In a press release, the county said that it received perfect marks for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender protections, but was held back on overall rankings due to restrictive state laws.
From Arlington County:
The County received a score of 87 out of 100 in this year’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) issued by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group. The annual report card graded 408 localities across the nation, measuring the effectiveness of state and local laws in achieving inclusivity.
Arlington won perfect scores for ensuring that LGBT constituents receive the fullest measure of County services, law enforcement efforts and outreach. It also received bonus points for having openly LGBT officials and for being “pro-equality despite restrictive state laws.”
County Board member Jay Fisette says Arlington’s high score in the MEI “validates us as a community that not only espouses a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, but applies those values in real ways that make a difference in people’s lives.” The index also shows, however, “that there’s still plenty of work to do to protect each and every Virginian.”
Although 47 jurisdictions in the United States achieved overall perfect scores, Virginia can claim none. Arlington and the eight other participating local governments in the Commonwealth were held back by a lack of state protections in areas such as transgender benefits for employees.
The so-called Dillon Rule prevents localities in Virginia from acting on those issues in which authority is not expressly granted by the General Assembly.
Fisette was the first openly gay elected official in state history.
There are currently no statewide laws in the Commonwealth that prevent discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
At least one ranking of political allegiances suggests the answer is no.
The political data startup Crowdpac recently ranked nearly 5,000 cities in the U.S. with a population over 6,000, based on political donations of residents. Each locale received a ranking of how liberal or conservative it was, based on those donations.
The “People’s Republic of Arlington,” it turns out, is only the 985th most liberal place in the U.S., with a score of “2.0L.” The most liberal place in the D.C. area, meanwhile, was Takoma Park, Md., with a score of 7.4L.
Parts of Arlington, particularly those in the far northern reaches of the county near McLean, tend to vote more conservatively, though the vast majority of the county is reliably blue on election day. One notable exception was the 2014 election of John Vihstadt, the first non-Democrat elected to the County Board since 1983.
Screenshot via Crowdpac.com
This week, the Census Bureau released its 2014 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, which looks at poverty and income in counties and states. In Virginia, independent cities were included as “counties.”
The top three richest counties in the country, according to the data, are all in the D.C. area: Falls Church, Loudoun County and Fairfax County.
Arlington ranked behind two western counties: Los Alamos, New Mexico, home of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the economic powerhouse Denver suburb of Douglas County, Colorado.
In 2013, Arlington ranked No. 7 on the Census Bureau’s median income list, at $99,255 compared to $107,143 this year.
The top twenty localities on the list, by median income, are:
- Falls Church, VA ($125,635)
- Loudoun County, VA ($122,641)
- Fairfax County, VA ($110,507)
- Los Alamos County, NM ($108,477)
- Douglas County, CO ($107,250)
- Arlington County, VA ($107,143)
- Howard County, MD ($106,871)
- Hunterdon County, NJ ($103,876)
- San Mateo County, CA ($100,806)
- Morris County, NJ ($100,511)
- Somerset County, NJ ($100,194)
- Nassau County, NY ($98,312)
- Williamson County, TN ($97,936)
- Delaware County, OH ($97,802)
- Montgomery County, MD ($97,279)
- Santa Clara County, CA ($97,219)
- Marin County, CA ($94,549)
- Putnam County, NY ($94,334)
- Fairfax city, VA ($94,067)
- Stafford County, VA ($92,647)
Passenger Thrown from Minivan in Crash — Three people were hurt in an early morning crash on S. Arlington Ridge Road today. Police say a car traveling at 55 mph on the residential street slammed into the back of a minivan near 23rd Street S., causing one passenger in the van to be ejected from the vehicle. [WJLA, NBC Washington]
School Board Approves $100 Million H-B Design — The Arlington School Board has approved a concept design for the Wilson School in Rosslyn, future home of the H-B Woodlawn secondary program. With a 92-space parking garage factored in, the construction cost of the school may exceed $100 million. Also last week, the School Board confirmed that it will again ask the County Board for permission to build a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
County Facebook Post Raises Eyebrows — Democratic political operative Ben Tribbett, among others, is calling an Arlington County Facebook post about a local Democratic resolution on the Redskins team name an “inappropriate use of a government Facebook account.” Tribbett was previously hired by the team to defend its name. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]
Nine Arlington Restaurants Make Top 50 List — Nine Arlington establishments have made Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants list. The highest on the list is new-this-year Kapnos Taverna in Ballston. [Patch]
Fisette on County’s Support for I-66 Plan — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette says the county supports a plan for tolling I-66 because it is a regional compromise that’s cost effective, multimodal and not “the typical knee-jerk reaction [of] just widening roads.” Fisette notes that Arlington “was traumatized by the building of I-66 right through some of our neighborhoods” in the 1970s and 80s. [Washington Post]
Four Mile DMV Moving After Losing Lease — Dozens of angry Fairfax County residents came out to a meeting Thursday night to express opposition to a new DMV office in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center. The meeting also revealed more information on why the DMV is moving from its current location on S. Four Mile Run Drive. The DMV reportedly lost its lease due to a planned redevelopment, which has since fallen through. [Annandale VA]
More Info on Courthouse Redevelopment — We now know a bit more about the planned redevelopment of a low-rise office building in Courthouse. A 15-story, 91-unit condo building with 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space is planned to replace the office building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
This year’s Leadership Arlington 40 Under 40 honorees will be recognized at a luncheon today.
