Editor: Arlington, not unlike the rest of the nation, faces a unique political moment, amid pandemic, protest and austerity – one that requires governance that thoughtfully pairs innovation with inclusion.

That is the approach Susan Cunningham, an independent candidate for County Board, would bring in tackling the many challenges the county now faces.

I have known Cunningham since we moved to Arlington. Our kids sing in the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church choir together and, along with a handful of other parishioners, we started a ministry on racial reconciliation and equity there last year.

We have also worked with Plan Lee Highway, tasked with setting a vision for that major artery in the county.

I cannot say enough about her tireless work and dedication to making Arlington a better place to live for everyone, from high-quality schools to affordable housing to real racial equality.

As a lifelong Democrat, it takes a lot – I mean a LOT – for me to support an independent, especially when there’s a solid Democrat on the ballot. In fact, I believe it was 1998, in another state, when I last did such a thing. But that says quite a bit about how effective a County Board member I believe Susan Cunningham will be.

Gordon Mantler, Arlington

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