth that lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind.

As your Delegate, I’ve been a champion for our values in Richmond and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to find common ground and get things accomplished.  Along those lines, I’ve worked to build coalitions of legislators, advocates, and activists in order to pass bills that move Virginia forward. In fact, since 2012, I’ve been the Patron, Co-Patron or Chief Co-Patron of 115 bills signed into law–49 of which were bipartisan efforts. Among other things, these bills include laws strengthening tenant protections, improving small business procurement, expanding healthcare to immigrant mothers and children, protecting passports and military IDs from identity theft, and incentivizing the use of solar and other renewable energy sources across Virginia.

As our community continues to grow, many of our neighbors have concerns about the impact that growth will have on housing. Indeed, housing is becoming more and more expensive–preventing many young people from becoming homeowners and leading to fears that lower-income residents are being pushed out of communities they may have lived in for decades.

Addressing our region’s housing affordability crisis has always been one of my top priorities as Delegate. In 2013, the General Assembly passed my bill creating the Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund (VHTF)–an important tool used by the state to provide funding to projects dedicated to preserving and building affordable housing, as well as addressing homelessness. In the years since its creation, the VHTF has already helped create housing for thousands of Virginians–including hundreds of families in the 49thDistrict.

I’m proud of that progress, but it’s clear that we need to do much more to properly address this issue–not just in Northern Virginia, but in towns, cities, and rural areas across the Commonwealth. I am fully committed to this fight and will not rest until our state is investing the resources we need.

I believe we need to invest in our infrastructure, and in our workforce, and, most of all, in our children. Going forward we must focus on jobs and the economy, education, and the needs of working families. I pledge to continue fighting for better schools, long-term transportation solutions, environmental safeguards, small businesses, economic development, and the Arlington values of embracing diversity, tolerance, and compassion that we all hold dear.

On November 5th, every seat in the General Assembly is up for election and, for the first time, Virginians have the opportunity to send a progressive Democratic legislature to Richmond. We are on the cusp of electing a General Assembly that will finally act on sensible gun violence prevention measures, protect a woman’s right to choose, ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and properly fund our schools.

Make sure you have a plan to vote on Tuesday! Then call up a friend or family member and make sure that they have a plan, too. Working together, I know we can create a community and a Commonwealth that lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind.

My name is Alfonso Lopez and I ask for your support and VOTE on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5th. www.AlfonsoLopez.org

Editor’s note: Lopez’s opponent, independent candidate Terry Modglin, did not submit an essay by last night’s deadline. 

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Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Last week, we asked the four candidates seeking a seat on the Arlington County Board to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election.

Here is the unedited response from the Arlington County Board Chair and Democratic incumbent Christian Dorsey.

At a Glance

Since being elected in 2015, I have been an effective leader for Arlington and a recognized leader on transit, housing and other issues in the National Capital region.

Arlington

  • County Board Chair in 2019
  • County Board Vice Chair in 2018

The Region

  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board Vice Chair
  • COG Smart Region Task Force Chair
  • National Association of Regional Councils Board Member

I have influenced the Council of Governments to adopt Housing Affordability and Equity as regional priorities.

Transit

  • WMATA (Metro) Principal Board Member
  • Northern Virginia Transportation Commissioner
  • Transportation Planning Board Member (2018)

I am the first WMATA Board Member chosen to represent all Northern Virginia Metro jurisdictions.

Four years ago, I promised progressive, principled and inclusive leadership. I seek your support for reelection with the confidence that I have delivered on that promise.

At that time, Arlington’s economic engine was stalled, and high commercial vacancy rates created significant budget pressures and shifted a larger share of tax responsibility on residential taxpayers.The rate has since fallen to 16.6% from over 21% and is poised to move even lower.

I have worked to control costs of our capital projects, and our operating budgets now grow less than the regional average. This has allowed us, even during times of fiscal stress, to invest in our community and in our people.

I am proud to have created a consumer protection office that helps our residents and businesses fight back against fraud and unfair business practices. And, Arlington was the first Northern Virginia jurisdiction to fund legal services to immigrants threatened by the Trump administration’s policies.

To address our most persistent policy challenge, I am proud that during my tenure we have preserved and improved Arlington’s stock of existing affordable units, and that among the many hundreds of units approved over the last four years, several hundred will be within walking distance of Metrorail. We have also identified areas that require a distinct focus like the approved development to serve the needs of our military veterans.

I was honored to be the first individual selected by other Northern Virginia jurisdictions to represent all our interests as a voting member on the WMATA Board. Helping Metro along the path to being safe, reliable, and useful has been critical in meeting our comprehensive goals.

I am proud of the progress we have made, but I am by no means satisfied. My passion for guiding Arlington to become even stronger remains. This year, I introduced equity as a lens through which decisions are to be made. Arlington should not continue, unwittingly, through systemic discrimination, to negatively influence the outcomes of its residents based on their social characteristics.

Arlington, as part of an increasingly interconnected region, cannot pursue policy and investments in a vacuum if we are to achieve the best possible outcomes. I have earned the trust of our neighbors in leading on coordinated policy approaches to transportation and housing, while ensuring that anticipated economic growth is equitable and inclusive.

