• The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 2, 2015 7:00 PM at the Community Room of the Ballston Firehouse Station (located at Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive).

April 9, 2015

Arlington Greens candidates panel discussion

Candidates,Events — @ 4:36 pm

Editor’s Notebook: What third-party and independent candidates need to do
by SCOTT McCAFFREY of Sun Gazette Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 7:00 am
About 20 intrepid souls gathered at Shirlington Library amid last evening’s darkening skies for a forum put on by the Arlington Green Party, discussing ways that independents and third-party candidates could find success in running for local office.
(For the purposes of this discussion, which will focus on Arlington, I’ll include the Republicans as a third party. Not intended as a slight, just a reflection of the difficulties the GOP faces in an overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning community.)

At the event, there was a fair amount of bash-the-media for failing to give alternative candidates equal coverage with the major-party contenders. It is a familiar refrain.

But the reality is this: While there is a relatively low bar set to get on the ballot in local elections in Virginia (just 125 petition signatures will land you on the Arlington County Board ballot, for instance), we in media-land tend to set a far higher bar for considering a candidacy worth covering in a more substantial way.

I think I said it last year, when John Vihstadt was embarking on his candidacy to topple the Democratic County Board monopoly: Candidates who aren’t Democrats and want to have a chance on Election Day in A-town would need to raise at least $100,000 during campaign season before I’d be particularly inclined to give them a shot at winning, and providing a commensurate level of coverage.

Why? Two reasons:

• Raising that much money is necessary to get the word out about a candidacy, and to build the campaign infrastructure needed to compete against the extensive Democratic precinct-operations efforts.

• Raising that amount of campaign cash would show that a candidate has a network of supporters willing to, literally, put their money where their mouth is.

Vihstadt was very competitive in his fundraising efforts, picking up as much, and I think more, campaign cash than his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze.

But it’s been a vicious cycle for other candidates taking on Democrats: They say they can’t get traction because their candidacies aren’t publicized, but the media isn’t likely to take seriously a candidate unwilling to do the grunt work of raising cash. It’s a necessary evil in the political arena.

I stayed for the first 75 minutes of the program before having to head out into the night. Was an interesting and informative discussion. We’ll see if the Greens field a candidate this year, and time will tell the fate of independents who plan on running in November.

Goes to Show My Prognosticating Skills Are Worthy Zip

Yesterday also brought a drawing to determine ballot order among the first four candidates to file for the Democratic primary for County Board. As they all got their paperwork in on the first day (March 9) of filing, they were deemed by Democratic leaders to have filed simultaneously, and the elections office held a drawing to determine who would go where on the ballot.

Earlier in the day, for funsies, I guessed that the ballot order would be Katie Cristol/Andrew Schneider/Peter Fallon/Christian Dorsey.

I got the No. 2 and No. 3 slots correct, but flipped No. 1 and No. 2. The order, drawn from a bowler hat provided by Electoral Board secretary Allen Harrison Jr., was Dorsey/Schneider/Fallon/Cristol.

James Lander and Bruce Wiljanen, who filed their paperwork later in the filing season, will round out the six-person ballot in the June 9 primary.

Sometimes Police Chases Should Come with Soundtracks

Ay-yay-yay: Yesterday brought not only the prisoner that a security contractor let escape (as Maxwell Smart would have said, “sorry about that, Chief”), but also that wild police chase on the Beltway, one that in retrospect seems a bit, mmmm, ill-advised on the part of law enforcement.

The only thing missing was the chase music from Benny Hill’s old British TV show playing in the background. Would have been fitting, given the Keystone Kops-esque performance.

– Scott

http://www.insidenova.com/blogs/editor-s-notebook-what-third-party-and-independent-candidates-need/article_d9a645f8-d855-11e4-a257-b377ce19ffa7.html

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March 22, 2015

Panel for first time candidates in Arlington had interesting tips and ideas

Arlington Greens panel for first time candidates had about 15 people at Shirlington Library on March 31. The four panel members were Joe Galdo, former candidate for Congress in Fairfax, Dan Robinson, candidate for the Maryland General Assembly from Takoma Park, Maryland; Miriam Gennari former candidate for Arlington School Board; and John Reeder, former two time candidate for Arlington County Board. All candidates ran as Greens. Also on hand was Gretchen Reinemeyer of the Arlington Voters office to explain the legal issues of filing for office in 2015. There are two county board seats, one school board seat, all four General Assembly seats and the state senate seat open in 2015, and all the constitutional offices such as sheriff.

Panelists left to right" Gretchen Reinemery of the voters office, Joe Galdo, Miriam Gennari, John Reeder and Dan Robinson

Panelists left to right” Gretchen Reinemery of the voters office, Joe Galdo, Miriam Gennari, John Reeder and Dan Robinson

Arlington Greens are looking for qualified first time candidates to run. Greens are independents; accept no corporate or PAC funds, and run against the two major parties.

