Why I’m Running For County Board

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board. As a 19-year Westover resident, long time civic activist, and past member of the Transportation Commission, I’m running for County Board because the County has pushed harmful policies resulting in: overcrowded schools,  gentrification, loss of green space, excessive runoff, and a 10 year average annual effective tax rate increase that is almost twice the rate of inflation. 

On March 22, 2023 the County rammed through “Missing Middle”, an ordinance that upzoned single family neighborhoods throughout the county despite massive opposition from homeowners and those like myself who believe it is nothing more than a sop to developers.

In pushing Missing Middle, the County argued that it will provide more affordable housing and thereby redress generations of redlining, despite mounting evidence that it will have the just the opposite effect. Due to inflated land values driven by outside investors, a one bedroom Missing Middle unit will require an annual income of at least $100,000–thus putting it out of reach of most Blacks, whose average annual income–according to the County’s own data–is less than $70,000. In fact the president of the local NAACP, who misled his constituents by testifying in favor of Missing Middle at at March 21 hearing, reported in a February 1 letter to the Board that only 20 percent of Blacks in the county will actually qualify to purchase or rent low end Missing Middle units

I also oppose tax gouging Arlington residents to pay for boondoggles like the $150 million loan the County made in December, 2021 to Jair Lynch to purchase Barcroft Apartments on the Pike without the benefit of a public hearing. As a result, the public doesn’t know the purchase price or whether the loan was financially prudent or necessary, given major involvement in the project by other investors like Amazon. The public is also largely unaware that as a result of debt service on the loan, the County’s ability to invest in other affordable housing developments is severely constrained.

If elected, I pledge to:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Demand full transparency in the deals the County cuts with developers.
  • Reduce the office vacancy rate by lobbying federal agencies to relocate here.
  • Preserve Arlington’s cultural heritage. Stop permitting the destruction of historic structures like the Rouse estate.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy. Stop clearcutting wooded areas along streams like Donaldson Run and Gulf Branch.

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.
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