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The Arlington County Board approved a policy limiting police cooperation with federal immigration agencies despite continued concern from activists.

In response to criticism on the proposal, dubbed the “Trust Policy,” the County Board updated some sections ahead of the unanimous vote at its meeting yesterday (Tuesday). However, criticism from immigration advocacy groups remains.

Around 60 regional and national organizations endorsed a letter by La ColectiVA, National Immigration Project and the Legal Aid Justice Center opposing the policy. A handful of members from those groups attended the Board meeting, holding up a banner saying, “#ICE out of Arlington.”

“We continue to be extremely concerned that the Trust Policy is woefully inadequate when placing limits on Arlington County law enforcement’s collaboration with ICE,” the letter stated.

The main change to the policy that passed was the addition of a compliance provision, which was the result of community feedback, County Board member Matt de Ferranti said.

The county attorney will review all relevant warrants, court orders and subpoenas received by county government offices, other than the police department, to determine if compliance is required, according to the policy.

Department and agency heads are to investigate all alleged violations of the policy, while the Community Oversight Board will investigate alleged policy violations by the police. Findings from the investigations will go to the County Board. The Board will also receive reports from the police and the Sheriff’s Office on law enforcement contact with ICE.

The board added the compliance section because it illustrated the role of the Board and the County Manager in ensuring the policy would be fairly and uniformly applied, de Ferranti said.

Language was also added prohibiting police officers from asking people for their immigration status. And the policy now requires officers to get an approval to notify federal immigration authorities if they suspect someone they’ve arrested was breaking federal immigration laws.

Police officers may only contact federal immigration authorities after getting approval from the on-duty watch commander or a supervisor ranked lieutenant or above, under circumstances laid out in the Arlington County Police Directive Manual 523.04.

The circumstances include instances when an undocumented immigrant is arrested on a violent felony, a non-violent felony if specific facts of the case establish a threat to community safety, terrorism or human trafficking, street gang offenses, as well as those who have previously committed a felony or been deported.

“It makes it clear that an officer has to go up the chain of command,” de Ferranti said.

However, the policy’s affirmation of the police directive “places no meaningful controls on [police officers’] actions,” according to the letter from advocacy groups. The groups also criticized the policy for not ensuring people can provide a non-standard ID to access services and benefits, as well as to prove their identity when stopped for offenses.

The groups wanted the Board to put pressure on the Sheriff’s Office, which operates the county jail, to stop notifying ICE when undocumented immigrants are released from jail. Such collaboration between law enforcement and ICE led to “a breakdown of trust” in the migrant community, according to the letter. From January 2019 to October 2020, ICE arrested 104 people released from the Arlington County jail because of the collaboration, the letter said.

Despite criticism, the Board believed the trust policy is a step for Arlington to become an inclusive community.

“This does not transform Arlington overnight,” said Board member Christian Dorsey, who worked with de Ferranti on the policy. “It’s a necessary step, a vital prerequisite.”

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Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg of the Legal Aid Justice Center (file photo)

Activists say a county proposal to prohibit police cooperation with federal immigration agencies in most circumstances doesn’t go far enough.

The proposed policy, dubbed the “Trust Policy,” is set to be discussed at this Saturday’s Arlington County Board meeting. The Board is scheduled to vote on the policy at its July meeting.

A group called Communities of Arlington Protected from Abuse by ICE (CAPA) believes the policy only codifies what already exists and doesn’t change police department policies that allow officers to ask and share citizenship information in certain circumstances. CAPA is made up of immigration advocacy groups Legal Aid Justice Center, La ColectiVA and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

The proposed policy states that all county employees are forbidden to ask for or disclose an individual’s citizenship status, unless specifically exempted by current police department policy or required by state or federal law.

Under the policy, county employees would be prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration officials to enforce federal immigration laws, as well as using or lending county resources to help them access an individual’s identity information, help an investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration based on citizenship status. They also cannot threaten others because of their citizenship status.

