Celebrating the Life of Lucy Denney

Celebrating the Life of Lucy Denney

Celebrating the Life of Lucy Denney


Lucy Denney, who passed away on May 1, 2018, was a tireless volunteer in the cause of building a better Arlington community and a better country. Described by one local publication as a “titan of Arlington civic life,” Lucy was a leader of the fight to wrest control of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, ArlDems, from the segregationist Byrd machine. For five decades afterwards she helped run ArlDems and build it into the force for progressive ideals that it is today. She helped elect many local Democratic candidates, leading the County Board campaign coalition for over two decades and managing campaigns for 29 Democratic County Board candidates. She also ran re-election efforts for Congressman Joe Fisher in 1978 and 1980. To all of her work, she brought intelligence, energy, wit, and decency. She will be sorely missed.

WHEREAS​ in the 1960’s Lucy helped build ArlDems into a pro-civil rights force whose policies diverged sharply from those of the prior entrenched, segregationist organization;

WHEREAS ​between 1994 and 2006, Lucy served as the ArlDems Headquarters Chair, handling a wide variety of responsibilities for the local and state Democratic Party;

WHEREAS ​for her outstanding contributions Lucy won every type of ArlDems volunteer and leadership award, and the main room at the ArlDems’ headquarters is dedicated to Lucy;

WHEREAS ​in addition to expertise in the mechanics of electing progressive candidates, Lucy understood how to achieve progressive goals and secured important advances for Arlington;

WHEREAS​ in part because of Lucy’s work, in 1968 Arlington became the first jurisdiction south of the Mason-Dixon Line to adopt a fair-housing ordinance, and she chaired the Arlington Fair Housing Board from 1968 to 1979, ensuring widespread compliance with the ordinance;

WHEREAS ​after her “retirement,” Lucy remained active in many Arlington civic groups, including the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, the Alliance for Housing Solutions, and the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network;

WHEREAS ​in 2007 Lucy received the James B. Hunter Community Hero Award as one of Arlington’s true heroes; and

WHEREAS ​Lucy consistently supported equal rights, a reliable social safety net, excellent schools, and effective government in the public interest; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED​ that the Arlington County Democratic Committee hereby notes with great sadness the loss of Lucy Denney, and be it

RESOLVED FURTHER ​that the Arlington County Democratic Committee will prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Lucy Denney, as an expression of the Committee’s respect and fondness for Lucy and appreciation for her decades of service to the Committee and our community.

Passed and Approved this Resolution on the 6th day of June, 2018.