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November 5, 2014

Vihstadt wins re-election with Greens support

John Vihstadt, an independent candidate for Arlington County Board, won re-election on November 4 with strong Green support, with about 55 percent of the votes cast. A number of Arlington Greens worked at the polls for him as well as contributing money. Democrats, Republicans, independents and Greens in Arlington all supported him. He was the first non-Democrat to be elected to a four year term on the county board in decades.

Greens supported him in his April victory for a midterm election, but he had to stand for election for the full 4 year term in November.

The key issues were the proposed Columbia Pike trolley projected to cost in excess of $300 million from local sources and other financial excesses of the ruling county board Democrats who have controlled Arlington for over 30 years. Arlington Green candidates for many years have opposed the Columbia Pike trolley because of its excessive cost (relative to a rapid bus system), its adverse effect on eliminating affordable rental housing on the Pike, and its negative environmental impact as compared to a rapid bus system.

greens photo with vihstadt nov 5 2014
Arlington Greens Marie Pellegrino and Sandra Hernandes are pictured alongside John Vihstadt at his victory celebration following the election

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October 6, 2014

Arlington Greens Vote to Oppose All Four Arlington Bond Questions on the November Ballot

Arlington Greens Vote to Oppose All Four Arlington Bond Questions on the November Ballot

October 6, 2014

The Arlington Greens voted unanimously at their October 2nd meeting to ask Arlington voters to deny the four bonds on the ballot on November 4: the four bonds total $218 million, the largest being $106 million for Arlington Public Schools.

The Greens indicated that the bond questions on the ballot for voter approval or denial were too broad and non-specific, and were essentially blank checks to the Arlington School Board and to the Arlington County Board to spend money for undefined purposes and without any cost or engineering plans.

John Reeder the Arlington Greens chairman said, “Arlington parents distrust the school board, and many feel duped by the School Board’s failure to approve a detailed CIP (Capital Improvement Plan). South Arlington parents were promised years ago a new elementary school, now proposed to be built on scarce parkland next to TJ Middle School.” He added, “Arlington parents should remember that critical on-going school programs were put on the chopping block in the past spring; and now a confused school board and a superintendent propose to rush spending $106 million on plans that are less than educationally optimal for our students.”

Reeder said the County Board similarly failed to specify for its three bond questions exactly where and how it will spend $61 million on transportation infrastructure, $13 million for local parks and recreation, and $39 million on “county facilities, information technology, and infrastructure.” He said, “voters should be wary of allowing the county board to spend over $100 million without detailed engineering and vetted plans because of these past abuses.”

Reeder added, “This county board built a million dollar bus stop on Columbia Pike, diverted many millions of park bond dollars approved by voters for park land acquisition to remodeling a failed Artisphere, and now proposes to spend over $300 million on a doomed trolley.”

The Arlington Green Party has run candidates for the Arlington County Board for the past 8 years. This year it has endorsed, independent county board member John Vihstadt for election in the November election.

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June 19, 2014

Arlington Green Party Endorses John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board on June 16

Candidates — @ 11:27 am

Press release: Arlington Green Party Endorses John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board on June 16

The Arlington Green Party AGP) at a special June 16 meeting voted to endorse independent county board member John Vihstadt for reelection on Nov. 4, 2014.

Arlington Greens had previously endorsed Vihstadt in April,
and he was elected to complete the remaining term of a vacant county
board seat. The November election is to fill that seat for the next
four years.

AGP chair John Reeder said,” that Greens believed that Vihstadt’s
policies are already making a difference on the County Board and are
consistent with many of the Green’s positions over the years, such as
opposition to a trolley on Columbia Pike and to other wasteful,
white-elephant projects, and support for environmental programs in
Arlington.”

Said Vihstadt in welcoming the endorsement, “The Arlington Green Party endorsement means that we are well on the way to replicating our fusion coalition that brought victory on April 8.”

The Arlington Greens had nominated candidates in county board elections for 7 consecutive years (2006-13,) but in 2014 decided to endorse fusion independent Vihstadt rather than nominate a Green member.

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April 9, 2014

Green endorsed independent Vihstadt wins county board seat

John Vihstadt, an independent candidate for Arlington County Board, won election to an open seat in a special election held on Tuesday, April 8. The Arlington Green Party endorsed John in January, and provided volunteers and other help to him in an effort to get him elected as the first non-Democrat on the county board in 15 years.

Vihstadt was called a “fusion candidate” since he received support from the Arlington Greens, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and independents. Arlington Greens felt that he championed some of their local policy issues, in particular ending two huge proposed wasteful vanity projects, a trolley up Columbia Pike scheduled to cost taxpayers more than $300 million, and an aquatics center in Crystal City projected at more than $60 million in taxpayer funds.

Arlington Greens chairman John Reeder said he and other Greens enthusiastically supported Vihstadt, and believe that his election may bring in more transparency and fiscal accountability in Arlington where the Democratic Party till now had a monopoly on all elected positions. Reeder said that Arlington has more pressing needs for public funds, particularly for building more affordable rental housing, more school classrooms, and fixing aging public infrastructure in Arlington. Greens supported a public housing authority referendum last year in Arlington in an effort to finance more affordable rental housing.

