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The Arlington County Democratic Committee Votes In Favor of Continuing to Hold a School Board Endorsement Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 3, 2022 Contact: Izzie Taveras pr@arldemsold.local

ARLINGTON, Va.—The Arlington County Democratic Committee voted to continue holding a process to identify a Democratic endorsee for the open School Board seat on the November 8, 2022 ballot.

Following the Arlington Democrats’ monthly meeting at Drew Elementary School last night, voting members of the Committee cast electronic ballots through the voting platform ElectionBuddy. Final results were tallied once voting closed at 12:00 p.m. Thursday.

Of the 139 ballots counted, 117 (84.2%) voted in favor of holding a school board endorsement in 2022 while 22 (15.8%) voted against. The announcement is available for public viewing through the Arlington Democrats’ YouTube page.

As defined by Section 3(A)(1) of the Committee’s bylaws, eligible voting members included precinct captains, Committee officers, area chairs, members of the Democratic State Central Committee who reside in Arlington County, the immediate past Chair of the Committee, members of the Arlington Young Democrats, Democratic elected officials in Arlington County, and representatives from the party’s Outreach Caucuses.

“This is an important issue for members of the Arlington community. Education is a top priority for us and we support great public schools that provide children with the education and curriculum they need to succeed in life,” Arlington Democrats Chair Steve Baker said. “Arlington Democrats will always be an ally and supporter in that effort and we want our process to be as open, inclusive and equitable as possible. We know it takes hard work to achieve real results but we’re ready and committed to that process.”

In the lead up to Wednesday’s vote, the Committee conducted a rigorous internal review process as well as receiving community input. In addition to holding 4 listening sessions for community members to discuss the topic, 27 speakers were able to share their thoughts on the process at Wednesday night’s public meeting.

After voting in favor of holding a 2022 school board endorsement process, Arlington Democrats will get to work immediately to establish the rules for that process, utilizing input received from both our internal review and members of the community.

“Last night we heard genuine concerns regarding the equity of the endorsement process,” Arlington Democrats Deputy Chair Mike Hemminger said. “Systemic inequities are present in any structural system. It is vital that Arlington Democrats partner with all community members to break down barriers to access and include these voices and perspectives in each of our processes.”

Virginia law prohibits local parties from nominating candidates for school board. Over the last several decades, Arlington Democrats have chosen to endorse school board candidates who support Democratic values by holding a party-run caucus to identify a Democratic endorsee for school board.

The Arlington Democrats’ endorsement has been a valuable asset for candidates seeking a seat on the school board. All five current school board members earned the Democratic endorsement before winning their respective general elections. Last year’s endorsement process, which was conducted online between May 17 and May 23, drew over 6,200 participants.

The U.S. House of Representatives, County Board, and School Board will all be on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022. The term for the winning school board candidate commences on Jan. 1, 2023.

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