Issues

 

Strategy to Increase Nonresidential Revenue

Attracting new companies to Arlington and retaining existing businesses are two of my top priorities to ensure a fair, viable revenue base.  In Arlington, we are facing strong competition from surrounding jurisdictions for commercial tax dollars. In addition, the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative as well as workforce efficiencies in both the public and private sectors have contributed to Arlington’s troubling  office vacancy rate.  As your county board member, I will lead:

  • An effort to find low-cost ways to improve the process by which businesses interact with our county government, such as creating clear, consistent, and efficient procedures in the permitting process;

  • An initiative that moves our county away from a too-heavy reliance on a government-centered strategy to a more balanced public-private sector economic development approach;

  • Our county to adopt an expeditious process for green, environmentally-friendly commercial projects.

Enrollment Growth within Arlington Public Schools

As the Chair of the Arlington School Board, I’m intimately familiar with the importance of the working relationship between Arlington’s two elected boards. We need thoughtful, prudent and innovative ways of thinking about meeting the enrollment challenges now and in the years ahead.  As a steward of your tax dollars, I understand that, first and foremost, we should not rely solely on constructing expensive new facilities to address our enrollment crisis. As a member of your county board, I will lead:

  • The support of our excellent school system by maximizing the use of existing county facilities as a key ingredient for accommodating our growing school population;

  • The reform of the county and schools budget process, starting with the “Budget Principles” agreement recently adopted by both boards which documents a commitment to prioritize funding for our schools;

  • Creative, out-of-the-box initiatives, for example, the Career Center project is scheduled for approval in a 2018 bond referendum with a projected cost of some $153 million. I will lead a public discussion about re-imagining the renovation of the Career Center into a joint county/schools project that maximizes the use of the site for school and community use, including a community swimming pool that eliminates the need for an expensive aquatics center and that could increase pedestrian traffic to local businesses along Columbia Pike.

Housing Affordability for Arlingtonians

I am committed to our shared values of maintaining our inclusive community that welcomes folks from across the county and the world, promoting Arlington as a place to work, live, invest, and stay! Arlington’s future economic viability depends on us leveraging the strength of our diverse population of young families, seasoned residents, immigrants, women, teachers, LGBT citizens, and service workers of various income levels. As your county board member, I will lead:

  • A housing-needs analysis for Arlington’s growing population conducted jointly by the county board and school board that will seek to achieve better population projections;

Transparent and Effective Government

Arlington residents must believe that their opinions will be respected and their voices heard in government decision-making–and they will when I am on the county board.  Today, many residents believe that the decision-making process is not truly open and honest.  To them I say: I will not tolerate the status quo! As your county board member, I will lead by:

  • Meeting and listening to all Arlingtonians who want to have their voices heard;

  • Making principled decisions based on what’s best for our community;

  • Encouraging community members, civic leaders, and business owners to participate in the process of civic engagement where differences of opinions are respected;

  • Being a representative and voice for our diverse populations and residents of every income level.

Sustainability

Maintaining our precious green and open space is a critical component in the future growth of Arlington. In addition, last year the county’s Urban Agriculture Task Force released a report listing nine priorities for promoting gardening, composting and other food-related practices that can enhance the health and quality of life for all Arlington residents.  As a member of your county board, I will lead:

  • An initiative that clarifies the appropriate criteria for preserving green space on county- owned land, recognizing that preservation is a high value in the county;

  • Efforts to maintain and expand the terrific neighborhood parks that are a hallmark of Arlington County;

  • Support for a successful county renovation of the historic Reevesland farmhouse so it can be used as the Reevesland Learning Center to educate Arlington children and adults about growing and preparing healthy food.