PRESS RELEASE: Stop Reelecting the Democratic Machine

May 5, 2024.

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 5. As a 20-year Westover resident, long time civic activist, and past member of the Transportation Commission, I’m running for County Board because it has pushed harmful policies including:

  • excessive taxation, and
  • Missing Middle up-zoning

Earlier this year, the County Manager reported: “This budget is balanced relying on anticipated revenues at the current tax rate.”

So why has County Board adopted a tax rate hike that will increase the average tax and fee burden by $541 or 5.1 percent, which is about double the average 10-year rate of inflation?

Of an estimated $18 million in additional taxes from the rate hike, the lion’s share goes to housing programs. There’s $20 million for the Arlington Housing Investment Fund up from $15 million in FY 2024. There’s another $15 million for housing grants and $4.3 million for eviction relief.

Some of the housing grant money is planned for undocumented immigrants, in contravention of Virginia statute that expressly bars public assistance for those not legally present in the United States.

The budget doesn’t estimate the number of legal residents who will be driven out of the county due to escalating taxes. Nor does it explain why it’s okay to put some residents out of their homes in order to provide housing for others.

I also oppose the so-called “Missing Middle” ordinance that the County rammed through in 2023. Missing Middle up-zoned residential neighborhoods throughout the county, despite massive opposition from homeowners and renters like me who see it as nothing more than a revenue generator designed to offset the County’s declining commercial tax base.

By now Missing Middle proponents acknowledge that it won’t provide affordable housing, but they continue to deny the impacts on schools, parking, congestion and runoff that dense infill development will bring.

Some Democratic Party candidates say they oppose Missing Middle, but once elected they will be forced to go along with the program. The only way to make the Democratic Party machine accountable is to stop reelecting it. Vote Clement for County Board on November 5.

If elected, I pledge to:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Convene a task force of community stakeholders to study reasonable alternatives to Missing Middle.

If you share my agenda, then:

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