Arlington County Board Elects J. Walter Tejada 2013 Chairman

  • Moving Forward Together agenda focuses on affordable housing, fitness & health, urban agriculture, pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Emphasizes diversity, inclusion
  • County Board to hold 10 Neighborhood Town Halls and Walks

ARLINGTON, Va. – Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada today unveiled his Moving Forward Together agenda for 2013. At the Arlington County Board's first meeting of the New Year, Tejada said that he will work toward “making our great community even better, focusing on making our community safer and healthier – for all of Arlington.”

Tejada's Moving Forward Together agenda – Juntos Hacia Adelante – is focused on four areas:

  • Affordable housing: looking at new ways to finance more affordable housing; working to end homelessness in Arlington.
  • Fitness and health: promoting healthy lifestyles and working to prevent childhood obesity.
  • Urban agriculture: working to provide healthy food to our community. The Urban Agriculture Task Force will present its recommendations in the spring.
  • Pedestrian and bike safety: staying active through walking and biking; championing Share Our Streets, Be a PAL — Compartamos Nuestras Calles, Seamos Amables, a safety initiative for drivers, pedestrians and bicycles.

“I believe that these issues are related and that together, they go to the heart of what Arlington is all about – community, inclusion, diversity, mutual respect and sustainability … for all of Arlington, “ Tejada said. “They are all about Moving Forward Together – Juntos Hacia Adelante.”

Tejada also announced that the Arlington County Board will hold 10 Neighborhood Town Halls and Town Walks in 2013, in every corner of Arlington. The first Neighborhood Town Hall is Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6:45-9:00 p.m., at Drew Community Center cafeteria. To see the full schedule, visit, search “town hall.” >>Read Tejada's full remarks.

The County Board voted unanimously to elect Tejada chairman and Board Member Jay Fisette vice chairman; it also adopted its 2013 meeting schedule.

Board Member priorities

Arlington County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette, and Board Members Libby Garvey, Mary Hynes and Christopher Zimmerman also presented their priorities for 2013 during the organizational meeting.

Board Vice Chairman Jay Fisette decried the ‘dysfunction of the federal government,” as it grapples with revenue and spending issues. Communities across the nation “live in the shadows of this drama,” Fisette said.

Fisette named furthering Arlington's environmental sustainability as his priority for 2013, pledging that he will work “for adoption of the Community Energy Plan to ensure our economic competitiveness, energy security and to protect the environment.” The draft Community Energy Plan establishes energy goals and strategies for the entire County.

Fisette also pledged to pursue “a personal crusade to reduce the use of plastic water bottles,” whose use, he said, exacts an enormous economic cost. >>Read Fisette's full remarks.

Board Member Libby Garvey called for the Board to apply the principles of PLACE to a broader discussion on the County's planned streetcar system for Columbia Pike and Crystal City. “We need to have a robust and informed conversation about the streetcar and possible alternatives, before we commit our community to a multi-year project costing around $300 million to start with,” said Garvey, who has opposed the Board's decision to build a streetcar system. >>Read Garvey's full remarks.

Outgoing Chair Mary Hynes announced that Open Door Mondays – drop-in sessions that give community members a chance to meet one-on-one with County Board members, will continue in 2013. The meetings will begin in February and will be held at the Westover, Central, Columbia Pike and Shirlington branch libraries. Hynes said that the County will continue to work on expanding public participation in important government decisions through the PLACE (Participation, Leadership and Civic Engagement) initiative launched in January 2012.

“The wide variety of interactions we had last year confirmed what we already knew – that our community's strong belief that good ideas can come from anywhere is unusual; that collaboration between Arlingtonians and their County government typically leads to better results, and that strategic decisions better stand the test of time when developed together,” Hynes said. >>Read Hynes' full remarks.

Board Member Christopher Zimmerman spoke of Arlington's progressive political values and policies and its “unshakeable commitment to progressive moral values.” The County's “practical, effective approach to governance,” Zimmerman said, has made it “a national model for economic resilience, environmental sustainability, and social equity. From around the country, and around the globe, people look to Arlington to see how it's done.” Read Zimmerman's full remarks.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.