Position Papers and Public Statements
Letter to the Arlington County Board March 24, 2022
Recommendations to the Arlington County Board for the 2023 county budget.
The NAACP Arlington Branch outlines its concerns below with the proposed FY 2023 budget and its recommendations to ensure that we continue to invest in the housing needs of the community:
Request to Department of Justice - Investigate the County Jail
Letter to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice March 15, 2022
Less than a mile east of the nation's capital, over just seven years, seven Black and brown men have suffered the gravest deprivation of their civil rights at the Arlington County Detention Facility (ACDF) while in the custody of the Arlington County Sheriff. Each of the seven men was deprived of adequate medical and mental health care, and each of the seven men died in custody. Three men have died while in custody since October 2020. Additionally, we have obtained evidence through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests to show biased policing and unconstitutional practices by law enforcement and personnel within the ACDF.
Support Comprehensive & Equity-Focused Zoning Reform
Letter to Arlington County Board and County Manager March 7, 2022
Earlier this year, the NAACP Arlington Branch sent a letter to you recommending improvements to the county’s draft Fair Housing Plan to improve housing equity in Arlington. As the County moves forward with its plans to affirmatively further fair housing, we urge the county to remember our community’s history— specifically, Arlington’s history of racist, exclusionary housing policies. To reverse this shameful legacy and remedy the persistent effects of decades of discrimination against many of our most vulnerable residents, we call on the County Board to reform our zoning laws to give residents of color better access to a wider variety of housing at lower cost.
Veto of House Bill 670
Public Statement March 1, 2022
On March 1, Governor Glenn Youngkin used his first veto to reject HB670, bipartisan legislation that would have allowed the Arlington County Board instead of the County Manager to appoint an Independent Policing Auditor to work with the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) to investigate complaints of serious police misconduct. Because the Manager also appoints the Police Chief and has supervisory authority over the ACPD under existing law, the legislature thought this small change necessary to lessen any appearance of conflict and support the Auditor's independence.
APS Virtual Learning Program
Press Release February 18, 2022
NAACP Condemns the School Board’s Decision to “Pause” the Virtual Learning Program for the 2022-2023 School Year
Last night, School Board Members voted unanimously to accept the Superintendent’s recommendation to “pause” the Virtual Learning Program (VLP) next year. Families using this program are some of the most vulnerable students in the community. 80% of the students are Black, Latino, and 20% are students with disabilities, including medical conditions that place them at extremely high risk of severe illness or death if they contract COVID-19. The structure of VLP has been fundamentally flawed since its inception. APS leadership's communications about the program and its failures have left families feeling confused and deceived. Families have reported feeling misled about hiring, readiness, staffing, timelines, instructional models, and intentions for the program to be a permanent part of APS's educational landscape. VLP students are still owed for a loss of instructional time from the beginning of the school year when many students had no schedule, teachers, or classes.
Arlington County Fair Housing Recommendations
Letter from NAACP Arlington Branch to County Board January 28, 2022
In January 2021, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Arlington Branch sent a letter to the County Board expressing significant concerns with the draft Fair Housing Plan prepared by county staff and requesting that the county work with the NAACP and other stakeholders to address the plan’s deficiencies. Since that time, the NAACP has worked with the county, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), the Human Rights Commission, and other community stakeholders to further examine the state of Fair Housing in Arlington and develop recommendations to affirmatively further fair housing in our community.
Public Statement: Man Dies After Being Found Unresponsive in Detention Facility
Public Statment February 1, 2022
The news of yet another inmate of color dying in the Arlington County Detention Center is met by the NAACP Arlington Branch with great sorrow and revulsion. Mr. Thompson, like Mr. Spencer last year, was “found” unresponsive and died while in Sheriff Arthur’s custody on February 1, 2022. He is now the seventh person of color to die in custody in Arlington in as many years. Unfortunately, the Sheriff for Arlington County still has not disclosed the failures that led to the last two Black men who died after being “found” unresponsive, nor has she disclosed reforms, if any, made to guarantee the health, welfare, and safety of those she and her command team are charged with protecting. Click below to read the entire press release.
Letter to ACDC about School Board Caucus
Letter from NAACP Arlington Branch to Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) January 26, 2022
The Arlington Branch of the NAACP writes to express our grave concerns regarding the Arlington County Democratic Committee's (ACDC) School Board endorsement caucus process and its impact on the fair, open, and inclusive representation of all Arlington County residents. Our concerns are both in the accessibility barriers erected by the caucus process that compromise inclusive candidate recruitment and in the privileged status that the caucus bestows on certain Arlington voters, thus undermining the equality of the vote. The endorsement caucus undermines the intent and spirit of a nonpartisan body. The Arlington County School Board is, by law, a nonpartisan body and thus must hold nonpartisan elections. In a nonpartisan election, a partisan endorsement from ACDC distorts the process and confuses voters. When voters receive the "VA Dems Sample Ballot" at polling sites, the ballot identifies the endorsed candidate as "D" side-by-side with state and local positions that are partisan, which undermines the intent and spirit of a nonpartisan body. The premise of a nonpartisan body is that there should be no party lines present in electing School Board members. Inserting partisan lines into the process behind the scenes does not serve democratic purposes and does not serve our schools.
More Position Papers and Public Statements
From previous years