From Matt de Ferranti <[email protected]>
Subject July: Our Economy, Tannia Talento, & Rank Choice Voting
Date August 1, 2023 7:00 PM
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
Dear Friends,

Responding to the storm has dominated the last three days--all residents should have power as I write this, but we are still working on recovery. If you have storm concerns or need resources, go here: [link removed]

In July as a whole, our economy was front and center. Inclusive growth remains one of my top priorities--Arlington's prosperity is not inevitable and as a Board Member and as a community we must act to grow our economy in a way that benefits all Arlington residents. We took several actions to do so, appointed Tannia Talento to serve out the remainder of Katie Cristol's term, and voted to pause rank choice voting.
I attended the National Association of Counties event in Austin, Texas. The best panel I attended was the one on homelessness and how we can respond most effectively.
Two significant economic development projects will add to our housing supply close to public transportation. First, the Holiday Inn in Ballston will be redeveloped from a hotel into 450 residential units. This project will add significantly to our transportation network without adding impervious cover and is exactly the type of transit oriented development that our community broadly supports.

Second, the Days Inn at Route 50 and Pershing will be redeveloped and 251 housing units will be delivered in place of an outdated hotel. The new units will include on-site multi-bedroom affordable units and a better bike trail, an aspect of this development project that received broad community support as well.

The Board also approved the Arlington Innovation Fund to help access to capital for Arlington startups in $25K and $50K grants. I supported this proposal as we must incentivize growth in the midst of the office vacancies we currently face and will face over the coming 5 years as commercial leases expire.

The Board took action to continue outdoor eating, a critical step necessitated by the pandemic. We also invested in Signature Theater, the economic heart of Shirlington. The outdoor seating work is a credit to our staff--they helped move a County Board area of action to a staff one, with appropriate guardrails. Approving restaurant space outdoors while keeping sidewalks clear enough for pedestrians is good for businesses and for Arlington.

The investment in Signature Theater is also a big step. The pandemic hit the arts hard and Signature's audiences are still recovering. I voted in support of an extension of our loan and forgiving over $450K in payments because the alternative would lead to instability in Shirlington and, as a result, contraction of our economy over the coming years. The opportunity cost of not acting would have been painful and greater than the costs we incurred.

Last but not least, the Board approved additional funding for a second entrance to the Crystal City Metro. As we grow in Crystal City, our Metro accessibility must increase, so I supported this investment.

To see the press release summarizing the Board's work in July and detailed information on several of the items above, go here: [link removed]
Tannia Talento was sworn in to serve as a County Board Member through January 1st.
The County Board appointed Tannia Talento at our July 15th meeting to serve through the end of the year. Tannia is relentlessly diligent, thoughtful, ethical, and will listen to all Arlington residents. I enthusiastically supported her appointment. I believe it is worth:
* Reading her remarks on appointment: [link removed]
* Watching her swearing in ceremony by going to the 1 hour 33 minute mark of this you tube video: [link removed]

With Richard Reddick, a Dean at the University of Texas working on student success.
Found time to tour the school and share our alumni hand signal.
Open space and Arlington's history are topics I need to report on more often. The Board approved the purchase of 6.7 acres in open space toward our goal of 30 acres over 10 years. The property we purchased is near Chain Bridge and was purchased at a relatively low price from the Virginia Department of Transportation. The land includes artifacts from an African-American community known as the Bottom where black residents lived from the 1850's through the 1950's. I am looking forward to our learning more about the important history associated with it.
Brooke and I took time to go to Stubb's Barbeque, an Austin institution.
If you haven't been, look for their barbeque sauce at your grocery store and enjoy.
The Board also decided to pause rank choice voting for this Fall's general election. I supported this step because I believe fair questions were raised about the method of tabulation for rank choice voting when two candidates are on the ballot. As I mentioned last month, Virginia law requires what is known as a "single transferable vote" method of tabulating votes where the last place finisher's second choices are given to the remaining candidates until 33% of the vote is reached. Some residents raised concerns with the Board about single transferable tabulation. I believe we need to engage more as a community before moving forward with rank choice when two people are on the ballot. I acknowledge that this step disappointed some in our community, but I believe it is the right thing to do.

Finally, two ways you can get involved. First, help as our community works to end domestic violence.

Everyone deserves to be safe at home and in their relationships. When someone in our community is not safe and is being hurt by their partner, there are resources to help. Please consider taking one of the surveys below to share your experience using, looking for, or referring people to resources for those impacted by domestic/intimate partner /dating violence and sexual assault in Arlington County. Never looked for or used services? We still need your feedback. Take the survey below to learn more.
* Click here to access 2023 Safe Homes, Safe Relationships Survey ([link removed]) (survey available in English and Spanish/ encuesta disponible en inglés y español)

This survey was created by Project PEACE, Arlington’s Coordinated Community Response ([link removed]) in order to understand how Arlington community members have, or have not, accessed local support. This survey is confidential and results will be analyzed by Project PEACE and their members to enhance and improve services for everyone in the county.

Second, I am joining Vice Chair Libby Garvey in supporting Phoenix Bikes. I'll be riding 8 miles this Saturday and have committed to raise $250 for the cause. I've contributed $75 of that, so I would be grateful if you might help with $5, $15, or $50 as we work to help a great organizational that I have personally seen helps students who are working up the economic ladder. [link removed]

Thank you for reading.



Authorized by Matt for Arlington

Our mailing address is:
[email protected]

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed][UNIQID])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed][UNIQID]&c=00ca959813)
** Matt4Arlington ([link removed])
** Matt for Arlington ([link removed])
** Matt for County Board ([link removed])
** mattforarlington ([link removed])

This email was sent to [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
why did I get this? ([link removed]) unsubscribe from this list ([link removed]) update subscription preferences ([link removed])
Matt for Arlington . Matt for Arlington . Box 5884 . Arlington, VA 22205 . USA
Screenshot of the email generated on import

Message Analysis