• Please Join the Arlington Greens on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm at the Community Room of the Arlington County Fire Station 2 Ballston, 4805 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA 22203

April 21, 2017

Go organic and celebrate and help our Earth

Development,environment — @ 3:17 pm

Earth Day, April 22 celebrate by going organic in Arlington–buy organic and go organic on your Arlington lawn and garden

Even in urban Arlington, we can do something positive for the environment–eat and buy organic products and go organic on your lawn and garden and only use manure and organic-friendly products.

We know that organic farming practices offer countless benefits to our environment, now it’s time to spread the word! In honor of Earth Day, The Organic Center will be sharing 5 studies that show how going organic supports a healthy planet for all. From the birds and the bees to the soil and the trees, these studies demonstrate how the contributions of organic agriculture to a healthy environment are undeniable!

Follow The Organic Center tomorrow, April 22nd on Facebook and Twitter to learn about the science behind organic this #EarthDay. Or even better, share along with us!

website: https://www.organic-center.org/

Follow @OrganicCenter to learn why you should go #organic in honor of #EarthDay! #ScienceSaysSo http://bit.ly/2gtyUxv

New study on the environment cost of bread shows large impact of fertilizer use. 1 solution: go #organic #EarthDay http://bit.ly/2pLmCGr

DYK #organic farming increases the amount of carbon in soil? Another reason to go #organic for #EarthDay! @OrganicCenter http://bit.ly/2pLq0kI

Go #organic for #EarthDay! Why? B/c pesticides have long-term effects on bees! Organic = no neonics: http://bit.ly/2oRB5Cg @OrganicCenter

Birds are more abundant + diverse on #organic farms. Organic is good for the planet! #EarthDay @OrganicCenter http://bit.ly/2pLnB9V

DYK that #organic farming methods reduce water pollution? Check out the science behind this organic fact: http://bit.ly/1It6VWd

The Organic Center digs deeper
A perfect Earth Day share! We are digging in to the benefits of organic on Soil Health while introducing the work and mission of The Center. Help us spread the word! Check out the video below and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE with your networks!

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April 20, 2017

March for Science: Greens meet at 12:30 PM, Saturday, April 22

environment,Events — @ 3:30 pm

Greens are meeting @1230pm at Holocaust Memorial Saturday for March for Science.

Greens will be joining the March for Science in Washington, DC at the Holocaust Memorial (near 15th Street and Independence Avenue SW) in support of science and environment.
https://www.marchforscience.com/event-details/

April 22nd, 2017

Start: Washington D.C., North of Washington Monument, Constitution Avenue NW between 15th and 17th street.

8:00am: Grounds open.

9:00am: Teach-ins start.

10:00am: Main stage rally program begins.

2:00pm: March begins!

The Route

The march will form on the Washington Monument Grounds and proceed over the following route: starting at 15th and Constitution Avenue NW and proceed east on Constitution Avenue NW to 3rd Street NW, south on 3rd Street NW into Union Square where the group will disperse.

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April 13, 2017

Greens to County Board–Raise the Fees on Developers to Get $7 million more to help 2,000 Arlington families

Arlington Green member Steve Davis spoke at the Arlington County Board’s March 30 Budget Hearing for FY 2018, and urged the board to raise the fee on developers in order to get $7 million for housing grants for another 2,000 families in Arlington struggling with high rents

Raising $7 million more in tax revenue for the county housing grants program through
a higher developers’ fee

Under the 2005 Affordable Housing Ordinance, the county requires developers of new housing projects needing or requesting a zoning change for the project to provide that at least 5 percent of the additional apartments added as a result of the zoning change to be “affordable rental units” or to pay a fee or a “cash contribution: as follows:
$1.88 per square foot of Gross Floor Area (GFA) for first 1.0 FAR;
$5.01 per square foot of Gross Floor Area (GFA) from 1.0 to 3.0 FAR for residential;
$10.02 per square foot of Gross Floor Area (GFA) above 3.0 FAR for residential; and
$5.01 per square foot above 1.0 FAR in commercial.

