WHEREAS Erik Gutshall passed away on April 16, 2020, after a brief and courageous battle with brain cancer; and
WHEREAS, Erik served as Vice Chair of the Arlington County Board, to which he had been elected in November 2017; and
WHEREAS, all of Erik’s colleagues on the County Board expressed their deep affection and respect for him. County Board Chair Libby Garvey said, “We are heartbroken. Erik loved being a Board member and loved Arlington.” “Erik was a visionary when it came to our community,” said Board Member Katie Cristol. “He understood how every neighborhood plan, park and bus route affected people’s lives and connected us to one another as fellow citizens. I feel so fortunate to have learned from and worked with Erik as a colleague and a friend and am devastated by the loss of an extraordinary Arlingtonian.” Board Member Christian Dorsey said, “Erik’s passion for Arlington is what made him a valued public servant, and his love for his family made him a model individual . . .” “Erik led by asking the most important questions and encouraging us to reach for the best in ourselves. Like so many Arlington residents, I will miss him very much: he was a brother and mentor to me,” said County Board Member Matt de Ferranti; and
WHEREAS, Erik served as Vice Chair of the Arlington County Planning Commission (first appointed in 2013), and on the Transportation Commission (first appointed in 2014). County Manager Mark Schwartz said, “I was honored to work with him, and for a far too brief period of time, to have had the chance to learn and be guided by his insight, determination, intellect, and humor”; and
WHEREAS, in all of his many leadership roles and throughout his wide-ranging service to Arlington, Erik was a thoughtful and effective leader focused on the future of environmental sustainability, affordable housing, strong public schools; city planning, the arts, and inclusivity; and
WHEREAS, Erik also served his community in many other ways, including on the Facilities Committee of the Western Presbyterian Church, as a soccer coach and PTA member in support of Arlington Public Schools, as a past member of the Board of Doorways for Women and Families, as a past President of the Lyon Park Citizen’s Association (2002-05), and many other positions demanding long hours, deep commitment, compassion, and careful thinking; and
WHEREAS, Erik was also a successful businessperson, founding and serving as president of Clarendon Home Services, named the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Service Small Business of the Year in 2012; and
WHEREAS, Erik was an enthusiastic and steadfast member of the Arlington Democrats who demonstrated unwavering support for our shared values through tireless volunteerism, mentorship, and public service, including by agreeing to serve as a 2020 Joint Campaign Co-Chair in order to lead the Democratic charge in this most important election year of our lives; and
WHEREAS, Erik lived life to the fullest and made a positive, lasting, and meaningful difference in all he did for our community; and
WHEREAS, in his most profoundly important legacy, Erik was the loving husband of Renee and father of Ava, Marlena, and Adum; and
WHEREAS, Erik was a sweet, decent man and a dedicated public servant who will be remembered with affection and appreciation by the entire Arlington community he served so well; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Arlington County Democratic Committee hereby notes with great sorrow the loss of Erik Gutshall, and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER that the Arlington County Democratic Committee will prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Erik Gutshall, as an expression of our deep gratitude for his public service and friendship with members of the Committee and our community.
Passed and Approved this Resolution on the 6th day of May, 2020.