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Jay's New Year's E-Newsletter

Friends –
Happy New Year! 
Michelle Obama’s farewell address reminds me of the importance of HOPE. She and her husband are remarkable people. So as we turn a corner, not knowing entirely what confronts us, I believe Arlington is prepared and positioned for forward progress.
Jay - County Board Chair for 2017
At our annual Organizational Meeting on January 3rd I was elected to serve as Chair of the Arlington County Board for 2017. I appreciated the support of my colleagues and look forward to working with each of them. I identified my priorities for our community in the coming year as: (1) the need for facilities, including schools, within the constraints of limited land; (2) strengthening our economic competitiveness; (3) housing affordability; (4) environmental sustainability; (5) METRO, and: (6) staying true to our vision and values.
I said, “No longer can we rely on the federal government to guide and support us with allegiance to shared purposes and our common humanity. It is becoming all too clear that local governments will be called upon to lead. Communities like Arlington can serve as a model for how progressive social policies can work in tandem with conservative and responsible fiscal policies.”
To read my full statement or to watch the video, click here, here, and here.

Katie Cristol Elected County Board Vice Chair
Katie has proven to be a strong, steady and thoughtful member of the Board and was unanimously supported as the Vice Chair.  Katie was nominated by Christian Dorsey.  For the first time ever, however, there was an alternate nomination made as Libby Garvey nominated John Vihstadt for Vice Chair. To be clear, the County Board leadership (Chair and Vice Chair) have always been selected from the majority party – whether the majority was Democratic or Republican. Each of us then made short statements and Libby’s motion failed 2-3.
While I treat each of my elected colleagues with respect and work to solve problems in a non-partisan fashion, the leadership and public face of Arlington’s governing board should not equivocate on our Democratic values. The video of this section of our Board meeting, including my brief statement in support of Katie’s nomination and explaining why I would not support the alternate nomination is here on Blue Virginia and as reported by the Washington Post.

Jay - Elected Vice Chair of Regional Transportation Board
I will serve as 2017 Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB).  TPB is the federally designated “metropolitan planning organization” for the DC region. TPB works with local, state and federal partners to coordinate transportation planning and distribute federal transportation funds. It also does lots of data crunching such as travel forecasts and congestion assessments of various transportation options.
METRO Must Be Fixed and Sustained
Ensuring the success of WMATA (METRO) is the top priority for the region and will require all our attention in 2017. The regional rail system is the backbone of our transportation network and our economy. 84% of office development in the pipeline in the region are within ¼ mile of a METRO station.
WMATA, under strong new leadership, has taken bold steps to address the system’s safety and reliability. As the only large rail system in the U.S. without a dedicated funding source, we must help our region find a sustainable path forward. This is a Pass-Fail test for our region.
In December I co-authored a letter with Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova and Loudoun County Board Chair Phyllis Randall that was published in the Washington Post.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming Women’s March on Washington.  Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Thanks for all you do for our community. Please contact me anytime with questions, concerns or compliments.  Thanks for your support and friendship!

Fisette for Arlington
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