Unfortunately, this ordinance was not tightly written nor do the constructions costs written into the 2005 ordinance based on market conditions existing 12 years ago reflect costs today even though the costs in the ordinance are indexed (based on the Consumer Price Index in the Washington, D.C. region).

Over the 12 years of the ordinance, developers choose largely to not provide new affordable units on site, but rather pay the modest fee above that amounts to a portion of the actual cost of the new apartment. During 2005-October 2014 (about 10 1/2 years), developers only provided 11percent of required units on site (30 units of the required 295 units), and instead paid a rather modest fee of $137,000 per unit, far below the cost of adding a new unit offsite. These fees were added to the AHIF (Affordable Housing Investment Fund).
The county board should increase the required fees under the ordinance to reflect the actual contemporary cost of a new apartment which is at least $350,000 per new unit. A developer should pay a fee of at least $350,000 per unit or provide a unit on site. A fee of $350,000 paid per unit would generate an estimated $7 million more annually for the housing program. Developers exacerbate the problem of rising rents in our community by their activities, and it is fair to shift some of the tax burden of housing assistance programs to them rather than to only general taxpayers.
During 2005-October 2014, a total 295 additional units were approved under this ordinance, of which only 30 units were located in the new developments, whereas developers choose to pay a fee for the 265 units not provided in the new developments. Thus, this ordinance applied to an average 30 new units per year. These fees yielded only $36.2 million during the 10 years or $3.6 million annually, the equivalent of $137,000 per new additional apartment. These funds were simply added to the AHIF.
These Affordable Housing Ordinance fees cited above should be tripled on a square footage basis. This would be expected to increase the average fee received per unit from the current $137,000 to $350,000. With a fee paid of $350,000 per unit for 30 units, the county would likely receive $10.5 million annually, an increase of $6.9 million a year from the current $3.6 million. This entire additional $6.9 million annually should be placed in the housing grants fund.

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April 12, 2017

Greens to Arlington County Board–Fund 2,000 Housing Grants for Low Income Arlington Tenants in FY 2018

Affordable Housing — @ 10:28 am

Arlington Greens spoke at the Arlington County Board budget hearing for FY 2018, and urged the board to fund 2,000 more households in Arlington with a $300 monthly housing grant:

Arlington Greens Budget Proposal for FY 2018 for Improving Arlington Housing Assistance

Good evening: my name is John Reeder and I am here to speak on behalf of the Arlington Greens. We
support funding about 2,000 more housing grants of $300 per month to help the lowest income Arlington residents (those earning 50 percent or less of the area median income (AMI)). This will cost $7 million a year. We also bring tonight a petition supporting our request signed by 40 Arlington residents from all over our community.

In FY 2017, the county will spend $10 million for housing grants for 1,200 households of which one fourth are families with a child, about half are disabled persons, and one fourth, seniors over 65. All earned well under 30-percent AMI.

The county manager proposes to cut $0.5 million from FY 2017 level. We oppose that, and propose to add $7 million more to the $9.7 million spent this year.

We recommend that you eliminate all eligibility restrictions for housing grants—except for income and personal financial assets. Today only disabled persons, seniors over 65 or couples with a child are eligible.

We propose that the current zoning fee on apartment developers be increased to a reasonable level to raise $7 million more in tax revenue that would fund the expanded housing grants.
According to the Affordable Housing Master Plan, there are 15,000 Arlington renter households earning under 50-percent AMI, and most receive no housing assistance.

Housing grants are the county’s single most effective housing assistance program. A HUD study found that housing grants were 72 percent less expensive than building new subsidized apartments.

One million dollars spent for Arlington County housing grants would help 250 households with a monthly $300 grant, whereas one million dollars spent for AHIF funding would help at most 8-10 households with a new unit.

Two years ago the board unanimously approved the Master Plan with a goal to provide housing assistance to 640 additional households per year. You need to come up with the funding and means to meet your goal, and tonight we offer you one possibility.