Moreover, the proposed policy would allow any resident to access government services without providing proof of legal presence.

Currently, the policy governing the relationship between the local police and federal immigration agencies like ICE is Policy 523.04 of the ACPD Directive Manual. It states that the the police department does not “conduct immigration enforcement investigations.” A police officer cannot ask about the citizenship status of a victim or a witness of a crime and cannot arrest somebody based solely on a suspected immigration violation.

However, when someone is arrested for a crime, a police officer can under reasonable suspicion notify a federal immigration agency of an individual’s citizenship status, according to the directive manual. The proposed policy will not affect this exception.

“Our primary concerns are the ways that the draft ‘Trust Policy’ continues collaboration between Arlington Police and ICE,” Director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg said in a press release.

The groups believe the proposed policy gives too much discretion to the police to cooperate with federal immigration agencies by not striking the exceptions listed in the current department policy.

“ACPD’s Directive does little to end ACPD’s collaboration with ICE, and instead gives police officers vast discretion to interrogate community members about their immigration status,” said the coalition. “Merely because those community members are suspected of certain criminal activity.”

The groups also criticized the proposed policy for not further regulating the Sheriff’s Office, which runs the county jail, or allowing individuals to use non-standard ID to access government services.

“The goals and aims of Arlington County’s Trust Policy cannot be achieved without ensuring that the Sheriff’s Office ceases its cooperation with ICE,” the groups said.

The groups urged the County Board to adopt the policy they drew up instead. In the CAPA policy, which includes similar provisions as in the proposed Trust Policy, people would be allowed to use non-government issued IDs to access government services and benefits.

The police department sought community input when drafting the current version of Policy 523.04, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Throughout late 2021 and early 2022, ACPD collaborated with community members, organizations and stakeholders and sought their input on an updated version of manual directive 523.04 Immigration Status and Access to Police Services, which was issued to all ACPD personnel on February 15, 2022,” she said.

Savage also pointed to a police fact sheet and public safety FAQ on the county’s website as additional resources residents can use.

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Morning Notes

Clouds over Roaches Run and Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Youngkin Supporters Want Action Against Arlington — “Arlington County firemen, EMTs, police and other unvaccinated county employees will lose their jobs 16 days after Youngkin takes office if county mandates stay in place, and the remaining vaccinated workers may be forced to do double duty to take up the slack. Youngkin supporters, including those at this monthly breakfast lecture of the Arlington based Leadership Institute, have been expressing concern that the new governor may not be aggressive enough in opposing punitive county policies directed against the unvaccinated.” [Bacon’s Rebellion]

Activists Want Arlington to End All ICE Cooperation — “As Arlington County lawmakers embark on an effort to strengthen trust with immigrant residents, the details of what that will look like — particularly over when and how Arlington communicates with federal immigration officials — remains an open question. Earlier this fall, officials in the Northern Virginia county released a draft framework that declares it is ‘inappropriate’ to use its resources to detain or deport undocumented immigrants. But activists say Arlington needs to go further, pushing the county to cut all ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” [Washington Post]

APS Science Teacher Changes Channels — From local high school science teacher Ryan Miller, who also works as fill-in television meteorologist: “Little life (work) change to announce! I’m now part of @nbcwashington & StormTeam4 & will be helping out w/ weather duties from time to time. I may even mix in a science lesson or two during my broadcasts.” [Twitter]

Snow Looking More Likely — From the Capital Weather Gang: “Snow potential index – 3/10 (^): The chance of maybe an inch or two in parts of the region has gone up for Wednesday but some models still aren’t on board with snowy idea.” [Twitter]

It’s Monday — Today will be mostly cloudy, with warming temperatures in the afternoon giving way to rain showers after 4 p.m. High near 67. South wind 9 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Sunrise at 7:13 a.m. and sunset at 4:46 p.m. Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high near 41. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

