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Virginia State Senate
Senate District 30
Senate District 31
(Democratic candidate to be determined by June 11 primary)
Running for State Senate in her hometown of Arlington, Nicole is an economic development expert who has served the community in various capacities such as the Economic Development Commission, Civic Federation, Rosslyn Business Improvement District, North Rosslyn Civic Association, a transportation advisory committee, and positions within the Democratic Party. In 2016 Nicole learned that the sitting State Senator was getting paid as a lobbyist for businesses in the district seeking government approvals and state funds by leveraging their elected office to influence state and local governments as well as civic organizations Nicole has served. Richmond’s ethics and campaign finance laws are in serious need of transformational reform and non-conflicted leadership to do it. What Nicole prioritizes most though are state policies that impact our day-to-day lives. For the first time in history our youth are less likely to be more successful than their parents. We need our education system to work with employers to prepare our children for jobs available in today’s economy and help those in their mid-career make timely professional transitions. A transportation system doesn’t just strive for “good”, but envied. An environment that we can be proud to leave future generations. Renter’s protections and middle class housing availability. As our days change though, Nicole will be there to listen and adapt to be the change we collectively want to see in the Commonwealth. If elected, Nicole would be the youngest women State Senator in the Country and recent Virginia history. Vote June 11th for Nicole Merlene.
Senate District 32
Virginia House of Delegates
House District 45
House District 47
Patrick Hope: http://www.hopeforvirginia.org
House District 48
House District 49
(Democratic candidate to be determined by June 11 primary)
It’s been a privilege to serve our community in the House of Delegates since 2012, where I have been focused on issues ranging from education and transportation to renewable energy and support for small businesses. I’m proud to call the Columbia Pike corridor my home, which has developed into a vibrant community that welcomes newcomers from every corner of the world.
That being said, Arlington’s rapid growth has come with downsides that threaten to leave marginalized communities behind. The lack of affordable housing in Arlington is a crisis with region-wide implications for the economy, transportation, and for our quality of life. Increasingly, renters are being priced out of buildings they've lived in for decades, while home-owners are being hit with rising property taxes. Our community desperately needs more affordable housing to keep these costs down and it has been my priority in the House of Delegates to find solutions to this crisis.
In 2013, my legislation created the Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which has helped thousands of families in every corner of the Commonwealth avoid housing instability and homelessness. It has also invested nearly $1.8 million in projects in the 49th district. This session, I pushed for additional Trust Fund revenues and have worked with the last two governors to ensure that their proposed budgets also prioritized affordable housing. This is a great start, but there is still much to be done. I will continue to push for solutions until the General Assembly steps up and gives this issue the focus it deserves.
Julius D. “JD” Spain, Sr.
Like many Arlington residents, I worry about affordability. Affordability issues affect everyone in some way: it is harder for young adults to get started in the community that invested in their education. It is harder to fill police, fire and paramedic vacancies, putting pressure on our public safety system. Affordability challenges squeeze working families and force them to make painful tradeoffs. From day one, I will take on these challenges.
First, I will seek state funds for salary stipends for critical public safety personnel to address high vacancies, because everyone in the community benefits from a responsive public safety system.
Second, I will advocate for moving forward on feasibility studies on rapid bus transit along our commuting corridors, such as Columbia Pike. Well-functioning public transportation can remove a vehicle from a household’s budget. I will also be hands-on about advocating for pedestrian safety improvements, because every public transit trip starts somewhere other than the station or the bus stop.
Third, I would like to determine what disincentives there are that keep developers from building the “missing middle” – modestly priced residences.
Finally, I will be looking at how to mitigate the second and third order effects of Amazon coming to Arlington, including making sure that our community is not indirectly subsidizing their operations. If Amazon fails to pay workers a living wage, taxpayers should not have to cover their health care expenses through public subsidies. These and other affordability issues would be a top priority for me.
Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington and Falls Church
(Democratic candidate to be determined by June 11 primary)
As Commonwealth’s Attorney for the past seven years, I have watched with growing concern the increasing number of individuals with mental illness who intersect with the criminal justice system, often with successive arrests for low-level offenses. I have championed the use of our Forensic Jail Diversion Team which works to divert seriously mentally ill adults from incarceration and into treatment. The Forensic Team– which works closely with my office and is part of the Department of Human Services– uses what is called the “Sequential Intercept Model” that offers five different junctures with which to engage individuals. Our office works closely with the team at Intercept 2 which is the initial detention/court hearing juncture where the goal is to reduce the number of days that individuals with serious mental illness spend in jail. The forensic team has only 1.5 clinicians available to perform the necessary assessments to determine if individuals are eligible for diversion. This is simply inadequate. While I will always remain dedicated to advocating and protecting crime victims, if re-elected I will work to expand resources and streams of funding for the Forensic Team’s important work. Linking more individuals with services promotes public safety, helps reduce recidivism and provides critical services for individuals in need.
Our criminal legal system needs real reform. Here’s why:
In our community, the Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecuted over 3200 simple marijuana possession cases in 6 years, 57% of which, in the last 2 years, were of black people; the majority of those in jail are on psychotropic drugs; ten year old kids are charged with felonies for school infractions; immigrants are charged with no regard for exposing them to deportation; civil asset forfeiture is used to seize private property without a conviction; and the Commonwealth’s Attorney blocks efforts at real reform. And, all of this is done in our name but out of sight because the office shares virtually no data with the public.
