Rebuilding Trust in Local Government

I believe that if our leaders have the foresight and the courage to redesign County governance and draw up a clear road map to a future that engages all of Arlington’s citizens, we will have a County government that is more responsive and accountable. Our disagreements need not polarize us; rather, they can improve our collaborative culture.

As a past civic association President, I have seen it happen. I have seen Arlington’s progressive values at work, and have worked with others to create Clarendon, a mixed use, wonderfully livable community. As a Planning Commissioner, I understand intimately how to support a vibrant collaboration among different groups and interests. I have participated in and overseen efforts to continue to develop the thriving Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and have worked to preserve and improve Arlington’s traditional neighborhoods.

I want to continue to build Arlington in this tradition by making the necessary investments in our future. But I recognize, as we all must, that we live in a different time now, a time when we must redouble our efforts at consensus building, and refine our thinking about our future. This is the way to rebuild trust in County government.

Therefore, as a County Board Member, I will:

  • Work hard to build a better understanding between residents and businesses. Community building means linking private investment with public growth. When private and public interests work together, rather than in opposition, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Improved public spaces, road networks, sidewalks, and well-designed parks, for example, contribute to the private sector’s bottom line, which in turn benefits the public realm.
  • Respect diversity in all its dimensions: age, income, ethnicity, and language. Help groups that need help to get information from the County, and collaborate with other citizens.
  • Collaborate with other County Board members to make sure we follow through on our long range plans, on which citizens have worked long and hard: what has been promised in these plans must ultimately be delivered. Where deviation occurs, the Board must fully and publicly present its rationale for altering a plan.
  • Leverage emerging technologies to enable all members of the Arlington community to contribute, not just the most vocal or those whose schedules permit, so that everyone in Arlington will have a vested interest and can believe in Arlington’s future.