February is reassuring. Days grow longer; cardinals are calling; crocuses are appearing. It’s time to prepare for another local election in Arlington.
We are delighted to put in a word for Select Board candidate Len Diggins. Len is among the most decent, dedicated, thoughtful, and, open people we know. But that is not all.
Len has worked tirelessly to bring town government home to the people of Arlington. He has promoted precinct meetings everywhere to establish a two-way channel of communication between residents and town meeting members. He has also dedicated himself to ACMi, our community television station, which provides a vital link between Arlington residents and their government. Len is determined to bring the town closer to us.
Beyond process, Len is an expert in transportation issues. Our region has world-class congestion. Some of the worst traffic nightmares in Boston occur right here in Arlington. We need members of the Select Board who really get transportation issues. Nobody fits that bill better than Len.
Len has a vision of Arlington. He stresses inclusiveness in his approach to all kinds of issues, including housing — an especially important issue. Arlington is failing to provide adequate housing for low and moderate-income residents. But that is just the beginning. Affordable housing is not enough. We must provide options for seniors who love Arlington but need to say goodbye to the larger houses in which they raised their families. We also need to give opportunities to young people starting on their careers who are searching for a child-friendly community. Housing is a broad problem for which one cannot take a narrow view. Arlington prides itself on being welcoming, and now we need to make ourselves into the welcoming community we aspire to be.
Arlington faces many other issues, from sustainability to commercial development. We trust Len to address these thoughtfully and with our collective interests at heart.
We would like to say that Len would fight for us. But he will do something better than that. Len has always been the model of civility. He knows that the way to get things done in Arlington is to roll one’s sleeves up and work together, with respect, understanding and good will. What we need is engagement. That is what Len will bring us.