There have been a lot of changes happening related to voting lately. The next opportunity to vote is June 23 for the federal primary for U.S. Senate for the Republican Party only. The Arlington County Board Special Election will be held on July 7. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 30, but it must be received by July 7, so please request one early to give you plenty of time to receive it and return it.
APS is requesting feedback on the data review for the Fall 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process by June 5. Please also continue to keep an eye on the School Board Policies that are being reviewed. For example, before May 22, you can comment on the Options and Transfers policy and point out that offering these application forms online only creates additional barriers for families and is neither equitable nor inclusive, which this policy claims to prioritize. More deadlines happen every week, so please submit feedback.
The need for rent/housing assistance is growing in Arlington County (and everywhere). I’m working hard this week to learn more about the resources available. The County has a great resources page and DHS is working hard to meet the need. However, there are barriers for some people to be served by that effort, so Arlington Thrive is usually the second level of assistance for families. Please consider donating to Arlington Thrive so they can more fully support more families as the need grows in our community.
Additionally, Arlington Community Corps has started a wish list for diapers and other assistance for families with little ones. Please consider purchasing what they need, which will be shipped directly to their storage location and then distributed to families in need.
Please share with your networks that there is a special expansion of SNAP benefits during the pandemic (P-EBT) that can include any families eligible for free or reduced meals (FARM). This means that any families who were or are newly eligible for this program should apply with APS, which will then submit the information to the state program. APS recently shared more information about this as well.
I wanted to share a recent op-ed in the Washington Post by Paul G. Pinsky, “After the coronavirus, our schools can do more than just catch up” about the opportunities we have to rethink how we educate our children. While his focus is on our school calendar, I know there are other things we can be rethinking right now, especially for taking an equity lens to everything we are doing.
Speaking of which, I’m putting together some research around what it means to take an equity lens to something. We talk about it a lot, but most of us (including me sometimes!) can’t explain what it actually looks like to implement. I’m going to help us learn more about what this looks like so we can more effectively advocate our leadership, colleagues, neighbors, and community members to ensure meaningful progress. The current crisis has opened so many more eyes to systemic disparities in our society — we must ensure that we learn from our past and act to support positive change.
Thank you all for continuing to engage with this. I know things seem so impossible, so overwhelming. Trust that this, too, will pass, and we will get through this. Every effort we make matters.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.