As you know, I am temporarily suspending campaigning for my re-election due to the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. I am now focusing on ensuring our resiliency as a community so we can get through this health and economic crisis and prepare to recover as quickly as possible.
Many of us are eager to help our neighbors and small businesses and want to know how to do so in ways that protect our public health. I am heartened to see efforts springing up hourly to organize community assistance.
I am repurposing my campaign organization and volunteers to leverage and support volunteer efforts. Many grassroots volunteers are needed now for us to get through this pandemic. Many more people than usual are becoming isolated in their homes and will need individual attention. Businesses are faced with economic catastrophe. The needs we have are new and changing rapidly. We have good local government, but it’s hard for government programs to adapt quickly enough. We have wonderful non-profits, but it’s hard for them to adapt quickly enough as well.
Technology can help us. I’ve decided (in my role as a private citizen, not as a County Board member) to partner with a new national non-profit called Be A Neighbor and launch the Arlington Community Corps. The Corps will serve as a single grassroots clearinghouse for everyone who wants to help. We will be using their platform to match people and organizations, and match skills with needs. This can help support and leverage the many safety net structures we already have. Within the Arlington Community Corps, we are suggesting several ways each of us can get involved:
o If you would like to volunteer to help your immediate neighbors in this time of need, go to the Arlington Community Corps and click “Join”.
o If you know of a non-profit in Arlington that needs volunteers to provide essential support to the community, please email email@example.com so we can get them included within the Arlington Community Corps.
o If you would be willing to serve as a neighborhood captain to coordinate volunteers for neighbor-to-neighbor support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get you included within the Arlington Community Corps.
As always, good up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found on the Arlington County and CDC websites.
P.S. I want you to know that Arlington County has sent out a letter to all multi-family property owners asking them to help us prevent evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic by connecting anyone having trouble paying their rent with our services. Here is the Spanish version of the letter. We want to get the word out as widely as possible and as quickly as possible. Please share this with any individual or organization that should know about the support we are offering.