County Mulls Immigration Policies — “The Arlington County Board unveiled a draft framework for a Commitment to Strengthening Trust with Our Immigrant Community… ‘We are sharing an updated framework and seeking community engagement on policies on the next steps on access to public services, protecting resident’s information, and making sure Arlington County resources are not used to facilitate enforcement of federal immigration laws, which are the sole responsibility of the Federal government.'” [Arlington County]

Mixed Reaction to New County Logo — “For the Arlingtonians packed into outdoor restaurant seating on a warm night in Shirlington over the weekend, reaction to the new logo was mixed. ‘That’s what that is? That’s the river between Arlington and D.C.? I’m completely underwhelmed,’ said Lisa Peterson… But a few blocks away, Kaleb Tecleab, a 49-year-old security engineer, said he appreciated an ‘inclusive’ design that hinted at a greater sense of regionalism.” [Washington Post]

Local Teen Earns Prestigious Scholarship — “Adie Selassie of Arlington, a senior at Sidwell Friends School, was the only Virginian to be named a 2021 Calvin Coolidge Presidential Scholar. The program, overseen by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, is a merit-based competition that provides full tuition, room, board, books and expenses for four years at a college of the student’s choice.” [Sun Gazette]

Crystal City Eatery Wins Award — From the National Landing Business Improvement District: “We are so lucky to have [Peruvian Brothers] as a part of our National Landing community! Congrats on the RAMMY! Well deserved!” [Twitter]

Grumbles About Slow Library Reopening — “On Saturday, the board of Friends of the Arlington Public Library blasted the county government to its very face (electronically-speaking) at the County Board meeting. In no uncertain terms, the organization (not generally known as a group of bomb-throwers) blasted the county government for multiple failures in setting the stage for an expeditious, safe reopening.” [Sun Gazette]

Nearby: Police Warn of Overdose Danger — “Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Chief Kevin Davis on Tuesday said six people overdosed in the predawn hours in [the Skyline area], and warned that a potentially fatal batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl might still be circulating in the area. All six victims, who ranged in age from 23 to 35, survived, although one victim is still ‘clinging to life’ in a hospital, Davis said. Three others remain hospitalized. They were found at a residence in the 5500 block of Seminary Road, near South George Mason Drive, a little after 3 a.m.” [WTOP]

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This week, a Marymount University graduate working in tech is packing up and moving to Dublin, Ireland.

He didn’t expect — or want — to leave his home on the border of Arlington and Falls Church this way.

Hansel D’Souza, 25, is an Indian national who was born and raised in Kuwait who now works for a tech company. He has been in Virginia since 2014, when he arrived on an F1 student visa to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology at Marymount. There, he dove into theater, student affairs and campus ministry.

“I was everywhere at the same time, wearing lots of hats,” he said. “People asked me, ‘Is there any job you don’t do?”

He programmed backstage lighting and sounds for the campus theater club, the McLean Community Players and the Little Theatre of Alexandria. With the campus ministry group, he went to Louisa, Kentucky for a service project and returned as a camp counselor for a few summers, watching campers graduate high school and go to college.

His extracurricular resume may be impressive — but none of his positions or volunteer work mattered when it came to seeking an H1B visa to continue working in the U.S. in his specialized field, which selects 65,000 people a year through a lottery. Up to 20,000 additional people can get this visa if they’ve earned a master’s degree or higher.

“This is not a merit-based system,” said James Montana, an attorney at Steelyard LLC, an immigration-focused law firm in Arlington. “The question is, do you have a degree that is related to the proposed work in a specialty field? An individual can do nothing to increase his chances — other than get a master’s, which is an awfully expensive way to increase them.”

D’Souza said his frustration with the H1B process, which wrote about in a Medium post, is that it whittled him down to a number in a lottery.

“Seven years of hard work, putting myself out there, making this place my home, building relationships, just came down to a lottery process,” he said. “I know I’m not the only one. I know a handful of other people going through it — and there are thousands of others across the country in similar situations every year.”