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April 11, 2017

Screening of Salam Neighbor, documentary on Syrian Refugees, April 25, at Shirlington Bus Boys and Poets

Events,peace — @ 10:46 am

Join us for a screening and then a panel discussion of the documentary Salam Neighbor, the story of two Americans working in a Syrian Refugee camp; it will be held at Bus Boys and Poets, in Shirlington Arlington, VA, at 6 pm, on Tuesday, April 25. Admission is free, but a suggested voluntary donation of $5 (going to Bus Boys and Poets) is asked.

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March 15, 2017

Greens to the county board: raise the fees on developers to get $7 million for housing grants for 2,000 Arlington families

Raising $7 million more in tax revenue for the county housing grants program through
a higher developers’ fee

Under the 2005 Affordable Housing Ordinance, the county requires developers of new housing projects needing or requesting a zoning change for the project to provide that at least 5 percent of the additional apartments added as a result of the zoning change to be “affordable rental units” or to pay a fee or a “cash contribution. For example, $1.88 per square foot of Gross Floor Area (GFA) for first 1.0 FAR; and $5.01 per square foot of Gross Floor Area (GFA) from 1.0 to 3.0 FAR for residential.

Unfortunately, this ordinance was not tightly written nor do the constructions costs written into the 2005 ordinance based on market conditions existing 12 years ago reflect costs today even though the costs in the ordinance are indexed (based on the Consumer Price Index in the Washington, D.C. region).

Over the 12 years of the ordinance, developers choose largely to not provide new affordable units on site, but rather pay the modest fee above that amounts to a portion of the actual cost of the new apartment. During 2005-October 2014 (about 10 1/2 years), developers only provided 11percent of required units on site (30 units of the required 295 units), and instead paid a rather modest fee of $137,000 per unit, far below the cost of adding a new unit offsite. These fees were added to the AHIF (Affordable Housing Investment Fund).

The county board should increase the required fees under the ordinance to reflect the actual contemporary cost of a new apartment which is at least $350,000 per new unit. A developer should pay a fee of at least $350,000 per unit or provide a unit on site. A fee of $350,000 paid per unit would generate an estimated $7 million more annually for the housing program. Developers exacerbate the problem of rising rents in our community by their activities, and it is fair to shift some of the tax burden of housing assistance programs to them rather than to only general taxpayers.

During 2005-October 2014, a total 295 additional units were approved under this ordinance, of which only 30 units were located in the new developments, whereas developers choose to pay a fee for the 265 units not provided in the new developments. Thus, this ordinance applied to an average 30 new units per year. These fees yielded only $36.2 million during the 10 years or $3.6 million annually, the equivalent of $137,000 per new additional apartment. These funds were simply added to the AHIF.

These Affordable Housing Ordinance fees cited above should be tripled on a square footage basis. This would be expected to increase the average fee received per unit from the current $137,000 to $350,000. With a fee paid of $350,000 per unit for 30 units, the county would likely receive $10.5 million annually, an increase of $6.9 million a year from the current $3.6 million. This entire additional $6.9 million annually should be placed in the housing grants fund.

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March 13, 2017

Greens Share with American High School Student Conference in Crystal City, Arlington, Feb. 18

Greens Share with American High School Students at the Junior State of America Student Conference in Crystal City, Arlington

Two Greens, Miriam Gennari and Kirit Mookerjee, were invited to present at and attend the Annual Junior State of America Conference at the Double Tree Hotel in Arlington on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Like many of us, Greens have been a bit down about the state of our political system—political division, few new ideas and very little straight talk. But that was certainly not the case with the young people from around the U.S. who visited the Green Party table. They listened attentively to one another’s questions, and paid close attention to every answer Miriam and Kirit gave about the Arlington and National Green party.

More than 200 students looked over the 10 Key Values of the Green Party and then shared their reflections on what we Greens stood for. They wanted to know how decentralized government would address issues like gun control and the distribution of wealth. They wanted to know what financial impact free college would have on the countries fiscal future and they wanted to know what our foreign policy and value of non violence would mean when our allies were threatened.