Research shows that we are safer when the system is more humane and fairer. I will work to eliminate cash bail; expand diversion programs for our youth, and people who are mentally ill, dealing with addiction, and with special needs; focus on serious, complex crime; use restorative justice to decrease recidivism and heal survivors; support restoring voting rights to returning citizens; advocate for marijuana decriminalization; be mindful that minor charges not lead to deportation; and make the office transparent and accountable.
Reforming the criminal justice system is one of the human rights challenges of our time. I will build a justice system that keeps us safe without participating in mass incarceration, criminalizing poverty, penalizing vulnerable people, or tolerating racial disparities -- a system that we can be proud of, leads the nation, and reflects our values.
Arlington County Sheriff
Elizabeth F. ''Beth'' Arthur
Arlington County Commissioner of Revenue
I'm running for re-election because my staff and I want to continue the customer focused organization we have created since I took office in 2004. It is what the residents of Arlington expect and deserve.
The office’s motto "When customers call us, they are not interrupting our busy workday. They are the reason we are here!" is demonstrated every day in the way we serve every customer. We have employees who are professional, highly educated, qualified and motivated and who are committed to providing high quality customer service and fair assessments.
In the next four years, we will expand the online filing and tax return systems for businesses and individuals, which will not only benefit our customers but also save taxpayers money by reducing our office expenses. And, we plan to strengthen our relationship with the Department of Motor Vehicles by inviting DMV Connect staff to operate at our office twice a month instead of just once, which is currently the case. At the DMV Connect, customers can renew identification cards, driver’s licenses, and obtain a “Real ID”. Further, we will continue to ensure fairness in taxation by enhancing our enforcement programs using the latest technology while maintaining a high degree of taxpayer confidentiality.
Finally, I am committed to continue to support Arlington Democrats in every way I can, as you have supported me all these years!
Arlington County Treasurer
Carla de la Pava
I am honored to be the Democratic nominee seeking another term as Arlington County Treasurer. My mission is to collect state and local taxes and other revenues, invest and safeguard the money, and disburse funds as directed by the local governing body. The treasurer’s job is not one of policy-making; it is administrative and process-oriented by nature, and I have the experience and commitment to continue the strong stewardship of our County’s assets
Since I took office in 2014, we have reduced the delinquency rate by 43% to the current rate of 0.187% – the lowest in the Commonwealth and the lowest in Arlington’s history. As we do this important work, we continue to look for process improvements and efficiencies within the office that can also have a positive impact on the County budget. One recent example is my effort to reduce banking costs, which has resulted in a $400,000 savings to the County every year.
The focus of my next term will be to make it easier for Arlington County taxpayers to pay. At the Treasurer’s Office, we are upgrading our tax system, developing a new online payment portal (an improved “CAPP”), implementing paperless billing, and exploring Pay-by-Text. Efficiency, collaboration, and advocacy will continue to be my priorities. I thank you for your support.
Arlington County Board (2 seats)
Arlington School Board
(Democratic endorsee to be determined by Arlington Democrats caucus)
Keeping the quality of instruction high while tackling relentlessly rising enrollment is the most important issue facing Arlington Public Schools (APS) for the near to mid-term. We are doing that, and I will continue to do that if re-elected. The quality of Arlington Public Schools is Arlington's signature feature!
APS has struggled with capacity issues for a decade and will continue to struggle for another decade. But while we are struggling, families are flocking to APS. They aren’t coming here because they love capacity challenges. They are coming here because despite capacity challenges, we are keeping the level of instruction high, which results in achievement, which in turn results in successful outcomes for our students.
High-quality instruction happens in the classroom. The secret sauce of APS’ enviable success is that we maintain low class sizes, we hire high-quality teachers and we provide significant student supports, ie, math and reading coaches, gifted and special education services, college and career readiness counseling, and more! All of that means people. But having the right people to deliver high-quality requires a compensation plan that both attracts and retains. On my first year on the School Board I was instrumental in amending policy to require a Step increase for employees in the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget each year.
Education is a labor-intensive business; 80% of our budget is for personnel. I will continue to prioritize employee compensation as a vital tool to assure Arlington’s pre-eminent reputation in student success.
Equity is the most important issue that faces Arlington Public Schools (APS). I would like to work together to close the opportunity gap and meet-- if not, surpass-- achievement goals for each and every student. Let’s ensure that all
students thrive in our schools no matter what their zip code. Diversity enriches our Arlington community. It is paramount that we include all children in our high Expectations.
I want to ensure that the physical facilities and amenities are of high quality for all schools without exception. With overcrowding in some schools and population growth on the near horizon, we need to have a fifteen year plan for the future. My business acumen will help APS plan for growth in ways that have not happened in recent years. My 12+ years of experience working in industry has honed my ability to adhere to and set budgets, understand construction and work with labor organizations. I can strengthen existing relationships between APS and the
business community, and forge new partnerships that will create valuable experiences for Arlington students.
As your publicly elected official, I will be open and transparent. I will be out in your neighborhood on listening tours, and I will make sure your voice is heard in all APS meetings. The 21st century is providing new possibilities for education, society and the workforce. We need to prepare our Arlington children for the challenges of the future by listening to each other and working together.