First, I want to thank you for your support for my recent campaign for Arlington School Board. I got 28,666 votes or 30% of the total.
In 2014 running for the same office against the same opponent I got 18,429 votes or about 33% of the total.
While my percent of the vote went down slightly this year, the actual number of votes cast for me went up by more than 10,000. This is good considering that the uptick in Arlington turnout consisted of a wave of new voters casting a straight Democratic ticket.
Given the serious issues confronting Arlington School Board that my campaign exposed, I was actually optimistic that I might surmount the "Blue Wave" until I arrived at Arlington Central Library at 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6. For two solid hours voters from nearby high rises queued up to vote. Most of them refused to take either my sample ballot or that of defeated Independent Arlington County Board incumbent, John Vihstadt.
Many of them came to the polls clutching the blue sample ballots previously distributed by the Democrats, as though this piece of paper was their ticket to freedom instead of transit papers to more of the same.
Given the anti-democratic nature of the straight ticket voting that characterized the 2018 election, I know my campaign would have gotten little traction without your support, and I’m glad you provided me with the opportunity to get my message to the public.
While my opponent cast herself as progressive, she offered few specifics on the campaign trail on how to address key issues facing Arlington Public Schools, among them:
- declining high school pass rates;
- a persistent and growing minority student achievement gap;
- excessive new school construction costs; and most importantly
- lack of transparency, characterized by the decision to rename Washington-Lee High School with no public notice.
Rest assured that I will continue to raise these issues in public forums, and lobby for the solutions I advocated during the campaign.
Thanks again for your support for democratic action, which is the Arlington Way.