• Please Join the Arlington Greens on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm at the Community Room of the Arlington County Fire Station 2 Ballston, 4805 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA 22203

May 25, 2017

Arlington Greens meet on Wed, May 31, 7:30 PM at Ballston Firehouse Community Room

Candidates,green meetings — @ 12:25 pm

Greens will meet on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 PM at the Ballston Firehouse located at N. George Mason Drive and Wilson Boulevard.

The major item will consideration of endorsement or nomination of a candidate for Arlington County Board in the November election.

All are welcome to attend, but only AGP members can fully debate and vote on matters. Membership in the AGP is open to any Arlington resident; dues are normally $25 a year, but for students, unemployed and seniors, dues are reduced to $10. Dues can be waived for economic hardship too by our treasurer.

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May 4, 2017

AGP donates $150 to help Syrian refugees in Northern Virginia

Events,peace — @ 4:43 pm

AGP donors and supporters donated $150 at the community screening of Salam Neighbor (almost 50 attendees!) to help Syrian refugees. The AGP will donate this amount to Catholic Charities, a local charity actively helping w resettlement of Syrian and other refugees.

This event was one of our efforts to reach immigrant and marginalized communities in our area. Through the film, we sought to humanize the media stories that flood our airwaves daily. We made efforts to bring to light the vulnerabilities

refugees endure while living in encampments. We addressed “What Can I do” questions by providing a list of social justice organizations and other ways to impact change to our attendees. One of our speakers talked about the impacts of civil war on the environment, resources and infrastructure. Another spoke about the broader geopolitical implications of the US’ policies in the Middle East.

We are proud of our efforts and are extraordinarily grateful to Busboys and Poets for providing a space and a full menu to our guests and our invited speakers. We remain humbled at Busboys’ generosity and its commitment to sharing Cinema for a Conscious Community.

Our words cannot express our gratitude to the coordinating, managerial and wait staff at Busboys that helped make our film screening a successful one.

http://salamneighbor.org/

Salam Neighbor

salamneighbor.org

Salam Neighbor is an award-winning film and campaign to connect the world to refugees. Immerse into the life of a…

Please view this film if you have time…..(it is currently available on Netflix. The AGP purchased the screening rights to show this film in public/educational venues)

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April 30, 2017

Greens march with hundreds of thousands others at March for Climate Change, Washington, April 29

environment,Events — @ 1:25 pm

Green Party members and supporters marched at the April 29 March for Climate Change along with hundreds of thousands of other people supporting continued U.S. Government support of EPA, environmental laws, and respect for our planet. Arlington Greens mixed with Greens from all points of Virginia, and from states of Michigan, New York, Maryland, Kentucky and the District of Columbia.

We are proud that Green Party values were on display with this great American Democracy exhibit that Americans support a clean environment and measures to end climate change.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/climate-march-expected-to-draw-massive-crowd-to-dc-in-sweltering-heat/2017/04/28/1bdf5e66-2c3a-11e7-b605-33413c691853_story.html?utm_term=.6d918703c023

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April 27, 2017

Screening of Salaam Neighbor documentary has full house at Bus Boys and Poets, April 25

Events,peace — @ 10:07 am

Over sixty people attended the screening of the documentary Salaam Neighbor on two Americans working in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on April 25 at Bus Boys and Poets, Shirlington. After words, Faiza Patel of the Brennan Center for Justice, and a speaker from Amnesty International led a discussion. Sandra Hernandez of the Arlington Greens and Tim Dempsey of the Arlington Revolution Now chaired the meeting.

As a follow up, Greens will be sharing names of NGOs that are working in Syrian refugee camps that can use financial contributions.

The broader question of continuous war in the Middle East including Syria since 2001 with the U.S. futilely spending over a trillion dollars in military spending needs to be addressed immediately as well as improving the plight of the over 5 million Syrians who are now refugees. Without an end to the military violence, including that done by U.S. military and with U.S. military material, there can be no way for these over 5 million people to return and rebuild their country.

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April 24, 2017

Arlington Greens at March for Science, April 22, 2017

A small group of Arlington Greens led by Sandra Hernandez, Kirit Mookerjee, and John Reeder marched with DC and Virginia Green members in the pouring cold rain with tens of thousands of other Americans in Washington, DC to support continued public funding of science for global warming, medicine and other fields that help our country and its citizens.

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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 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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