Under my leadership, in conjunction with Mayor Justin Wilson, Arlington and the City of Alexandria have developed principles to guide a coordinated effort to reduce the involuntary displacement of vulnerable residents and businesses in our communities and to connect traditionally marginalized groups to business and employment opportunities resulting from new investment.

As we were reminded this summer, no greater imperative exists than making Arlington more resilient in the face of climate change. Our immediate focus should be to accelerate investments in stormwater mitigation projects and to develop land use policies that induce infill redevelopment with more pervious surfaces and less intensive water runoff.  For the long term, our recently adopted Community Energy Plan provides a blueprint for Arlington to achieve a carbon-free future.

I am confident that my experience, leadership, and willingness to implement innovative solutions over these four years will help Arlingtonians successfully persevere through our immediate and long-term challenges. And, together, we will make substantial progress toward our shared vision of a community that is climate-resilient, environmentally and economically sustainable, and with suitable housing affordable to all earners. And together, we can work to see each person has the tools and the opportunity to thrive.

I have been humbled by the opportunity to serve and am grateful to engage in the practice of public service. I hope to earn your support and trust with one of your two votes for Arlington County Board.

www.christiandorsey.org 

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Independent County Board candidate Arron O'Dell (Image courtesy of Arron O'Dell)

Last week, we asked the four candidates seeking a seat on the Arlington County Board to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election.

Here is the unedited response from independent incumbent County Board candidate Arron O’Dell.

A vote for O’Dell is a vote to keep Arlington, Arlington. I will fight to preserve single-family neighborhoods and push for zoning and building code changes to reduce the number of teardowns, and ensure new construction meets or exceeds our goals for a greener and more sustainable county. I will work to direct new housing to existing commercial areas where asphalt can be replaced by taller structures surrounded by green spaces. Adding people to key locations will allow more frequent buses and shuttles to transport people without cars to help Arlington reach its carbon neutral goals.

I want to see workforce housing for teachers and employees included in new county construction projects, because the people that work for Arlington should be able to afford to live here too.

I will look for ways to use our tax dollars better. We spend millions of dollars building and upgrading parks and playgrounds that are good, while spending nothing to encourage and remind people about the spaces that are already there. For less than the cost of one park upgrade, we could have events year round reminding us to visit the under-utilized spaces around the county. Markets, live music, food contest, marshmallow roasts, etc. would cost next to nothing and would bring back a sense of community that has been slowly disappearing.

I want to see better usage of libraries by introducing cafes and special event nights. Why do we not have more local writer meet and greets or book signings?

Did you know that Arlington rents office buildings at Court House? Unless the county government is planning on leaving Arlington, this is an obvious situation that must be addressed before the lease is up for renewal again. I would ask that unspent funds be set aside for the county to buy a permanent home.

If I am elected, unlike my opponents, I will make the county board my primary job. I will go and spend time in the neighborhoods, listening and learning from you. I care about Arlington ,and my only agenda is to keep it a place we can all enjoy. As an independent, I can not only vote against the rest of the board when it is the right thing to do, but I can speak up and speak out when they start talking about the next trolley before money is spent and the plans start getting drawn up.

As one fifth of the board I don’t have to be right, I just need to let you know when they are wrong.

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Last week, we asked the four candidates seeking a seat on the Arlington County Board to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election. 

Here is the unedited response from independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement.

I’m Audrey Clement, Ph.D., Independent candidate for Arlington County Board — a 15-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist, and member of the Transportation Commission. Why am I running? Because my opponents indulge in constant doublespeak.

Katie and Christian say they want to preserve trees. Yet in 2018 they allowed a developer to chop down a 75-year-old state champion Dawn Redwood near a Potomac watershed in North Arlington, replacing it with a McMansion in contravention of the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance.

On September 24, they approved a deal to cede a VDOT acquired parcel of land at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn site to a private developer contrary to a prior pledge to preserve it as parkland.

My opponents claim to support affordable housing. Yet, they’ve permitted dozens of market-rate garden apartments in Westover Village to be razed, replacing them with luxury townhouses, tree denuded lots and flooded streets.

True. County Board approved a deal to purchase and renovate some of the Westover properties as committed affordable units, but at the expense of half the existing tenants, who were thrown out because they weren’t income qualified.

For over 3 years, Katie and Christian have been sitting on a citizen petition to preserve the remaining buildings as historic, preempting a legally required public hearing on the matter.

Katie and Christian say they can provide more affordable housing by upzoning single family neighborhoods. This is an illusion. When North Arlington is upzoned, there will be 2 to 4 new town homes priced a $1 million each for every single family tear down.

At a recent candidate forum, Christian Dorsey refused to recuse himself from union business on the WMATA Board even though unions contributed the bulk of his campaign funds this year–$10,000 alone from the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Christian says he doesn’t have a conflict of interest in accepting union money as a WMATA Board member, because WMATA doesn’t deal with union matters. Yet WMATA Board minutes indicate that it has approved 4 union contracts since September, 2018.

