At our June Board meetings, the Arlington County Board took up several measures that will help better align Arlington's policies with the ideals the majority of our residents have had for a long time.
Collective bargaining, changing the name of Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard, and our prevailing wage ordinance are each significant changes that have been made possible by changes to Virginia law. Arlington County is acting locally to implement that authority we have been given over the past two years. The Board also took significant steps on housing--both affordable housing in Ballston and two projects with additional housing near metro stations.
The Board also considered our ongoing work on the Serrano and the County Manager selected a new Police Chief. My thoughts below.
Want inspiration? Watch 4 minutes from the Randolph PTA on their work on hunger
Collective bargaining became legal in Virginia on May 1st of this year. This month, the Board voted to consider an ordinance after a full public hearing that will occur in July. I am proud to have done so because I believe that our County staff is critical to our ability to serve Arlington well. Good pay and benefits and collaboration between Arlington County management and employees will serve our community well. There are important details left to work out, but this is a step forward.
Two minutes on Changing the Name of Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard
The Board also took up changing the name of Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard. The Lee Highway Alliance has done a lot of work with our community and is in full support of this name change. We will move forward on this in July after we have a better sense of the costs and have considered it more fully.
The cost is currently estimated at $300K and this step is not the deeper work on housing, hunger, criminal justice reform, and education that is more central to the equitable Arlington we want. It is, however, an important step that I believe is well worth the investment to build a more inclusive Arlington. As Board Member Christian Dorsey said, this is a chance to do the right thing and when one has the chance, one should always do the right thing. Watch my conversation with Christian on this via County Board Wrap Up here: [link removed]
June Board Actions: Prevailing Wage, Collective Bargaining, & More ()
The Board also took up prevailing wages. What does prevailing wage mean? It is a wage that is a minimum fair wage for labor by trade. I am proud to support this as it is a means for preventing wage theft and misclassification and it is part of reducing income inequity. The Board discussed this initially at our June meetings and will enact it in July. [link removed]
Watch 3 minute 50 seconds on our initial consideration of prevailing wage
The Board approved $16 million in funding for the above project across from the Ballston Metro that will create 144 units and child care, along with a new church for Central United Methodist Church. The project is one I have been personally involved with that is additional affordable units brought forward by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.
The Board approved 144 affordable units via Central United Methodist and APAH that includes child care.
The Board also approved two projects, one in Rosslyn and one near Potomac Yard, that will add housing units near metros. Both include affordable housing contributions, but are market rate. Each is part of the work we must do to increase housing supply to slow the increase in affordability and each is highly energy efficient, contributes to our open space and transportation networks, and located in areas where many residents will not need cars. We have done the analysis on schools as well.
Tannia Talento speaks at the County Board meeting regarding the conditions at the Serrano
I have worked hard on the Serrano this month. At the County Board meeting on June 17th, both the Board and I spoke to the work that must happen. I am happy to report that AHC subsequently apologized and offered credits of $500 to $1000 off one month's rent. There is much more work to do. I am committed to holding AHC to the living conditions we would all want for ourselves. To learn more about the Serrano, read this: [link removed]
Listen to this 6 minute video. This is not me saying I agree with Andy on everything, but it is saying that big picture, he has my support as we work to build more trust.
I also want to share with you my support for Chief Andy Penn, who was named Police Chief earlier this month. I know some of you may have wanted someone from outside the Department. I support reform and have been working hard on the civilian review board that I think we need. But I ask you to give Andy a chance to earn your trust. He earned mine over the last 10 months. Please watch the video of him above and read my thoughts regarding this in the summary of the leadership team Chief Penn and the County Manager named by going here: [link removed]
Click here to Join me tomorrow, June 26th for Wendy Gooditis ([link removed])
Lastly, I want to invite you again to Brooke's and my house for an event in support of Delegate Wendy Gooditis. Click the above to contribute because
we cannot do the work we need to do in Arlington and in Virginia over the next year if Wendy and other Democrats in difficult races do not hold the Democratic majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.
We are at $7,328 toward our $10,000 goal for Wendy. If you can't come tomorrow, but want to help, please let me know.
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