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Thursday, December 1, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionEditorial: Election results show how power has shifted in Arlington

Editorial: Election results show how power has shifted in Arlington

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A win’s a win, and Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti’s substantial victory – taking 60 percent of the vote against two independent challengers – is not something to discount. In fact, he deserves credit.

But. (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there.)

Take a look at precinct-by-precinct results and you’ll see that four big, largely single-family swaths of North Arlington in large number voted for anti-Missing-Middle candidate Audrey Clement over de Ferranti.

A decade or more ago, this would have been something of major importance, as County Board members for generations had feared the wrath of North Arlington neighborhoods and worked hard to stay on their good side.

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These days, however, even local elections are dominated not by those neighborhoods, but by residents of condos and apartments who the Arlington County Democratic Committee successfully have activated to vote the party’s sample ballot, top to bottom, year after year. The days of County Board members being afraid of outsized power wielded by residents of single-family North Arlington neighborhoods are in the rear-view mirror.

That’s not necessarily a good development or a bad one. It merely is was it is. But it means that those neighborhoods, which not too long ago would have held an effective veto power over implementation of something like massive Missing Middle zoning changes, are no longer the drivers in the countywide decision-making.

Still, it’s going to be verrrrrrry interesting to see the reaction in those neighborhoods once the bulldozers move in, homes are razed and de-facto multi-family housing starts taking its place.

You think those residents are PO’d now? Just wait until then.

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