Indians in the U.S. face particular hurdles. In recent years, members of the diaspora living in the United States have protested a 150-year backlog in green cards, caused by a policy capping the number of Indians who can come to the U.S., and a coronavirus-induced excess of green cards that could go to waste despite this backlog.

Many Indian immigrants advocate for the cap to be lifted and for the immigration process to consider their technical skills instead.

As for D’Souza, he says he considered getting a master’s degree to increase his chances of staying. But after four years of tuition, and room and board, a master’s represented a financial lift he said he couldn’t justify, especially since he saw people advance in his field without one.

“Unfortunately, the world has gotten to a point where people are doing more degrees to check boxes on resume, and I didn’t want to do that,” he said.

It is too late for D’Souza, who departs tomorrow night (Wednesday), but he said he wants to elevate the voices of “international students and working professionals just like me.” He wants the Americans he knows to understand how complex immigrating to the U.S. is, as well.

“Immigration needs to change,” he said. “I’m hoping more people will realize it’s not all rose-colored glasses.”

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Morning Notes

AWLA Captures Escaped Parakeet — “Officer K. Davis of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington successfully captured this errant budgie tonight… She used her phone to play budgie calls in hope of enticing the stray bird. Twice the budgie alluded the net but three times proved the charm as Officer Davis’s patience and speed completed the apprehension.” [Facebook]

Massage Studio Opening Next Week — “Elements Massage opens at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) on Monday, July 19… The 2,100-square-foot studio will be located at 1101 S. Joyce Street, Suite B10.” [Press Release]

Arlington Tech Students Earn Nat’l Medal — “Lina Barclay and Ellie Nix, two Arlington Tech seniors at the Arlington Career Center, won the second-place silver medal in the 2021 SkillsUSA National Competition for Television Video Production. This is the highest placement for APS students since placing fourth in 2018 and 2019.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Marymount Conducting Heat Study — “Marymount University is joining 11 other higher education institutions within the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) in setting out across the state to understand where residents are most at risk during extreme heat waves. Marymount faculty, staff, students and community volunteers will use specially designed thermal sensors to record air temperatures and humidity throughout the Northern Virginia area over three specific times this Thursday: 6 am, 3 pm and 7 pm.” [Press Release]

Local Woman’s Journey from Vietnam — “It was April 30, 1975 – as North Vietnamese troops converged on Saigon in the last hours of the Vietnam War – that Sonia Johnston (then known by her Vietnamese name To Nga) boarded an American helicopter atop the U.S. embassy and, with no family at her side, was whisked away to a refugee camp in preparation for a new life… ‘I had nothing, and here I am. You can’t do it by yourself,’ Johnston said during a July 7 presentation.” [Sun Gazette]

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Mariflor Ventura made headlines earlier this year for helping her Buckingham neighbors during the pandemic.

Dubbed an “Arlington superwoman” by ABC 7, Ventura has been finding and distributing donations and handing out food and basic supplies for a year — an experience that has changed her life.

But now, she is drowning in donations and buckling under the weight of unyielding need. Still, Ventura is determined to give a leg up to people who have fallen on hard times and is looking for ways to structure and sustain her work.

“I love Arlington,” she said. “Whatever I can do, I’m here.”

Ventura, who is a bus attendant with Arlington Public Schools, began helping her neighbors last year during the lockdowns when school was virtual. Through a local Facebook group, she found items for free and distributed them to her neighbors.

The network expanded quickly, especially after giving an interview in Spanish, which reached immigrant communities as far as Woodbridge.

“This year has been busier than when I started,” she said. “I’m going to have to take a vacation from the donations to spend time with my kids.”

Eventually, Ventura migrated her operation from the “Arlington Neighbors” Facebook group to her own Buckingham Mutual Aid Organization Arlington group. She recently started an Amazon wishlist to facilitate in-kind donations.