The event is intended to recognize “40 emerging leaders under the age of 40 who demonstrate impact personally and/or professionally through their exceptional leadership in the D.C. metropolitan region.”
Among the trailblazers on this year’s 40 Under 40 list are:
- John Vihstadt campaign manager Eric Brescia
- County Board member-elect Katie Cristol
- House of Steep founder and Arlington Economic Development commissioner Lyndsey DePalma
- Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social co-owner Mark Fedorchak
- Arlington Food Assistance Center operations director Koube Ngaaje
- LiveSafe founder Shy Pahlevani
- Land use attorney Evan Pritchard
- Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation director Jane Rudolph
- Shooshan Company leasing director Kevin Shooshan
The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at Army Navy Country Club.
More Metro Delays — A disabled train outside of the Farragut West Metro station produced big delays for those heading into Virginia via the Orange, Silver and Blue lines this morning. [Twitter]
Local Credit Card Holiday Spending — Arlington residents are charging an average of $718.43 on credit cards for holiday gifts this year, estimates the website Nerd Wallet. While that seems like a high number, collectively those in Arlington buying holiday gifts without using a credit card are missing out on $138,846.46 in rewards points, the website says. [Nerd Wallet]
Arlington Still Tops for Va. Tourism — Arlington remains the top tourism destination in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The county attracts more than 6 million people who spend nearly $3 billion here and generate some $81 million in local taxes annually. The tourism industry accounts for about 25,000 jobs in Arlington. [Arlington County]
County Unveils New Online Calendar — Arlington County has rolled out Arlington Today, a new and improved calendar of local events. First up this morning on the calendar: a performance by The Rocking Chairs, the “in-house band” of the Lee Community and Senior Center. [Twitter]
Local Startup Raises $16 Million — Want to start a company in Arlington that can raise big bucks? Do so in the cybersecurity field. Data security software maker ThreatConnect, which recently moved from Shirlington to the Ballston area, has raised $16 million in a new round of funding. [DC Inno]
Arlington Recognized as Bike Friendly Community — Arlington has been named a Silver-level “Bicycle Friendly Community” for the third time since 2007. We’re one of 75 communities in the U.S. to achieve that rating. [Arlington County]
A North Arlington house has been named one of the “15 Most Decked-Out Holiday Homes in America.”
The house, on N. Abingdon Street at 16th Street N., near Virginia Hospital Center, is a perennial draw around holiday time. It features an array of lights, wreaths, Santa Clauses and other Christmas decorations.
The website MSN.com listed the house as No. 11 on its list of the 15 most outlandishly-decorated holiday homes in the U.S.
