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Video: New Arlington County Board Member Matt de Ferranti Rips R**skins’ Name, Says Amazon Deal “Good Opportunity” but “Devil Is In the Details”

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I’m not exactly sure why Kojo Nnamdi yesteday was asking new Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti about the Washington NFL team’s new stadium possibly coming to Arlington, since I don’t believe that’s been mentioned even as a possibility. Perhaps Kojo asked because de Ferranti’s “day job” is Legislative Director at the National Indian Education Association, and because the Snyderskins’ actual name is at best repulsive, at worst outright racist. As de Ferranti put it (audio below), in response to Kojo’s question:

“In my day job I do work for Native American students. I appreciate your not using the team name. I grew up here so I understand that name. But of all the sports mascots, this is one name that is not appropriate; it’s materially very different in my view from the Braves or the Chiefs or other names.”

On other topics, de Ferranti talked about the Amazon deal, noting that 1) “on the whole…it looks like a very good opportunity for Arlington by the standards that you just articulated”; 2) “the devil is going to be in the details; we have the that broad focus on that hotel tax, the second piece of what you mentioned in the $51 million is for actually not to Amazon, it’s for improvements that will go to transportation infrastructure in that area, so I think we’ve got the makings and the outline and the the sort of key ideas for a good deal, but the devil is in the details of the actual eventual contract that we sign with Amazon and that we agree to with the state, so there’ll be a robust process on that.”

On housing affordability, de Ferranti mentioned “shifts and changes to zoning that could be helpful…an accessory dwelling ordinance that might be helpful…we have a housing conservation and preservation ordinance that could be helpful…somewhere between working around the edges and the deep and significant what I’d say structural change that we will have we will need to address housing affordability is where I think we can end up.”

On the Amazon deal and traffic, de Ferranti said: “It’s a ramp-up…traffic won’t be an immediate huge concern as a result of Amazon employees. It is important to note that the Metro ridership at the Metro stations in Crystal City is way down from 1986 and 2001 respectively; there’s been a decrease in ridership and that’s because base realignment a lot of federal employees left so there will be traffic studies…one of the strengths of the deal in my view as it is currently constructed is that a lot of the resources are going to items that were already in Arlington’s plan a second exit to the Crystal City Metro that’s going to be now funded through this Amazon initiative that would have been funded previously and so I actually think that on transportation and traffic we’re in a relatively good space because there’s some capacity on the blue and yellow lines that we can can use…I think that we’ve lost about twenty five thousand jobs since 2006 in the Crystal City area so we there’s been a significant decrease relative to where it is now there may there probably will be some additional traffic but I think the vast majority of folks are going to use Metro not all certainly but the vast majority of folks are going to use Metro and then we also going to need to invest wisely in traffic in transportation.”