ArlNow Candidate Statement: Why I’m Seeking Your Vote

ArlNow Candidate Statement: Why I’m Seeking Your Vote

I am seeking election to the Arlington County Board – and your vote – because I believe Arlington’s best days are ahead and we need elected leaders with experience and common sense to get us there.

From the divisive missing middle housing debate to urgent challenges facing our youth, we clearly have important work to do to bring our community back together. My priorities include:

  • Smart growth and planning that gets housing right – with diverse options for ownership and rental across life stages and incomes. This includes revisiting lot coverage, closely monitoring and revising the Expanded Housing Options policy, and developing a comprehensive, common-sense housing plan that takes all Arlington residents into
  • Reconnecting our community – especially our young people, whose formative years have been disrupted by the pandemic, political unrest, and climate This includes improving access for all and strengthening volunteerism and out-of-school programming.
  • Transparent, good government that gets the basics right and responds quickly when something needs attention. This includes careful spending analysis and long-term planning, improvements to permitting and site review processes, and transparent, easily accessible data to answer inquiries.

I know many of you through professional and volunteer roles. Trained as an engineer, I am a seasoned executive and mom to two teenagers in Arlington Public Schools, known as:

Throughout this campaign, it has been a real privilege to talk with thousands of you about your hopes and concerns. I hear a nearly universal desire for a resilient Arlington that is connected, inclusive, and sustainable – both environmentally and financially. And, I hear deep concern that the accelerating global climate crisis, violence in the Middle East, and loneliness epidemic nationally raise the stakes for reconnecting our community, hearing each other, and building Arlington’s future together.

My experience and common-sense leadership will help move Arlington ahead into its best days. I look forward to what we can achieve together and ask for your vote on or before Tuesday, November 7th. Thank you.

You may also read and download my statement here.


Democratic County Board Candidates Call for Improved Government Transparency

Democratic County Board Candidates Call for Improved Government Transparency

Did you miss the recent candidate debate sponsored by the Arlington County Civic Federation? You can watch it here.

As Arlington Now reported, “The County Board forum began with topics such as police staffing and the office vacancy rate, but heated up during a later question about transparency. The question elicited criticism from every candidate about how the county makes information available. Multiple candidates suggested an overhaul of how Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are handled, saying the status quo is laborious for staff and expensive for residents.”

“We’ve not gotten to a place where our FOIA requests… are searchable and available to all, and that’s a waste of staff time and our own time,” said Democratic candidate Susan Cunningham.

Fellow Democratic candidate Maureen Coffey suggested another overhaul of the website to make it easier to find information, including more details about applications to build Missing Middle-type homes. “To the question of transparency from earlier, this is this is really concerning and that we should be pushing for it,” she said, noting that “it’s not realistic to ask people to go through 100 steps to get there.”

2023-09-05 ACCF General Meeting, 5 Sept 2023 from Arlington Cty Civic Fed [ACCF] onVimeo.

More News Coverage:

Statement on the Death of Abonesh Woldegeorges

For immediate release:

As speakers were gathering early Sunday morning at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington to continue the fight against injustice and inequality, Ms. Woldegeorges was found unresponsive only two miles away at the Arlington County Jail.

Following the death of Paul Thompson in February 2022, the Arlington County Sheriff reportedly implemented health and medical care reforms to improve medical care, including medical devices to “track heart rates and alert workstations.” Were these precautions in use? Did they effectively ensure timely emergency aid? If not, why not?

We will learn more as the Arlington County Police Department completes a death investigation and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determines the cause and manner of Ms. Woldegeorges’ death. In the meantime, I call on our County Board to act swiftly to:

  1. Convene a public work session to hear directly from the Sheriff on the steps his office has taken and intends to take to materially enhance the quality health care for individuals in County custody. NAACP and other community stakeholders should be invited to attend and present testimony.
  2. Direct the County Manager to review the extent and result of medical, behavioral health and rehousing support provided, or not, to Ms. Woldegeorges by Arlington and other regional jurisdictions, to identify gaps and better serve every community member’s needs.

Every life is precious, whether my child’s or a community member held in custody. Our community expects and demands that our leaders demonstrate that care and commitment.

Download Susan’s statement here.

“Ranked Choice” Voting Debuts in Arlington

“Ranked Choice” Voting Debuts in Arlington

Final results from our Democratic Primary in Arlington County were recently summarized in this graphic created for, the website of the Virginia Public Access Project: “Ranked Choice Voting — a method adopted by the state Republican Party to select its 2021 statewide ticket — made its debut Tuesday in a nomination contest for a local elected office. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County Democrats were given a ballot that allowed voters to rank their top three choices in a field of six seeking two party nominations on the November ballot. First-ballot results were released on election night, but election officials waited until all provisional ballots had been received on Friday before running the calculations to determine which two candidates received at least 33% of the vote.”

June 23 Statement from Susan: Honored to Be Your Nominee

June 23 Statement from Susan: Honored to Be Your Nominee

It’s (almost) official! I am honored to be elected as a Democratic nominee for the Arlington County Board general election in November.

With all votes now tabulated in this first Virginia primary election using Ranked Choice Voting, I am thrilled to have earned the most first round votes and now the Democratic endorsement after all second and third votes have been considered. I am humbled by our community’s vote of confidence, and I am ready to get to work to earn the final vote in November’s general election.

THANK YOU to the other candidates for offering their ideas and service to our community, to our election officials for their hard work and integrity, to my campaign team for their tireless work and patience, and to all who made time to participate in our local democracy as volunteers and voters.

As I criss-crossed our vibrant and diverse county, I heard many residents’ hopes and concerns about our community. There’s so much to be proud of and build on here in Arlington, yet there’s much more to do to make our government as responsive and transparent as we want it to be.

In the coming months I look forward to continuing to connect with residents across the county. Come January 2024, I hope to bring my common-sense leadership and experience as an engineer, an executive, and a mom to serve our whole community. Together we can shape Arlington’s bright future. We can develop a common-sense housing plan. We can reconnect our community and young people. We can create a responsive government that gets the basics right today and for the future.

I hope you’ll help me to get there. You can follow our progress and sign up to volunteer or contribute at

Thank you,


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