We’d like to report more endorsements from local leaders in support of Susan for Arlington. These include “1st choice” endorsements from Libby Garvey, vice-chair of the Arlington County Board; Nancy Iocomini, past chair of the Arlington County Planning Commission; Reid Goldstein, chair of the Arlington County School Board; Dr. Barbara Kanninen, past Arlington County School Board member; Chanda Choun, former board candidate; and Andrew Schneider, former director of Arlington Thrive.
Now it’s time to go vote! See you at the polls tomorrow.
Susan Cunningham is seeking your #1 vote in the June 20th primary! If you’re still doing your research, here’s a news archive of all the campaign coverage.
News Coverage Archive:
- Arlington Connection Interview 5/24
- Gazette Leader, May 24 Editorial: Parsing the Arlington County Board Race So Far
Susan Cunningham, and two other candidates running for the Democratic nomination for two seats on the Arlington County Board, explained to 7News where they stand on some of the county’s biggest issues. This includes the recently passed “Missing Middle” zoning changes. Watch more here.
Susan Cunningham is a small business owner and currently, interim director of Thrive. Trained as an engineer, she has served in a number of executive roles including the U.S. Treasury Department and interim CEO for affordability provider AHC. Arlington Connection sat down with Cunningham about her candidacy for the county board. Here’s the interview:
Q: If you can pick just one, what is the single thing that prompted you to run for County Board?
A: The Missing Middle process and dialogue around it. It is a complicated issue, and the community dialogue was not as deep or nuanced as it needed to be. It was really about leadership and how the community was engaged. I have spent my time putting people together. We need depth of experience.
Q: What is your position on lot coverage?
A: When the missing middle debate was taking place I went to the County Board about adjusting lot coverage at the same time they were making the rezoning decision. You don’t hang something new on something broken. Many don’t oppose new units; they just oppose additional coverage. The board said, “I hear you but not now.”
Q: What is one County Board decision you would not have voted for in the last few years?
A: Definitely missing middle in its current form. I would not have done a full upscale rezoning with 4 and 6 units allowed everywhere.
Q: How would you define the Arlington Way and do you think it remains a strong element in the county?
A: The ideal of the Arlington Way is stating the problem you are trying to solve, seeking every input before trying to solve it. The recent missing middle process didn’t really clearly state the problem so it was difficult to get a good solution.
Q: Rising crime in Arlington: what is the one thing you would do to assure residents Arlington remains a safe place to live and work?
A: I think sharing the data about what crimes are happening where and how it has changed. Facts speaker louder. Also for the police to be more visible in the community which is difficult because they are way understaffed. They are just delivering basic services. I rode along with a police officer on a Saturday night, and there was no downtime.
Q: Would you like to see the county be more willing to invest in rescue of historic homes than they have recently with the Fellows, Broyhill, and Rouse mansions?
A: Yes, it is environmentally better to reuse a structure than tear down and start over.
Q: How familiar are you with the stormwater management issues in the County?
A: I am very familiar. I am an engineer. Stormwater management ties everything together. Arlington is pretty far behind. Storms are more intense and development has happened very rapidly.
Q: What are some areas where Arlington can cut costs?
A: I think overall you can get more savings by moving quickly to correct a problem when you get something wrong. Engagement processes currently go a long time.
Q: What is the single best thing about Arlington that attracts people to live here?
A: Really it is the package—strong schools, businesses, proximity to the nation’s capital, urban and space parks. This is especially important with more people living in multi-units.
Q: No matter what the outcome, what will you take away from running for Board?
A: I love the opportunity to meet so many different people in all parts of the county and learn more deeply about issues I know about.
Q: What is the one question I didn’t ask that you wished I had?
A: I am the candidate who has the most experience running large organizations. I have led Arlington through challenging times when people were mad, things were not going well and they needed a reasonable voice. The board will be losing a lot of service and expertise, and it’s important to have grounding and balance.
You can also read the interview from May 24, 2023, online here.
“And then there were six in Arlington board race”
From GazetteLeader.com — March 2, 2023
The March 1 Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting brought a sixth candidate for County Board into the mix.
Susan Cunningham launched her bid for the Democratic nomination, saying she would provide common-sense leadership. She also attacked the county government’s Missing Middle housing proposal as ill-conceived and not fleshed out.
Cunningham in 2020 ran as what she described as a “progressive independent” in the special election called to fill the County Board seat left open by Erik Gutshall. Democrat Takis Karantonis won the race.
Cunningham joins J.D. Spain Sr., Natalie Roy, Tony Weaver, Maureen Coffey and Jonathan Dromgoole in seeking the two open County Board seat. Democrats will make their selection in a June 20 primary.
Also at the March 1 event, Del. Alfonso Lopez and state Sen. Adam Ebbin formally launched re-election bids. Each currently is unopposed.
“New County Board Candidate,” Morning Notes, Arlnow.com — March 2, 2023