PRESS RELEASE: Arlington County Walks the Walk on Race Equity

June 22, 2020

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent for County Board on November 3, and I question my opponent’s commitment to racial justice.

On June 18, County Board conducted a racial justice public hearing triggered by local protests over the May 25 police killing of George Floyd. It heard dozens of speakers point out the County’s disparate treatment of racial minorities, while insisting on its resolve to right the wrongs.

Less than a day later ARLnow published a photo showing three black County employees removing Black Lives Matter (BLM) slogans from the street and sidewalk in front of a Bluemont home.

My opponent Libby Garvey published an apology for the employees’ actions, but the incident raises questions about County Board’s commitment to racial justice. Either it doesn’t mean what is says, or it lacks the authority to compel County staff to comply.

If I am elected to County Board, I will not only talk the talk on race equity, I will walk the walk. That doesn’t mean that I agree with Black Lives Matter on all issues. For example, I oppose BLM’s calls to defund the police, which will result in more violence in communities of color.

I also think it’s wrong to promote drastic measures while the verdict is still out on simple reforms. I do, however, defend to the end BLM’s right to advocate peacefully for its agenda.

If elected I will insist on body cameras–which Arlington police officers currently don’t wear. I will promote the reforms embodied in the 8 Can’t Wait agenda, including: banning choke holds, warning before shooting, and meaningful police incident reporting.

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.
  • Say NO to back room deals and YES to the Arlington Way.

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.

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