Happy New Year! Last night, the County Board held our annual organizational meeting. I was honored to be elected as chair, and wish to thank my colleagues for their confidence in me. We elected Erik Gutshall to serve as our vice chair. We honored Christian Dorsey for his excellent service as our chair in 2019. I look forward to working with Erik as my vice chair and my colleagues Christian Dorsey, Katie Cristol and Matt de Ferranti on our Board team. This is a strong team.
In my chairman’s remarks, I talked about the large and clear challenge that Amazon’s arrival presents us: we want to be a model of progress and growth with equity, but that means creating a new paradigm to replace the old paradigm where progress and growth mean that the most vulnerable are the first to suffer and the last to benefit, if they benefit at all, from change.
Changing this paradigm is a tall order. I said that focusing on three areas in 2020 will help. First, Equity: We must commit to an Arlington where progress benefits everyone, not just some. That especially includes our older residents, the people who built the Arlington we have today. Second, Innovation: We need to double down on innovative thinking. We can’t always use the same solutions. Third, Resilience: Our solutions must not only be equitable, they need to last over time.
Equity, innovation and resilience all fit together.
You can read my full remarks elaborating on these themes, or watch a recording of the meeting including all five of our statements online.
As we celebrate Arlington’s 100th anniversary throughout this year with panel discussions, films, book talks, and, yes, a birthday cake on March 16, we will be looking both ways, to our past and to our future.
After our organizational meeting, we met with the Civic Federation. Charlie Clark presented his interactivehistory map of Arlington, which you can use yourself on line. It’s fascinating to compare what particular sites in Arlington looked like in 1920 and now. After his presentation we had a good discussion with Civic Federation and talked about issues and how we might work together most effectively.
During 2020, I’m looking forward to working with everyone to help make our future one in which Arlington thrives and no one is left behind. As always, I welcome your suggestions, feedback, and ideas for what we want Arlington to be.
Please save January 26th from 2:00 — 4:00 pm for my campaign kick-off event at New District Brewery, 2709 S. Oakland St, Arlington, VA 22206. Our special guest will be my friend Aneesh Chopra, whom Barak Obama appointed the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. I expect some interesting discussions on innovation and hope to see you there.