“I stopped fundraising because I don’t want to manage money,” which could open her up to criticisms about how it is spent, she said.

The Amazon wishlist goes beyond the basics. There are decorations so families could have proper graduation parties for their older kids and bubble wands, water guns and coloring books to occupy kids this summer.

All these ideas have come from Facebook group members, she said.

“They have good ideas and they like to help,” she said.

But Ventura has a wishlist of her own: A separate space for the donations, a nonprofit designation, and a regular assistant to keep track of appointments and help distribute items.

She has been considering the now-vacant apartment downstairs from her. Even the nearest storage facility is far away and the move might confuse people who are used to coming to her house. There was talk about finding a church basement, but that fell through, she said.

As it stand right now, her home is filled with donated items waiting to be given away.

“There’s no space to clean — there’s a tiny little space where we watch TV in the dining room area,” she said. “Some days, I give up and say, ‘I’m not going to do anything. I’ll just try to relax.'”

She laughs. “Normally, I’m a very organized lady. My mom taught me to have my clothes picked out for the next day.”

Ventura said some connections are working on turning the organization into a nonprofit, but that will take some time. In the interim, she imagines creating some kind of free thrift store.

The Arlingtonian knows what it’s like to have nothing. At one point, Ventura lost her job, her apartment and her car. But someone opened a door for her to start working at the county, and she worked her way up.

“From my experience, I can help more people,” she said.

She said it is hard for many immigrants to adjust to life in the U.S. — to find jobs, seek out assistance or just feel comfortable visiting a park.

“I hear from them that it’s their dream to come here, but when they come, they [realize] it’s not easy to live here,” she said. “It’s hard to find a job and if you don’t have family here, it’s harder. It’s just like they are stuck. Somebody has to help them up.”

Ventura said her neighbors are also returning the favor.

“It’s not like I’m the hero,” she said. “They see how I help and they’re helping in return.”

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Protesters from a long list of advocacy groups are planning to spend a hot Thursday afternoon protesting ICE in Arlington.

The protest is set to kick off at 4 p.m. today (Thursday) in front of county government headquarters, at 2100 Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse.

The issue: police in Arlington notifying U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about undocumented suspects under certain circumstances, and the sheriff’s office releasing notifying ICE about jail inmates for whom a detainer was signed by a judge.

The group La ColectiVA has been leading the charge over the past few months to push Arlington County officials into putting an end to such practices. Today’s protest will also target the county’s relationship with Amazon, which hosts ICE and its contractors via its Amazon Web Services cloud computing arm.

From a press release:

Community members will rally today to demand Arlington County board members take immediate action to end collaboration with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Arlington. People who have faced detention and deportation because of the Arlington County Police Department’s collaboration with ICE, their loved ones, and supporting community members and organizations will gather at the Arlington County Government Center to call on county officials to immediately end all ties with ICE.

For months, community members have been demanding Arlington County police cut ties with ICE after multiple reports of migrants getting arrested by police and transferred to ICE for deportation proceedings, including the deportation of a long-time community member who was reported to ICE by an Arlington County police officer after a fender bender. Community members who have experienced this state violence will demand county officials introduce and pass county-wide policies to end and prevent collaboration and information sharing with ICE.

The protest is also part of a week of action to highlight the collaboration between law enforcement and Amazon, a major provider of tech for police and ICE. Protestors will highlight the Arlington County Police Department’s use of technology in deporting migrants, as well as the County’s partnerships with Amazon’s AWS, which hosts ICE and its contractors.

(The deported community member referenced above was a previously deported felon who provided false identification to police after a crash, according to an ACPD spokeswoman.)

The groups taking part in today’s action, according to the press release, include: La ColectiVA, DefundNoVAPolice, For Us Not Amazon, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, SURJ Northern Virginia, Justice for Muslims Collective, Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, Sanctuary DMV, Our Revolution Arlington, Mijente, NoVA DSA, Legal Aid Justice Center, United Students Against Sweatshops Local 54, ShutDownDC, and Media Justice.