For more information, read Patricia Sullivan’s article in the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/polls-open-in-arlington-for-election-to-fill-chris-zimmerman-vacancy-on-county-board/2014/04/07/8537211a-be87-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_story.html

John Reeder
chairman the Arlington Green Party

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April 4, 2014

Vote for John Vihstadt on Tuesday, April 8 for Arlington County Board

Arlington Greens endorsed independent John Vihstadt for election to the vacant seat on the Arlington County Board on Tuesday, April 8. We urge all Arlington voters to support John: we feel he supports many of the same issues that Greens have for many years and will be a welcome addition to a county board with only Democrats.

Early Voting
If you are not going to be able to make it to the polls on Tuesday, April 8th, or even if you work outside the County, you can vote absentee early now. You can go to 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320, Arlington, VA 22201 and vote 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. today, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. tomorrow or 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday. There is NO early voting this upcoming Monday. This will be a close, low turnout, special election, so every vote matters a lot.

It’s now less than a week out – remember to vote Tues., April 8th at your normal polling place, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m

For more information on John Vihstadt, go to www.voteforvihstadt.com

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January 17, 2014

Arlington Greens Endorse independent John Vihstadt for County Board Mid-term Election

Candidates — @ 3:29 pm

vote1Arlington Greens Endorse Vihstadt for County Board Mid-term Election
January 17, 2014

Arlington Greens voted on January 16 to endorse independent candidate John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board election to be held this spring to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of Chris Zimmerman.

Arlington Green Party Chair Steve Davis noted, “The Arlington Green Party endorsement of John Vihstadt shows that people across the political spectrum can find common ground in supporting independent-minded candidates like John who have a positive, inclusive vision for Arlington’s future. We look forward to working with John on his election campaign.”

This is the first county board election in the past seven years in which the Arlington Greens have not nominated their own candidate. This year the Greens have chosen to endorse Vihstadt who shares the Greens’ opposition to expensive vanity projects, such as the Columbia Pike trolley and the Long Bridge aquatics center, at the expense of funding core county programs such as schools, safety net spending, and affordable housing.

In 2013, the Arlington Greens nominated Audrey Clement who received about 32 percent of the votes cast against Democrat Jay Fisette. The Arlington Greens also supported in 2013 the creation of a housing authority to keep more affordable rental housing in the county.

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December 6, 2013

Arlington Greens want YOU to run for county board in 2014!

Candidates — @ 11:15 am

Press Release: Arlington Green Party Begins Candidate Exploratory Outreach to Encourage Candidates for Arlington County Board Vacancy Election in March

Dec 6, 2013

Steve Davis, chairman of the Arlington Green Party, announced today that the Arlington Green Party will begin actively seeking new candidates for the upcoming election to fill an expected vacancy on the Arlington County. Greens will vote at their next scheduled meeting on January 8 on a nomination or endorsement of a candidate.

The Greens voted at their December 4 meeting to seek new candidates for the county board vacancy created by the announced resignation of incumbent Democrat Chris Zimmerman. The election, depending on the date of the resignation, will likely be held in March 2014. The Greens will also consider endorsing an independent or other candidate if they choose not to nominate a Green candidate.

The Green Party Exploratory Committee (composed of Kirit Mookerjee, Marie Pellegrino and Jim Lowenstern) would like to meet or interview any Arlington resident who might be interested in seeking this public office. For more information, email Info@greensofarlington.org or call 703-386-6919 to schedule an interview.

Arlington Greens have nominated a candidate annually for the Arlington County Board for the past 7 years. In 2012, Green candidate Audrey Clement got about 31 percent of the votes cast for county board, and has run for that office in four consecutive elections.

Davis said that this year that Greens will consider prospective candidates to run for the county board, including independents, disaffected Democrats and Republicans and others who support Green values and positions on such issues as preserving affordable rental housing, eliminating wasteful vanity projects like the Columbia Pike trolley, and insuring that public dollars are spent wisely on our community needs rather than subsidizing developers.

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September 6, 2013

Arlington candidates debate schedule, fall 2013

Candidates — @ 11:39 am

vote1We encourage everyone to attend a candidates debate and to support our Green candidate for county board Audrey Clement. Below is the tentative schedule for the so far announced candidate debate forums:

10/09/13 7:30 pm Ashton Heights/Lyon Park Civic Association
Lyon Park Community House, 414 N. Fillmore Street

10/16/13 7:30 pm Cherrydale Civic Association Candidates Night Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Station, 3900 Lee Hwy

10/21/13 8:00 pm Lyon Village Candidates Night Lyon Village Community
House at 1920 N. Highland Street

10/23/13 7:00 pm Rosslyn/Ft. Meyer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM)
Candidates Night, location to be announced

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