The recipient of the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s highest accolade for longtime service says she is pleased that the party continues to expand in both size and scope.
“With more people doing more things, our organization is more complex than ever,” Inta Malis said during a May 10 online event sponsored by Arlington Senior Democrats.
Malis had been honored with the award several weeks earlier at the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s (ACDC) Blue Victory Dinner. The honor – named after a venerated legislator – is presented annually to a party stalwart for sustained commitment to the party and its ideals.
Malis has served as ACDC’s treasurer for more than a decade while also serving on its bylaws committee. In the community she has been active in a host of civic arenas, from service on the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals to maybe the most thankless post in Arlington: leading a boundary-change committee for the county school system.
“I can’t think of anybody who deserved to be recognized more,” said Sheriff Beth Arthur, in attendance at the Senior Democrats’ meeting.
Malis said that, even before COVID, the party’s methods of messaging internally and externally had been significantly evolving.
“We recruited a younger group of people who really understand social media,” she said. “We can target those people that are interested in receiving our message. That has really extended our reach.”
Malis also pointed to the establishment of specialized caucuses, an expanded communications team and a voter-support effort that split off from precinct operations to focus directly on getting people registered to vote and engaged in the process.
Malis has “truly been a blessing to the operations of ACDC,” said Bob Platt, who organizes the Senior Democrats’ initiative.
The award to Malis, Platt said, is “very, very meaningful and reflects a long-term body of contribution.”
The award is named in honor of Mary Marshall (1921-92), who represented Arlington in the House of Delegates for two stints: from 1966 until 1970 (she and other Arlington Democratic delegates were briefly ousted by Republicans in 1969) and then from 1972 to 1992. She died nine months after leaving office.
Describing both her political activities and her civic-engagement life, Malis said Arlington is a special and in some ways unique place.
“Working here is a pleasure, not a chore,” she said. “We live in a community of highly capable people . . . working together to make things better.”