Flickr photo by Craig Pennington
Wreath Shortfall Projected for Cemetery — Wreaths Across America projects it will be 30,000 short of its goal of 230,000 wreaths to place on graves at Arlington National Cemetery this year. The organization is hoping more donors step up before its fundraising deadline tomorrow. [Fox News]
Arlington Ranks No. 2 for Roommates — Among major U.S. localities, Arlington ranks No. 2 for having the highest percentage of adults living with roommates. According to the website, 23 percent of 18-39 year olds in Arlington live with a roommate. That compares to 21 percent for the No. 4 city, Washington, D.C. [Priceonomics via Greater Greater Washington]
Barbershop Chorus to Sing at Metro Stations — The Arlingtones, a barbershop chorus, will be performing barbershop music at three local Orange Line Metro stations this month. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Wakefield Wins, Ends Undefeated in Conference — The Wakefield Warriors football team defeated the Lee Lancers 50-18 on Friday to finish the regular season 8-2 and undefeated in the Capitol Conference. Wakefield will play in the first round of the 5A North Region playoffs on Friday. [InsideNova]
W-L Makes Playoffs with Win Against Yorktown — The Washington-Lee Generals secured a playoff spot and a 5-5 season with a win against cross-county rival Yorktown on Friday. It wrapped up Yorktown’s first losing season since 1995. [Washington Post]
I-66 ‘Worst Damn Freeway in America’ — Traffic-clogged I-66 is the worst interstate highway in America, so says the website Thrillist, based on federal highway data. I-10 in New Orleans was ranked the second worst. [Thrillist]
Arlington to Get Development Boost at Alexandria’s Expense? — After years of losing big office tenants to Alexandria, the economic tables may be turning for Arlington County. This month Alexandria elected a new mayor who ran on a mildly anti-development platform, while Arlington elected two new County Board members who spoke in favor of economic development efforts. [Bisnow]
Photo courtesy Buzz McClain
Arlington Ridge Ramp Closure — The ramp from Arlington Ridge Road to Washington Blvd and I-395, and from Washington Blvd to Arlington Ridge, will be closed during nights and mornings this weekend, starting at 9 p.m. tonight. VDOT will be milling and paving the ramp as part of a $2.2 million project to repair the Arlington Ridge Road ramp bridges. Construction is scheduled to end by 11 a.m. Sunday. Detours will be in place during the closure. [VDOT, Google Maps]
Weenie Beenie Serves a Top Dog — The borderline historic Weenie Beenie stand near Shirlington is one of the “21 best hot dog joints in America,” says Thrillist.com, besting event Ben’s Chili Bowl. [Thrillist]
Another Endorsement for Cristol, Dorsey — The urbanist blog Greater Greater Washington says Democrats Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey are the best choices for Arlington County Board. GGW says Cristol is “great on transit” and “a pleasure to work with” and Dorsey is “clearly superior to the other two options, Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Ashton Heights Profiled — WaPo’s real estate section profiles the Ashton Heights neighborhood of Arlington, calling it “cozy” with “charming older homes, a child-friendly atmosphere and accessibility to the city.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by xmeeksx
(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Rosslyn have the highest percentage of Ashley Madison users in Arlington, according to the hacked user list from the site.
The now-notorious hack exposed the names, addresses and other personal information of the site’s millions of users, who signed up with the promise of finding partners for discreet extramarital affairs.
ARLnow.com obtained a list of local users, sorted by ZIP code. There are some duplicate and anonymous entries in the data, so the following represents the raw number of user entries by ZIP code, sorted by percentage of the overall population.
22211 (Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall)
Users: 17 (2.6% of 648 population)
22202 (Crystal City, Pentagon City, Aurora Highlands)
Users: 311 (1.6% of 22,543 population)
Users: 192 (1.6% of 12,314 population)
22201 (Clarendon, Lyon Village, Lyon Park)
Users: 437 (1.3% of 33,476 population)
22206 (Shirlington, Fairlington, Nauck)
Users: 195 (1.0% of 19,051 population)
22213 (Bishop O’Connell High School area)
Users: 30 (1.0% of 2,936 population)
22203 (Ballston, Buckingham)
Users: 190 (0.9% of 21,850 population)
22205 (Westover, Waycroft-Woodlawn)
Users: 145 (0.8% of 17,087 population)
22204 (Columbia Pike corridor)
Users: 323 (0.7% of 47,233 population)
22207 (North Arlington neighborhoods)
Users: 221 (0.7% of 30,920 population)
Among those Arlington residents named on the list is an unsuccessful candidate in a recent local election. However, because ARLnow.com cannot verify that those named on the list were the actual users of the site, we will not name users nor link to the list. Comments that name users will be removed.
Correction: We erroneously combined the 22202 and 22203 ZIP codes in an earlier version of this article. The error has been corrected.
