<bt>Dear New (or Old) Arlington Resident:
Welcome to Arlington from the "Civic Voice of Arlington" — the Arlington County Civic Federation (ACCF or, Civic Federation or, CivFed for short).
The ACCF is celebrating its 90th birthday in 2006. In 1916, six local civic associations joined together to obtain better roads and improved schools. From this modest beginning emerged the Civic Federation of today, whose 82 member organizations embrace practically every Arlington group whose primary purpose is the civic improvement of our county.
The actions of the Federation have been recognized repeatedly not only by local officials, but also by state and congressional leaders. The mission of the ACCF is to empower citizens to improve the community by mobilizing and coordinating the resources of government, business, nonprofits, the faith community, neighborhood leaders, and the citizens themselves.
Practically all the major improvements that Arlington residents enjoy today resulted from actions initiated or strongly supported by the Federation. Among them are the County Manager form of government, countywide sewer and water systems, the systematic naming and numbering of our streets, the Central Post Office, master zoning ordinance, better schools, traffic management and a host of other measures that have made Arlington a model community.
Most of the Federation's proposals have eventually been realized either through federal or state law, local ordinance, or public policy.
The Civic Federation’s mission as Arlington’s "Civic Voice" is to:
* Be open and welcoming to all groups within Arlington County;
* Promote the general welfare of Arlington County in a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-sectional, and non-political manner;
* Reflect the wide array of interests and talents found in Arlington County;
* Improve the quality of life in Arlington County;
* Advocate improvements to the infrastructure of Arlington County;
* Air and discuss issues of concern to its member organizations;
* Act as a sounding board for all citizens on matters of civic interest;
* Represent the "grass roots" opinions of the ordinary citizens, regardless of political or partisan affiliation, on civic matters.
Many of us highly value the feeling and operation of Arlington, which is in many ways similar to the best attributes of a small town. The majority of ACCF member organizations comprise representatives from civic and homeowner organizations. These organizations are where the "Arlington Way" begins — citizen involvement and influence benefiting our daily lives.
I encourage you to get involved with your own Civic or Homeowner organization. You can find a listing of the Civic Associations on the excellent Arlington County web site — http://www.co.arlington.va.us/Departments/CountyBoard/org/civic.asp which also shows Civic Association maps.
You can also get involved directly with the Civic Federation, even though you may not be an elected delegate or alternate from a member organization. You can do this by attending our meetings (always the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Virginia Hospital Auditorium) or actively participating on any of our 14 committees which cover numerous areas.
Please look at our Web site http://www.civfed.org/ to review current and past activities — and select "committees" at the top to embark on getting involved in your area of interest.
Again, welcome to Arlington! Please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.