Residents of Arlington County, Home of Amazon HQ2, Launch Website to Highlight Failures Eroding County Government Trust
RestoreConfidenceInArlingtonVAGov.com lists hundreds of examples documenting issues relating to transparency, accountability, and inclusivity.
— Former twice-elected county board member John Vihstadt
ARLINGTON, VA, UNITED STATES, February 5, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — A new website is making Arlington County more transparent, accountable and inclusive, whether it wants to be or not. The website RestoreConfidenceInArlingtonVAGov.com documents how Arlington County government has diverged from its renowned, democratic participatory-style of government by highlighting systemic issues that undercut its own transparency, accountability, and inclusivity.
The site currently has over one-hundred resident-submitted examples with over six-hundred citations documenting governance issues ranging from how Arlington County conducts outreach and notifications, discloses its data and records including Freedom of Information Act requests, addresses concerns as well as how it makes policy and planning decisions. By aggregating these examples and issues, repeated patterns emerged showing a deeper understanding of how Arlington County is conducting its activities.
While Arlington had governance issues prior to Amazon’s arrival, the examples show a clear uptick in the frequency, unabashed and consequential nature of the governance issues occurring after the 2018 announcement of Amazon HQ2 in Arlington, VA. As a result of Amazon’s impending arrival, Arlington changed its growth models, governance and policy to fit the demand spurred by residential and commercial developers, companies and organizations seeking to be located near the new Amazon headquarters.
The patterns also appear to show how the County is becoming more opaque, exclusive and less accountable to the residents they are supposed to represent such as;
Misleading plans, including initiating studies with foregone conclusions and changing goals to meet desired outcomes;
Avoiding records, including returning incomplete and exorbitantly priced FOIA responses and formatting meetings to avoid recorded notes and comments;
Suppressing discussion, including limiting public speaking and ability to view public feedback being received;
Favoring advocacy groups that promote County agenda and “provide cover” from the general public at meetings.
The Arlington County Civic Federation, a body representing Arlington neighborhoods and organizations, has also put forth a resolution
Arlington residents can contribute their own governance examples to the website as well as contact their neighborhood Civic Associations and ask that their representative delegates support the Civic Federation Resolution for improving Arlington County governance. Visit www.RestoreConfidenceInArlingtonVAGov.com to view the examples and submit their own. Contact email@example.com for inquiries.
Restore Confidence in ArlingtonVA Gov Initiative
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