Washington Blvd Temporarily Closed — Westbound Washington Blvd is temporarily closed at N. Evergreen Street from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today for water service installations. Traffic will be rerouted around the closure, which is several blocks from Virginia Hospital Center. [Twitter]
Arlington Bagel Shop Named Best in Va. — Brooklyn Bagel in Courthouse has the best bagel in the Commonwealth of Virginia, at least according to Tripping, an online vacation rental search engine. [Tripping]
Tough Talk for Park Supporters — At a time when Arlington’s burgeoning student population is creating a need for more and bigger schools, supporters of parks in Arlington have been opposing the creation of new schools in existing or potential future parks. County Board Chair Mary Hynes says that those who want to see more and more parkland in Arlington may be disappointed. “Their stance seems to be that we should put all our money into buying more land and use it as little as possible… [but] land is our scarcest resource.” [Falls Church News-Press]
AT&T Injected Ads on DCA Wi-Fi — AT&T has acknowledged that for a period of time, it injected popup ads onto websites visited by users of its free Wi-Fi networks at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. [Recode, Web Policy]
Locket Found in Ballston — Someone found a silver locket hanging from a tree in Ballston. The finder is offering to return the locket to its rightful owner. [Reddit]
Photo courtesy James Mahony
Arlington No. 3 on ‘Walkable’ List — Arlington is the third most walkable “mid-sized city” in the U.S., according to rankings from real estate firm Redfin. The top ranked locales on the list were Jersey City, N.J. and Newark, N.J. “Many of the cities on the list are considered suburbs of the nation’s largest cities, proving that one need not live in the center of a major city in order to enjoy a walkable lifestyle,” said a press release. [Business Wire]
Income Needed to Buy a Home — Want to buy a house in the D.C. area? In order to afford the median sales price of a home in the region — $403,800 — you’ll need a household income of $86,595. The median sale price of a home in Arlington last month was $622,500. [InsideNova]
Arlington No. 1 in Public Transit to D.C. — Among suburban D.C. counties, Arlington has the highest percentage of commuters who travel to the District via public transit. In Arlington, 53 percent of D.C. commuters take public transit, while 36 percent drive alone and 8 percent carpool. Montgomery County was second, with 43 precent of D.C. commuters taking public transit. [WTOP]
Vihstadt Campaign Website Hacked? — County Board member John Vihstadt’s campaign website has apparently been hacked by online porn purveyors and its homepage now displays a profane message. That message is also visible when you search for “John Vihstadt” on Google. Vihstadt was elected to a four year term last November and won’t be up for reelection until 2018. [Twitter – NOT SAFE FOR WORK]
County Ranked Top 50 Event Destination — Arlington County has been ranked No. 36 on a list of the top 50 U.S. localities for meetings and events. The District ranked No. 6 and National Harbor ranked No. 35 on the list, from event software provider Cvent. The ranking “reflects Arlington’s appeal as a vibrant urban destination in the heart of the nation’s capital – one that offers the convenience of downtown D.C. with hotel rates averaging up to 20 percent less,” a county official said. [Arlington County]
Columbia Pike Parking Mishap — A car ran partially over an embankment in a shopping center parking lot at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street on Sunday evening. [Twitter]
Pike Photography Book — “Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project,” has been published by the University of Virginia Press. The book “is the extraordinary result of a team of five insightful and highly skilled photographers and interviewers portraying the contemporary life of people and sites along the exceptionally ethnically-diverse and rapidly-changing Columbia Pike corridor.” The hardcover version is selling for $39.95 on Amazon. [Preservation Arlington]
Arlington is the second best place to retire in the U.S., according to new rankings from Bankrate.com.
Arlington received kudos for low crime and above-average quality of health care, along with “great” resident well-being and area walkability. Taxes and weather were deemed “average” and the only negative mark on Arlington’s report card was a “very high” cost of living.
(Arlington was paired with Alexandria as a “city,” for the purposes of the rankings.)
The only place to best Arlington in the rankings was top-ranked Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona. New York City was ranked last, at No. 172, thanks in large part to a very high cost of living and tax burden.
Bankrate.com had the following to say about Arlington.
Typically associated with America’s most famous cemetery, retirees have more to do in Arlington than visit Civil War tombstones.
There are more than 100 miles of trails, bike lanes and routes throughout the city, so it’s not surprising that residents here embrace a healthy lifestyle and rank high on the wellness index.
Arlington has a low crime rate, and locals can get by without a car. Much of the city is walker-friendly, including areas like Crystal City, Rosslyn and Ballston. The city has ample public transportation, with a handful of metro stops in the area. Neighboring Alexandria is also friendly to walkers.
Virginia also has one of the better health care systems in the country. And when compared with the other states, Virginia’s tax rate is more favorable than the national average and falls below its higher-taxing neighbor, Washington, D.C.