PRESS RELEASE: Arlington County Attorney Denied It Can Take Legal Action to Reduce Office Vacancy Rate

May 29, 2023.

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 7, 2023. The Gazette Leader recently picked up on my press release promoting a solution to the county’s 23 percent office vacancy rate.

The solution is to enforce Executive Order (EO) 12072, which requires DC area federal agencies to give “first consideration” to central business districts of principal cities like Arlington whenever their leases expire.

EO 12072 enforcement would not only reduce the office vacancy rate in Arlington County. It would alleviate sprawl by forcing federal agencies to relocate from suburbs to central city business districts, which would encourage public transit use and reduce CO2 emissions.

The Gazette Leader reported that in 2017 then County Attorney Steve MacIsaac declared that EO 12072 “had never been binding on the federal government and that Arlington wouldn’t have legal standing to challenge decisions made by the General Services Administration or other procurers of federal-government office space.”

This is patently false as the federal courts have enforced EO 12072 in cases emanating from New Orleans, LA, Reading, PA and Albuquerque, NM.

If elected, I will insist that County Board enforce the requirements of EO 12072 whenever a federal agency in the DC area decides to relocate or when its lease expires.

I also pledge to:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Emphasize basic services like: streets, schools, libraries and public safety.
  • Stop “Missing Middle” up-zoning, which will not produce affordable housing but will have major negative environmental impacts.

If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Donate to my campaign.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.