Many of these high school students are frustrated with our nation’s environmental policy, and seemed certain that if there were more than two political parties at the table, common ground would be found to advance progress towards a cleaner greener environment. Even more were skeptical that the two major political parties’ grip on power would relieve itself without a major change in campaign rules that allow the rich and corporations unlimited power over our elections.

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March 12, 2017

Screening of Documentary Salam Neighbor, Tue. April 25, 6 PM, at Bus Boys & Poets, Shirlington

Events,peace — @ 3:09 pm

Salam Neighbor, an award-winning documentary of two Americans and 65,000 Syrian Refugees

A screening of Salam Neighbor will be held:

April 25th, 2017

6-8pm

The Village at Shirlington

4251 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

PLEASE come join us. We will have a brief talk by a peace activist in the Middle East before screening the film. Food and drink are available for purchase.

Attendance is free, but a voluntary, free-will contribution of $5 per person (that goes to Bus Boys and Poets for hosting the film), would be appreciated.

Salam Neighbor

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February 6, 2017

Arlington County Giving $6 million to Nestle Corporation is Wrong

Arlington County Giving $6 million to Nestle Corporation is Wrong

Letter to the editor, Arlington Sun Gazette

Arlington County’s recent announcement of a secret deal in which the county board gave $6 million of local Arlington tax dollars without public involvement or notice to Nestle Corporation to move to an empty Rosslyn high rise is a classic example of crony capitalism to bail out Monday Corporation’s 27-story turkey in Rosslyn (empty since it was built in 2013), and a waste of precious local taxes that can better go to serve Arlington needy citizens, its school children, parks or other community needs.

Arlington does not need to provide big businesses any more incentives; Arlington has been rated for decades as one of the best places to live, work or retire. Tack on our great transportation, low crime rate, great libraries, schools and recreation, and lower taxes compared to our neighbors, and even without our 6 million tax bucks Nestle would have come out ahead moving here. Perhaps county board members and our overpaid Arlington Economic Development staff on the county payroll need get to out and see what makes our community already GREAT. It’s small businesses that need help, not a hundred-billion-dollar-a-year corporations for whom 6 million bucks is a drop in the bucket.

Let’s not overlook Nestle’s shoddy human rights record in third world countries either. The world’s largest coffee company should not be employing slave or child labor in its plantations abroad.

We Greens support transparency in government, and this action was as hidden as darkness. Last year and this year, Greens have asked the county board and manager to come up with $8 million needed to begin to fund 1,800 housing grants as part of the affordable housing master plan that help some of our 30,000 residents making less than 50% area median income and the county board ‘pleads poor us, no tax revenues.’ If you give away the taxes that we residents pay to corporations, then of course there are no funds to help lower income Arlingtonians nor to build classrooms and hire more teachers for our bursting public schools.

Marie Pellegrino

chairperson

the Arlington Greens

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December 6, 2016

Historic Board votes to go forward on historic district for Westover apartments

On November 30, the Historic Affairs Landmark Review Board (HALRB) voted 6-2 to proceed to the final study and review of designating the apartment buildings in Westover area of Arlington as a historic district. Arlington Greens including Steve Davis, Kirit Mookerjee and John Reeder spoke in favor of a local Arlington historic designation of Westover Village, particularly the apartment district threatened with demolitions.
A number of tenants and historic preservation supporters spoke as well in favor of historic designation that would make it difficult to demolish existing apartment buildings which provide over 700 moderate income rental units in Westover.

The county historic staff will next research and complete a full report within 6-12 months, and then the HALRB will vote whether to accept local designation and forward this to the Arlington County Board for its approval or denial.

Arlington Greens have been working with tenants and historic preservationists to maintain the current moderate income rental units in Arlington; there are about 470 apartments that are market rate affordable rental units (affordable at 60 percent of the area median income) and about 223 subsidized committed affordable units. Developers have demolished about 62 units in the past two years and another 8 units are scheduled for demolition. Expensive townhouses are built in the place of these 70 year old apartments.

Digital Camera

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