Yesterday was likely the most consequential election in my lifetime – for our country and the world, for the understanding and future of our democracy, economy and environment.
I watched Hillary Clinton’s poignant and gracious concession speech and took to heart her advice to me and others:
1 – Respect the orderly transition of power which is fundamental to our constitutional democracy
2- Work within ourselves to open our minds and to give our President-Elect a chance to lead
3 – Continue to believe in our vision for our community and for America and to stand firm for our progressive values
The first is easy. Everyone must and will come together to respect and accept the election results as that is how America works via the example set by our first President George Washington.
The second will be harder, to open our minds and give our President-Elect a chance to lead, yet we must do this. After we each finish our grieving and our assessment of what happened and why it happened, we must give him a chance. Though my doubts are deep, though I remain concerned about the economic and political stability of the U.S. and the world in a qualitatively different way than ever before, and while there is widespread uncertainty about the capacity of our President-Elect’s leadership, I truly hope that the man I have watched and learned about will change and recognize the vast responsibility of the U.S. Presidency.
As it evolves, I am happy to share my personal analysis of the election offline, its broader meaning and implications. Suffice it to say, that I believe the top reform on my list would be to gather bi-partisan support in Virginia and across the country for non-partisan redistricting reforms – the best way to reduce the national partisan polarization that now exists.
And finally, I will absolutely continue to believe in our vision for our community and for America and to stand firm for our progressive values.
In our wonderful community of Arlington, the Presidential contest resulted in 76% for Hillary Clinton and 16% for Donald Trump, nearly a 5:1 ratio. We have created a special place that embraces diversity, has effectively planned for and implemented enormous change to create a more sustainable, equitable and healthy community – a community that works. We have done this together.
I believe that Arlington has traditionally invited wide expressions of thought, promoted civic engagement and civility, and has thoughtfully developed policy while being guided by that policy’s impact. I believe Arlington has been a model for others and has been able to influence many beyond our borders in Virginia and within the Washington region.
Specifically, today, this means that as leader in our community I want to reinforce our pride in our Arlington community and reassure Arlingtonians of all stripes, hues and homelands that Arlington’s commitment to remain a welcoming and safe community will not change.
As a past resolution of the County Board stated:
Arlington County remains committed to making certain that all of our residents have the ability to engage as full members of our community.
Arlington County has always been and will remain a community that welcomes and values all of its residents, treating them with human dignity and respect, regardless of immigration status. One of Arlington County’s core principles, and indeed one of our greatest strengths, is our diversity. The broad range of views, cultures, backgrounds and experiences among our residents adds to the richness of our lives and the strength of our community.
We look forward to continuing together, as one Arlington, in the best traditions of our community and our nation.
I reaffirm my commitment to this vision for our community…and our country.
Overall, while I am saddened to my core, I am old enough to know that pain and loss inevitably opens up opportunity. The future can be bright, and we in Arlington will do our part.