Summer's here, and I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying its arrival. School may be out, but there's still plenty of activity underway here in Arlington County.
The 2nd Annual Great Arlington Bake Off is July 8th
The Bake-Off Returns! After last year's successful launch, we are thrilled to be back at Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan Street, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 8th. Our star panel of judges - La Cocina VA Founder Paty Funegra and former Delegate Karen Darner - returns, joined by Rob Krupicka, owner of Sugar Shack Donuts.
Ready to win over this discerning panel and earn a Blue Ribbon? Submit your entry here. Tickets are available here.
Check out the Bake-Off Buzz in the Sun Gazette, and join us on the 8th.
To Paris (Climate Agreement), with Love: Arlington Acts with a Local Resolution
Our community believes in science and is committed to climate action, which is why so many Arlingtonians found President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate accords totally unacceptable. Many of you wrote the County Board to say that it's no longer enough to simply adopt and implement cutting-edge energy reduction targets, as Arlington has done with the Community Energy Plan. Our local community also needs to take a more vocal role, to "step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got," in the words of former President Barack Obama.
So on June 20th we unanimously adopted a Climate Action Resolution renewing our commitments. Read this policy statement and find information about steps you can take as a resident and advocate for renewables and energy reduction at Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment.
Young Professional Engagement
No "participation trophy" jokes here - Arlington's millennials just want opportunities to participate, period, in shaping their community. We're proud to be America's best city for young professionals, and I believe we need to do more to tap the brainpower and talents of our young people and our renters.
On May 31st, we packed the new offices of the Ballston BID with nearly 80 young professionals for a Millennial Engagement event. It was a great opportunity to hear about issues important to the group - pedestrian accessibility, housing affordability, and transit were key topics - and to emphasize ongoing opportunities to serve in County advisory bodies. The County's Communications and Public Engagement Team also unveiled a new digital engagement platform, called IdeaScale, at the event. Check it out, and follow the lively conversation on parking, parks and a variety of other issues.
Fall Preview: Housing Affordability and Public Facilities Siting
We're full speed ahead into our August Recess, and then anticipate a busy fall.
Public facilities will continue to be a key area of focus for the second half of 2017: Our Joint Facilities Advisory Commission has helped assess and narrow options for two potential County property acquisitions, and the County Board will meet with our School Board counterparts tomorrow night to further winnow scenarios and configurations for siting some of our most urgent needs. With near-term needs looming, such as parking facilities for bus fleet expansions to serve Columbia Pike starting in 2019, the next phase of professional analysis will need to be comprehensive yet expeditious.
This fall will also feature community dialogue and Board action on a number of middle-class housing affordability issues: Accessory dwellings and protecting market rate affordable housing outside of our planned areas (for example, garden apartments in Westover). Both issues exemplify our "all of the above" approach to our housing affordability crunch; as important as denser, multi-family committed affordable projects are to Arlington's future, we also need additional strategies to confront this defining challenge.
Thank you for your partnership, and for the opportunity to serve this great community. Here's wishing you plenty of sunshine and downtime this summer, and I look forward to seeing you at the Great Arlington Bake-Off in two weeks!