Hello, Arlington! I am Chanda Choun (pronounced CHAHN-duh CHOON) and am running to be your Member on the Arlington County Board. We need to Make Arlington the North Star of Virginia. All residents and visitors to the County, no matter how short or long their stay, must have a symbol of who we are and aspire to be. As a military veteran, refugee immigrant, and technology professional, I aim to highlight our County as the leader of Virginia economically, socially, and politically.
Political leadership is the third mission of my campaign. Arlington and its leaders need to elevate our profile, our model, and our values to the rest of America.
I used to think that keeping my head down, not being bad, and just doing a good job would bring safety and prosperity to my family and me. Growing up I got called chink, n*****, spic, terrorist as the catch-all lone minority kid in a white town, but I shrugged it off as the words of silly boys. My focus was on being better instead of being bitter.
I doubled down on the American dream and civic duty by enlisting in the US Army even though I disagreed with the War in Iraq. Years were spent away from family and friends from marching under the hot South Carolina sun to long nights standing watch in the Middle East. But I used the management and technical experience gained in the military to work for cutting-edge tech companies.
Arlington became home after constant job transfers. My plan was to continue what I thought as a child: keep my head down, not be bad, and just do a good job. Then the election of Trump happened. Then the white supremacist rally at Charlottesville happened. Each happening forced me to shift my plans and actions towards political involvement.
As a man, I cannot let the next generation take their cues of what a person is supposed to be from Donald Trump. As a citizen, I cannot let the fantastical ideology and mismanagement practices of today’s Republicans spread like cancer down to the local level.
As your County Board Member, I will be an ever present and highly known servant leader to Arlington’s quarter million people. I will present Arlington to the rest of Virginia as a visionary, well-planned urban county to be emulated when it comes to smart growth and high quality of life. I will present our County Board to the Nation as a model of caring, intelligent leadership shining across the Potomac River against the hate and corruption in Washington DC. Arlington can be the North Star of Virginia… and America.