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I believe in Service    ★    I believe in Representation    ★    I believe in Arlington

I Carried a Phone Book in My Backpack — Vote for Your School Board

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There is another election for another position on another date that I would like you to momentarily pay attention to.

Arlington Public Schools (APS) is going through perhaps the worst crisis in its entire history.

  • Schools have been closed due to COVID-19, and kids have been sent home indefinitely.
  • Distributing meals to students in need has been a challenge. (almost 30% of Arlington kids qualify for free or reduced school meals)
  • “Unfinished learning” has increased as forced distance learning begets absenteeism and widening of achievement/opportunity gaps among children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • $55 million has been slashed from the schools’ originally proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget.
  • The previous Superintendent departed in June 2019, and their permanent replacement has not yet been announced.

Amid this heartbreaking backdrop, the local Arlington Democratic Party must endorse 2 new Arlington School Board candidates this year to join the 5-member elected schools governing body as 2 current members finish the last year of their term. If you are an Arlington Democratic registered voter, please request your mail-in ballot here by May 7.

For me, this situation is personal. Public schools were the great equalizer for me.

During my family’s first 10 years in America, owning a book was a luxury. My wish each year for my birthday was a book. As a 1st grader, I would carry around a phone book in my backpack because I was astonished that huge free books were delivered to every home each year called “white pages” and “yellow pages”.

Today in this pandemic, I have no idea how I would have survived as a disadvantaged child and grown into the man I am today.

I would be sad and frustrated at my lack of books. My mother and father used to spend hours patiently waiting in our local public library as I gleefully ran around absorbing knowledge — even though they could not read any of the books in front of them. Libraries are now closed.

I would be hungry. My parents would both work full-time and share one car between them by one working during the day and one working at night. It is a challenge now for many families whose kids qualify for free/reduced price meals to get to the Arlington Public Schools’ limited food distribution sites during working hours.

I would be stressed and scared. As minimum wage-working “unskilled labor”, my parents would now be considered “essential workers” braving risk of coronavirus infection everyday or face unemployment in a deteriorating economy.

The heart of why representation matters is that the people suffering the most in this pandemic are the people without a voice. Let’s choose the right voices for both the Arlington School Board and Arlington County Board.

As a reminder, the Arlington Democratic nomination process ahead of May 5th for the County Board Special Election is unfortunately very quick, and the only people allowed to vote for now are the perhaps 250 or so Arlington Democratic Party “members of its Steering Committee and County Committee, which consist of elected party officials (including Precinct Captains), appointed party officials (including Precinct Leaders and Arlington Young Democrats officers), and Democratic elected officials who reside in Arlington.”

If you are one of the identified Arlington Democratic party members, please choose me as your #1 choice. If you are not one of the designated members, please reach out to folks you know with a vote and share kind words on my behalf. Thank you all for everything. I have been honored to be part of this public service journey.

Chanda Choun
Candidate for Arlington County Board

 

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To learn more, please visit www.ChandaChoun.com

You may also follow the campaign on social media at: www.facebook.com/ChandaChounArlington

For further inquiries, please contact: info@chandachoun.com

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VOTE ON MAY 5, 2020

CHANDA CHOUN      ★      DEMOCRAT FOR ARLINGTON COUNTY BOARD

CHANDA CHOUN CURRENTLY SERVES PART-TIME IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY RESERVE. USE OF HIS MILITARY RANK, TITLES, OR PHOTOGRAPHS IN UNIFORM DO NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE ARMY OR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.

© Chanda Choun. All rights reserved.
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