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Email Subscriber Exclusive

This was an early-access story from Theo, exclusive to subscribers of the campaign’s email list a few days before it goes up on the website. Want to see future early-release exclusives? Join the email list.

A few years after I first moved into Arlington, during one excursion into the Courthouse neighborhood I spotted a full-length mural on the backside of a commercial building. This mural was an abstract pattern at least 30 feet tall, but it was the colours that caught my eye: bright bold blue and sharp yellow.

They grabbed my attention and wormed their way into my brain so much that years later I would look to that mural as inspiration for my campaign colours as I considered running for Arlington County Board. The bright “in your face” blue makes me think of fullness and far-away places. The yellow so sharp it slices through routine thoughts and complacency, forcing my mind into action.

Soon that mural (designed by German artist ‘SatOne’) will be torn down to make way for the new Courthouse Landmark building – a 20-story residential high-rise that will be part of a wider redevelopment of the county government plaza.

Good.

This new residential high-rise will provide opportunities for new Arlingtonians to live, work, and fall in love with the community just as I have. It will contribute to the growth, prosperity, and vibrancy of the neighborhood I’ve walked, ate, protested, and shopped in.

It is tempting to be captured by sentimentality and allow myself to insist that the buildings, restaurants, memories, and murals that I’ve grown attached to should be preserved at all costs. However, those things are merely what brought me into Arlington. They do not have to be the things that keep me here. I look forward to welcoming the new Arlingtonians that will come with the new residential development and allow them make their own special places that help them fall in love with this community also.