June 24, 2014
Lisa Shapiro, Arlington Chamber of Commerce
High Resolution Photos Upon Request
Fisette Discusses Key Issues Facing Arlington County
Arlington, VA - On Tuesday, June 24 , the Honorable Jay Fisette, Arlington County Board Chair, delivered his address at the 13th Annual State of the County. The event was hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce with Supporting Partner Leadership Arlington at the Crystal City Marriott.

Before a crowd of approximately 150 business, nonprofit and civic leaders, the County Board Chair provided an update on the achievements and progress made on the County's economic and development goals and shared the Board's plans for the future.


Fisette discussed several key topics affecting the Arlington community. He addressed the transformation of Arlington since 1998, when he joined the Board, including how Arlington has responded to the challenges of growing pains: housing affordability, and staying competitive in a very rapidly changing economic time, as well as, innovation and strategic partnerships, and the status of the controversial Columbia Pike streetcar project. 

He said, "It's an exciting and challenging time to be in Arlington. We are known for meeting the challenges that come." He added, "I am particularly proud that throughout all of the change, Arlington has still maintained our small town feel. Our crime rate is low and there is growth in school enrollment." One of the fastest growing areas of the city is the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. 
He reminisced by saying, "Twenty years ago, Arlington was quiet and sleepy. The most common business was a used car lot." He emphasized change and growth citing several impressive statistics including, "40% of all transit trips in the Commonwealth start or end in Arlington." He added, "Arlington has the highest concentration of 25-34 year olds in the D.C area."

He said that affordable housing was important for "all people of all income levels. We are the victims of our own success. From 2000-2011, 11,500 units were lost to redevelopment." He added, "Vision without action is a daydream and action without vision is a nightmare." 


He covered in detail the status of the Columbia Pike streetcar project and the backup plan without federal funding. He said, "I am committed to the streetcar, but not if Arlington homeowners are forced to pay for it." 


Fisette concluded, "I remain optimistic. We have proven our resiliency." He proudly states, "We have a lot of success ahead of us."


Special thanks to the State of the County Grand Sponsors Comcast and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

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