Whatever the specific issue, I will seek solutions that are based on fairness, equity, accountability, and inclusiveness. I am a liberal Democrat who believes that all members of our community deserve to be heard.
I am running for County Board to focus on four critical areas:
1. Managing our fiscal house with an understanding that we face a new fiscal reality. We need new ideas to address:
- How we manage and fund County assets, including schools, recreational facilities, transportation and infrastructure.
- How we achieve better accountability and transparency, and greater efficiencies in the way we spend money. We can no longer operate in a fiscal environment where it’s acceptable to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a bus stop.
- How we confront the economic realities facing Arlington. These range from the shrinking of the Federal government, to the increased competition created by the Silver Line and growth in Fairfax and Loudon Counties, to the significant drop in the military presence in Crystal City and Rosslyn.
- How we improve the business climate in Arlington so that we can attract new businesses, large and small, and think creatively to expand our economic development beyond the traditional sectors. We need to consider new incentives, streamline processing, and make it easier for business owners to participate in commissions and advisory panels.
2. Undertaking a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure and transportation across the County. Columbia Pike transportation must be re-envisioned without the streetcar, but we need to have plans for other key corridors as well, such as Lee Highway, Four Mile Run, and all major arterials through the county so we don’t inadvertently create poorly linked pockets of development that compete against one another. I support a greater effort of holistic planning – looking at the entire Arlington community rather than just a collection of disparate Metro stations, neighborhoods and points on a compass.
3. Having honest conversations that include all Arlingtonians and treats our County as ONE community. For too long, neighborhoods have had to compete for attention and resources. This has led to tradeoffs and poor cohesive planning. I envision partnering different civic associations and planning exercises to include constituencies not just based on geography. At the same time, we need to better understand the many voices of our wonderfully diverse community, not just the loudest voices and the insider groups of policy makers. This includes seniors who are worried about staying in their homes with rising tax bills, millennials who feel frozen out of the home ownership pool, and our public servants — educators, cops, firefighters and health care providers who can’t afford to live in Arlington. As a new kind of leader, I will come to you to listen to your opinions and suggestions. You’ll never have to seek me out. I believe it is time for One Arlington, One Community.
4. Making things easier. Regardless of the issue – whether you are paying your dog license, reporting a street light that’s out, starting a business, pulling a permit for your home, trying to get information about school, population growth, or how your tax dollars are spent, Arlington has to be more customer friendly. Our citizens have a right to expect first-rate customer service. I also support innovation like crowd sourcing data questions (like school population growth, where to focus infrastructure projects, and where to focus police and public safety efforts) and innovation contests that can help solve larger problems like transportation and congestion on Columbia Pike and innovative uses for public and private spaces.