If you’re tired of Board member’s doublespeak, it’s time for a change. If elected, I will do what I say and say what I mean. I will also:

  • Say NO to tax-rate increases and pay grabs by County Board
  • Insist that developers pay their fair share for public infrastructure;
  • Develop a flood prevention and mitigation program;
  • Install renewable energy on County-owned buildings; and
  • Provide a voice for all taxpayers on County Board
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Last week, we asked the four candidates seeking a seat on the Arlington County Board to write a 750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the Nov. 5 general election.

Here is the unedited response from Democratic incumbent County Board member Katie Cristol.

As you head to the polls this upcoming Tuesday, I ask that you consider casting one of your two votes to return me to the Arlington County Board. Over the past four years, I’ve sought to collaborate with residents and regional partners to find and implement smart, balanced solutions to hard problems and to position this community to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

Together, we’ve made real progress for Arlingtonians:

  • We adopted a comprehensive strategy to address child-care accessibility in Arlington that’s working: My colleagues and I approved hundreds more quality spots in the first year of the strategy, and within just a couple of months of new ordinance changes taking effect this July, nearly three dozen providers had submitted proposals to expand.
  • We’ve made critical progress on our high rate of commercial vacancy with new and renewed office tenants. Arlington has made international headlines with Amazon, but we also welcomed tech start-ups, national nonprofits and renewable energy companies to fill or redevelop our empty office buildings.
  • We’ve added over a thousand new committed affordable homes for our lower- and moderate-income neighbors, acted to preserve garden apartments, and expanded opportunities for new housing types. As a result, there are now more homes affordable to our neighbors making less than 60% of area median income than there were four years ago – even at a time of increasing rents.
  • We’ve tackled what looked impossible for our regional transit system. As a leader in multiple regional transit bodies, I’m proud to have been part of the coalition that achieved the extraordinary milestone of dedicated capital funding for Metro: a first in the system’s many-decades history.

We’ve made Arlington a more compassionate, effective place for those who need support: creating a legal services fund for our immigrant neighbors – the first in Virginia – and expanding services for survivors of sexual violence, including a comprehensive medical, counseling and justice response.

Importantly, I’ve endeavored to achieve these and other breakthroughs for our community while exercising good fiscal stewardship. I’ve supported needed capital projects in the County, while significantly reducing their costs. We’ve reduced use permit conditions and duplicative community processes to help Schools keep their projects on time and on budget. During my chairmanship last year, the Board held the tax rate flat, though it meant difficult program cuts, to avoid shifting the burden of lost commercial revenues to residential payers.

And I’m running for reelection because we have many more big things to do, together. If I earn your support on November 5th, I will prioritize:

  • Increasing moderately-sized ownership housing in neighborhoods throughout the County, through the study and legalization of alternative forms.
  • Planning for community infrastructure, specifically:
    • A long-term plan for siting future schools facilities beyond the ten-year horizon of our Capital Improvement Plan; and
    • Collaborating with our Northern Virginia partners to realize a truly interconnected transit system across the greater DC region.
  • Protecting our global and local environment by aggressively implementing public and private efforts in our updated Community Energy Plan; and prioritizing “Biophilic Cities” principles and practices for Arlington to prioritize natural spaces in our commercial corridors.

To learn more about these and other priorities ahead of the election, please visit www.katiecristol.com/issues. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this extraordinary community, and for your consideration on Tuesday, November 5th.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Cold Weather Plan Now in Effect — “With temperatures continuing to drop as we head through the fall and into winter, Arlington County has activated its plan to keep people who are experiencing homelessness safe during extreme cold. The Cold Weather Plan will be in place from Nov. 1 through the winter months.” [Arlington County]

Reminder: Pumpkin Composting — “As for what to do with those leftover pumpkins? They can be dropped off for composting at Arlington’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington (4300 29th Street S.) from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.” [ARLnow]

Independent Candidates Struggle to Gain Traction — “Arron O’Dell’s campaign for the Arlington County Board hasn’t been going so well. His social media posts were getting few likes. Audiences at candidate forums didn’t appear to take him seriously… So he took to the sidewalks. ‘I am now officially the first politician in Virginia to use spray chalk to make a political campaign sign,’ he wrote on Instagram.” [Washington Post]

Looking Toward Next Year’s Election — “With the 2019 election almost in the rear-view mirror, the focus of local politics turns to what will transpire in 2020. On the ballot next November will be the County Board seat occupied by Libby Garvey and the School Board posts held by Nancy Van Doren and Tannia Talento.” [InsideNova]

Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend — “Area residents and drivers must be prepared for potential challenges the annual time change entails each fall, such as changes in sleep patterns that may increase chances of drowsy driving and shorter days, which means driving home in the dark and on caliginous roadways, warns AAA.” [Press Release]

Chamber Outlines 2020 Priorities — “The Chamber’s top priorities for Arlington and Virginia’s economic well-being include maintaining economic development programs as a chief policy priority, expanding resources for housing development, and funding necessary improvements for our transportation infrastructure.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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