MARCH 2021
Now’s the Time for Arlington to Make the Environment a Top Priority 🔹 Roll Back Proposed Shortsighted Cuts 🔹
Demystifying Speaking to the County Board
Now’s the Time for Arlington to
Make the Environment a Top Priority

The last year has been disruptive and filled with tragedy but there’s light at the end of the tunnel: vaccination rates are climbing and the Congress has passed a massive COVID relief bill. While our community is not out of the woods yet, now is the time for Arlington to plan for a healthier, more resilient, and more equitable future built around renewable energy, reduced carbon emissions, clean air and water, and a nature-friendly community. The County Board can embed these priorities into the FY22 budget, which starts July 1, by directing the County Manager to:
  • Assign a senior manager to serve as a chief climate change and sustainability officer authorized to coordinate efforts across the County Government to implement the County’s goals for renewable energy, carbon neutrality, zero waste, and biophilia.

  • Maintain funding for the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) -the unit primarily responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Community Energy Plan - at the FY21 level (FY22 Budget proposes an 11 percent cut).

  • Identify priority initiatives and staffing needs that can be funded as the budget situation improves and funds from federal and state programs become available, such as adding electric vehicles to the county fleet, retrofitting affordable housing for energy efficiency, protection and maintenance of the tree canopy, and deer management.
Roll Back Proposed Shortsighted Cuts
EcoAction Arlington is thrilled with the County’s decision to move forward with curbside food scrap collection with no increase in the household solid waste rate, but is concerned about several shortsighted cuts.

Let the County Know You Value These Programs
Proposed county budget cuts will cut Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) staffing by 60 percent which impacts the Energy Masters program, 4-H, Master Gardeners, Arlington Regional Master Naturalists programs and other popular financial and nutritional education programs, eliminates county support to the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, and affects the StormwaterWise program.

You can add your voice by writing to the County Board at and speaking at the virtual budget hearing on April 6, starting at 7:00 PM.
Demystifying Speaking at the County Board
Our County Board members care about what their constituents have to say and respond to all comments and letters. Share your voice at the upcoming County Board Budget Public Hearing on April 6 and the Tax Rate Hearing on April 8, both starting at 7:00 PM for public comment specifically on the FY22 Budget.

man speaking out through a megaphone with outstretched arm
Thank you to this issue's contributors: Joan McIntyre, Leslie Louden, Carrie Thompson, Stephen D'Allesio