August 14, 2020.
As the Independent candidate for County Board on November 3, I’m concerned about the stranglehold the Democratic Party has on county government. Yet many voters plan to vote a straight Democratic ticket in November to maintain the status quo. They are clearly unaware that whenever one party exercises total control of the government, abuses inevitably result.
A clear example of abuse was the July 31 decision by County Board to fine people who congregate on the street in groups of four or more. Initially pleased that the County was finally exercising its own independent emergency power to curtail the COVID crisis, I was quickly disabused by Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt, who criticized the move in his ARLnow blog as ill advised.
Slatt argues that the ordinance, which was adopted without input from the public or advisory groups, will lead to selective enforcement, because it penalizes pedestrians on the one hand but encourages out door seating at restaurants nearby.
ARLnow columnist Mark Kelly also weighed in, urging County Board to rewrite the ordinance to indicate whether family members and protesters are included in the ban on congregating in the streets.
Another example of abuse was a recent decision by the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) to oppose a referendum amending the state’s constitution in order to establish a nonpartisan redistricting commission for the first time in the state of Virginia. Not only does the amendment enjoy widespread public support, it was adopted by the both houses of the state legislature in two successive years, 2019 and 2020.
Yet the state and local Democratic parties say they oppose the amendment because it doesn’t go far enough. This argument is misleading, because without an independent redistricting commission another partisan gerrymander is inevitable following the 2020 census–this time a Democratic gerrymander, which is evidently what they want.
If you oppose one party control of Arlington County Board, look no further than the Independent candidate in this year’s race. If elected, I will also:
- Say YES to affordable housing, and NO to upzoning.
- Use bond money for needed facilities not boondoggles.
- Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clear cutting wooded areas as the first line of defense against runoff and flooding.
- Exercise the County’s own independent authority to deal responsibly with the COVID crisis.
- Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.
As a 16-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and current member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.