Expect signs with slogans like “#ICEoutofArlington,” “#EyesOnAmazon,” “#NoTechForICE,” and “#DefundNoVAPolice,” per the press release.

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A group of Arlingtonians has worked nights and weekends to sign up nearly 2,000 members of local immigrant communities for the COVID-19 vaccine.

And the team, called the Arlington Schools Hispanic Parents Association, only advertised its services twice: once in March, when the group decided to get involved, and once when eligibility expanded to all Virginians 16 and older.

Word spread by mouth, text and through small social networks among mostly Spanish-speaking communities in Arlington.

“For the first couple of weeks, we were overwhelmed,” said ASHPA member (and former Arlington School Board member) Tannia Talento. “In the last two weeks, it has settled down. But now that it’s open to the public, we expect a second rush.”

Talento and Janeth Valenzuela started ASHPA in 2016 with two other women to address the communication gap among the county, the school system, and Spanish-speaking and other immigrant households. During the pandemic, the group pivoted to focusing on weekly food distributions, rent support, mental health education and now, registering people for vaccine appointments through the community health center, Neighborhood Health.  

“I’m very proud of my team,” Valenzuela said. “We want to help our community get vaccinated.”

It has been almost two weeks since anyone 16 and older officially became eligible to get a shot and the number of vaccinated people continues to rise in Arlington County —  more than 68,000 people in Arlington are fully vaccinated as of today, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health.

Now that the vaccine is widely available, focus has shifted to getting those hesitant to get the vaccine — or unable to get it for other reasons — into vaccination clinics.

Talento and Valenzuela said they did encounter vaccine hesitancy in February and March but the bigger hurdles they face involve access. They worry that hesitancy is used to gloss over these other, surmountable barriers. 

“In the beginning, it was difficult. Most of the population did not want the vaccine,” Valenzuela said. “It’s part of the culture in third-world countries to talk bad about vaccines. We had to work with that and let them know the vaccine is something to open the economy in this country and get back the life they had.”

But when hesitant folks saw their community leaders get vaccinated, they changed their minds, she said. A few skeptical community members do remain, however, she noted.  

Talento said she spends more time helping people access the vaccine than convincing them it is safe to take. Some did not think they were eligible back in February, even though they were.

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Seniors at a pair of local retirement communities are helping seniors at Wakefield High School.

A new pilot program launched last month pairing seniors at Wakefield High School with residents from Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads in an effort to help the students complete their senior projects.

The students and residents meet virtually twice a week. The residents assist the students with finishing their senior project, a year-long research and writing project required for graduation.

Most of the Wakefield students in the program (currently, there are six) come from non-English speaking backgrounds, say Zoe Marcuse of Communities in Schools, a non-profit organization partnering on the program.

“A lot of our students in the English Language Learning Program were kind of struggling to find a mentor or someone to assist in such a big project,” Marcuse says. “[They] often have a hard time finding a mentor due to language barriers and busy work schedules.”

That’s how Meredith and Doug Wade were paired with Muhammad Ahsan.

The Wades were long-time residents of Arlington before moving a few miles down the road to Goodwin House Alexandria. They are on the outreach committee at the retirement community and when this program was presented to them, they knew they could help.

“We are parents of four now-adult kids, so we’ve been through a lot of senior projects,” says Meredith Wade. “We also just want to feel in some very small way… that we’re making a contribution in helping to make our community more welcoming.”

Ahsan moved to Arlington from Pakistan in 2016 with his family. He says he started school two weeks after moving here and it was incredibly challenging.

“I literally only knew how [to say] ‘how are you?’ and ‘thank you,” says Ahsan. “I didn’t understand the other kids. When the teacher talked, I didn’t know what [they] were saying and just followed the other students.”

His English improved quickly and things became easier, but he acknowledged that he still needed help. Between caring for his three younger siblings as well as working to support his family, school could have been an afterthought.

