Nov. 7, 2017
I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to speak with so many Arlingtonians over the past months about the challenges and opportunities facing our county. I wish all the best to Erik and hope that he understands how important it is that the board do more to “Put People First.” The board can expect that I'll be there to remind them of that often because I am committed to staying involved and engaged with this wonderful community as it tackles the big issues ahead.
I am proud to call Arlington my home for over ten years. Like so many of you, I was drawn to Arlington’s safe, vibrant, and diverse communities as a place to live, work, raise children, play, pray, and grow old. As good as our county is, I believe we have a unique opportunity to bring about progressive change for all who call Arlington home.
For too long, the “The Arlington Way” has left out the voices of many of our families, friends, and neighbors. Significant decisions are either predetermined or made without meaningful community consultation. Developers are running roughshod over affordable housing options, displacing people and open spaces we hold dear. Commercial vacancy rates remain high as the county gives multimillion-dollar tax breaks to billion-dollar companies.
All the while, small businesses look for support; new tech businesses stay away; services for the elderly lag; transportation falters, and our schools struggle for seats and resources that will give our children the competitive edge in the global economy. If elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure that Arlington puts people, and not special interests, first.
I envision an inclusive Arlington where policymaking is done with a “People First” attitude that creates vibrant residential and commercial areas that remain affordable, accessible, safe, and sustainable.
I believe Arlington can achieve this vision by having a new independent voice on the County Board that is dedicated to “Putting People First.” I will work every day to be that voice on the Arlington County Board.
“Putting People First” is my commitment to challenging status quo policymaking by involving more viewpoints in a meaningful way. I will seek development practices that don’t displace our friends and neighbors, and that don’t lose open space. I will advocate maximizing our limited land and public facilities through deeper government partnerships and long-term planning which values the past while engaging innovative solutions. I will work for public services and schools that have the resources to effectively meet our needs and are prepared for future demands.
“Putting People First” means that I will demand that we budget in a way that reflects our vision for Arlington while preserving our bond rating. Most of all, “Putting People First” means prioritizing schools, public services, transportation, local business, and open spaces while making sure we keep the unique qualities of all of our different neighborhoods.
It is time to challenge the status quo together. A vote for Charles McCullough is a vote for a thriving Arlington that puts “People First!”