See below for Erik Gutshall’s and Vivek Patil’s announcements for Arlington County Board (for the seat being vacated by Jay Fisette, who recently announced that he would be retiring at the end of 2017). Also running are Kim Klingler and Peter Fallon; I’ll post their announcements when I get them.
Gutshall to Announce Bid for Arlington County Board
Arlington, VA – Erik Gutshall will announce his candidacy for the Arlington County Board at tonight’s Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) meeting at Arlington’s Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Gutshall’s announcement comes after longtime County Board Member Jay Fisette announced he would not seek re-election. Gutshall is seeking the Democratic Party’s endorsement in a caucus to be held on Thursday, May 11, at Drew Model School (3500 23rd St S) and Saturday, May 13, at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N Stafford St). Gutshall ran in the Democratic primary for County Board in 2016, earning more than 6,800 votes.
Alluding to last year’s campaign, Gutshall will note that he, “listened carefully to Arlingtonians’ concerns, hopes and ideas and what I learned reinforced my passion to serve this community.” He will also thank County Board Member Libby Garvey for her graciousness in the aftermath of the campaign, and pledge to work closely with her if elected to the County Board.
Gutshall will further note, “I’ve learned from my volunteer experience over the years that we should honor the legacy of past leaders while looking ahead with fresh eyes at our current challenges…. we either innovate or we stagnate. There is no such thing as the status quo.”
Gutshall declared he is “focused on the future” and his campaign will be for innovative solutions to Arlington’s most urgent challenges, which he will identify as finding the right balance between schools, smarter growth, and economic development.
Specifically, Gutshall will promise to:
- Work with the new Joint Facilities Advisory Commission (JFAC), which he successfully lobbied to create, to use vacant office buildings and to build up—not out—to increase the inventory of facilities for joint use by schools and the public, while also preserving park land.
- Champion the “Missing Middle” policy that makes neighborhood-scale housing on transportation corridors affordable for young families and seniors aging in place.
- Accelerate the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem with targeted investments in public-private partnerships, expand the higher education presence in the county, and enhance our high livability standard to attract the talent that employers need.
“Arlington’s progressive success story depends on sound fiscal management,” Gutshall will say. “Our success yields rising property values, but they are not a blank check for frivolous spending. As a small business owner who has to make payroll, I understand the value of our triple-triple-A bond rating and, as a careful steward, I pledge to you that I will make sure every dollar counts.”
Gutshall will end his remarks on a personal note, sharing his concern that the quality of life in Arlington and opportunities for his daughters are threatened by the White House’s efforts to target immigrants, refugees, human and civil rights, the environment, education and health care.
“Here in Arlington we have something worth fighting for. We must resist, we must persist, and come together as never before to meet the challenges we face. I am focused on the future,” Gutshall will conclude.
Gutshall is holding a campaign kick-off event on Friday, March 10, at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore St), beginning at 7:00 pm. Children welcome at this family-friend event.
Visit www.Erik4Arlington.com to learn more about Erik Gutshall and his vision for Arlington’s future.
Erik Gutshall is a longtime community activist in Arlington, a lifelong progressive, and an award-winning small business owner. He also serves as chair of the Planning Commission and liaison to the Economic Development Commission. His volunteer experience over the past 15 years includes several neighborhood-planning projects, president of the Lyon Park Citizens Association, and non-profit board member. Erik and his wife Renee settled in central Arlington 21 years ago and their three daughters attend Arlington public schools.
VIVEK PATIL ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR ARLINGTON COUNTY BOARD
With 60 community members in attendance, Patil announced his intention to seek the Democratic Committee’s nomination for the Arlington County Board seat vacated by Jay Fisette
* * *
Dr. Vivek Shinde Patil, a biotech professional and entrepreneur, announced his candidacy for Arlington County School Board on Tuesday night, highlighting the need for innovation and inclusiveness in Arlington County policy.
Addressing a diverse gathering of 60 friends and supporters in Clarendon, Dr. Patil launched his campaign by stressing the importance of creating and sustaining an economy that is both technologically innovative and supportive of small business.
Vivek, who has worked as a biotech professional at small, mid and large life sciences companies and navigated the successful exit of one of his own high-tech startups, said that he is “uniquely suited to deliver the promise of an equitable and thriving economy.”
“I want to bring a diverse and equitable economy to Arlington,” he told a group of residents, ranging from their 20s to 80s. “We here in Arlington do have a start-up culture, and there’s no reason why we can’t be the next Silicon Valley, while still addressing the needs of small business, education, and the arts. The key is to approach all these areas from a place of innovation. As an early innovator myself, I’m positioned to take on this job.”
When he first moved to Arlington in February of 2015, Vivek immediately joined the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Among other achievements, he developed a “Building Bridges” campaign with the “aim of listening, strengthening relationships between communities, and reaching out to the people who feel like they don’t have a voice in our political process and opportunities in the community.” Since then, Building Bridges has amassed a volunteer following of over 60 individuals and is visible at community events across the county. Vivek noted that, in moving here, he noticed “kindness and compassion in the community, values that he thinks are so American.”
“I want to carry that forward every day,” he said, “and be welcoming to every resident.”
Ian Redman, who introduced Vivek, touted him as having “common sense, common ground solutions.”
“We’re at a crossroads,” Ian added, “and need dedicated leaders who understand Arlington’s challenges are best faced together with innovative solutions. Vivek is the kind of leader we need,”
Vivek will elaborate on his platform and reiterate his candidacy at the Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, which will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, March 1st at the Unitarian Universalist Church (4444 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22204).
The Arlington County Democratic Committee nomination caucus will take place on Thursday, May 11th from 7-9pm at Drew Model School and Saturday, May 13th from 11am-7pm, at Washington-Lee High School. Caucus participants must be registered to vote at the time of the caucus, or present a receipt of voting eligibility issued by the Arlington Voter Registrar or the Virginia Department of Elections .