“At some point, you don’t think you can do it all,” Ahsan says. “If you get help, take it. It’s worth it.”

And that’s what this program is offering him, a chance to get help from those that are experienced.

The Wades say that Ahsan is such a motivated student and “charming guy,” that they feel their job is simply to encourage him, provide advice and tips, and help him work through assorted challenges.

“They are such good people,” says Ahsan about the Wades. “They are so friendly.”

Ahsan’s senior project is about the history and culture of his former home, Lahore, Pakistan. He says that he wants to know more about where he grew up.

For the Wades, they are also learning about a place that they don’t know much about.

“We’re learning a lot about Pakistan and Lahore and all the good Pakistani foods,” says Doug Wade. “Muhammad is telling us about all of these recipes.”

Ahsan is on track to graduate this summer after an admittingly tough few years. He’s already registering to take classes this fall at Northern Virginia Community College and wants to focus on computer science and information technologies.

The Wades say what they admire most about Ahsan is that he’s a role model to not only those like him, but his family.

“Muhammad has young siblings and I think this is a wonderful example for them,” says Meredith. “That you persevere and you can ask for help and it’s okay.”

Marcuse says the program has been a success and the hope is to expand it next fall.

Meanwhile, Ahsan is planning on attending in-person classes next fall at Northern Virginia Community College, which is right across the street from Goodwin House. Then, maybe, Ahsan and the Wades can meet in person.

“He promised us he was going to make us [Pakistani food],” says Doug as Ahsan chuckles in the Zoom box below. “We want to taste it all.”

Photo via Screenshot/Zoom

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Morning Notes

Vihstadt Helps ‘Our Revolution’ Join CivFed — “One of the strongest voices supporting ORA’s membership was that of John Vihstadt, former County Board member and life-long Republican. Many Republicans today consider organizations such as Our Revolution to be, at the very least, card-carrying members of ‘Antifa’… Vihstadt pointed out that, ‘although he was one of the ‘non-Democrats’ that One Revolution did not support’ in his last political outing, ORA should be admitted to CivFed because it clearly ‘contributes to the civic dialogue.'” [Blue Virginia]

Ballston Business Slated to Go Public — “Privia Health Group, Inc., a technology-driven, national physician enablement company that collaborates with medical groups, health plans and health systems, announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock… Privia Health intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol ‘PRVA.'” [BusinessWire]

ACPD Raising Child Abuse Awareness — “April is recognized as both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. ACPD is sharing information on available resources and programs in our community to help raise public awareness about child abuse and sexual violence. In support of efforts to reduce the incidences and severity of child abuse and neglect, many members of ACPD are wearing blue ribbons, pins and bracelets during the month of April.” [ACPD, Twitter]

Animal Control Helps Lost Baby Fox — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “A local homeowner heard a tiny cry coming from their garden and discovered this baby fox, alone and crying for his mother…  Knowing that his mom was very likely somewhere nearby, [animal control officers] placed him into a basket and placed him in a safe spot in the garden. The homeowner kept an eye on him the rest of the day, and we are happy to report that by the next morning, the mother had safely retrieved her baby!” [Facebook]

Goodbye, DCA Gate 35X — “Let’s get right to it: It was a bus station. A bus station in an airport. It was two places you’d rather not be, melded into one place… It was a funnel, a choke point, a cattle call. One gate, as many as 6,000 travelers per day. The ceilings were lower. The seats were all taken, as were the electrical outlets. There was no bathroom down there, no vending machine, no water fountain. Dante’s circles were over-invoked.” [Washington Post]

‘Arlington Superwoman’ Hailed — “She’s helped tons of local families get food on the table but her calling to give back goes way beyond food insecurity for those who are struggling during the pandemic. To some, this Arlington immigrant from El Salvador is a local hero. The struggle Mariflor Ventura has seen first hand brings her to tears.” [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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