Arlington LWV Programs and Advocacy
The League conducts public forums on a wide array of issues of concern to the Arlington community. We also do policy advocacy on positions established through internal study and democratic consensus.
League Event Sheds Light on Immigration and Citizenship in Arlington
League members and the public came together for a special Sept. 20th event on immigration and citizenship.
Hosted at the Central Library, the event featured Arlington County Demographer Elizabeth Rodgers, Department of Justice official Cecelia Espenoza and Arlington County Community Outreach experts Sowatha Chea and Victoria Ongodia in a lively conversation about the immigrant and new citizen populations of Arlington County.
Attendees learned that almost one in four Arlingtonians is foreign-born, and that 38.3 percent of them arrived in 2000 or later. 41.4 percent are Hispanic or Latino.
The Arlington County Department of Human Services' Community Outreach Program helps individuals navigate the complex naturalization process and trains volunteers to conduct citizenship classes. They look forward to discussing future opportunities to partner with the League on voter registration for new citizens and hosting a naturalization ceremony in Arlington.
One interesting nugget learned was that that the well-known "green card" signifying legal permanent resident status is now in fact pink! Thanks to all who joined us.
League Speaks Out on Affordable Housing
Over the summer the League spoke out on behalf of Arlington residents living in affordable housing. Read a letter below submitted to County Board member Christopher Zimmerman in support of the addition of Columbia Pike apartment complex Magnolia Commons to the Arlington inventory of committed affordable units. Thanks to Pat McGrady for her hard work on this issue.
July 29, 2011
The Honorable Christopher Zimmerman Chair, Arlington County Board
2100 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, Va. 22201
Dear Mr. Zimmerman,
The League of Women Voters of Arlington has supported affordable housing in Arlington since at least 1986 when our housing study resulted in recommending that the County create an affordable housing fund, and fund it annually at 2% of the annual budget. That fund was established and is now called the Affordable Housing Investment Fund.
In the years since, the League has added a list of other recommendations regarding affordable housing, including one in support of preserving existing market-rate affordable housing, known as "apartment banking". The League has urged the County to be pro-active in identifying "at-risk" market affordable housing communities and working to avoid losing them to condo conversion, demolition, or upscale rentals.
The League believes that the current proposal of AHC, INC. to purchase Magnolia Commons, a 198 unit apartment complex on the Columbia Pike corridor, is just the kind of proposal that fulfills our recommendation. We know that with AHC ownership, the buildings will be preserved as affordable into perpetuity. So, the League strongly supports the addition of Magnolia Commons to the Arlington inventory of committed affordable units, and asks you to support this proposal.
Mary Hill Finger
President, Arlington League of Women Voters