Reelected to County Board for a Second Term

Matt de Ferranti recently won reelection for the County Board


Arlington County

Matt de Ferranti

Many were focused on the House and Senate races this past election day on Nov. 8, 2022 and whether the “big red wave” would occur. However, Arlington also had multiple local races. To the surprise of few, Democrats won all of the seats up for election in Arlington and  incumbent Matt de Ferranti was reelected to the county board.

Matt de Ferranti credits his interest in politics to his mother.

“I think that I probably at a pretty young age picked up on the interests that my mom had in both housing policy and education and how they impacted [opportunities] for everyone, including the disparities that she saw growing up in Connecticut,” de Ferranti said. “She shared her passion for housing and education issues.”

Experiences such as working on a presidential campaign and working as a lawyer helped de Ferranti gain a background in, and understanding of, local politics.

“I had worked for John Kerry when he ran for president and so I came to Arlington with [an] understanding of politics and an interest in local politics,” de Ferranti said. “I also had been a lawyer for small cities in Texas and California. I had seen the difference … both for good and sometimes for ill that local elected officials can bring.”

De Ferranti served on the Arlington Housing Commission and as chair of the School Budget Commission prior to running for County Board. He was first elected to the position in 2018 and was just reelected this past election on November 8, 2022. As a County Board member, his day-to-day changes on a constant basis as he explained.

“My day-to-day varies quite a bit,” de Ferranti said. “I attended an event [today] at lunchtime honoring our veterans. This morning, I went to an Arlington Chamber of Commerce meeting that was talking about Arlington’s efforts to attract businesses. Every day, there’s at least an hour or two where I’m responding to emails, and I also met with staff today about housing issues.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had an impact on what his and his colleagues’ days look like though. The County Board, like many others, switched to Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings. 

“Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings … [provide] a pretty focused way of getting to engage with more people,” de Ferranti said. “There [are] some benefits … there’s less transportation time and less extra time [because] we really stay focused [in the shorter] meetings … I do think that there are some costs of working just through Zoom and Teams … in terms of personal relationships and accessibility. We’re still trying to get the right [balance].”

De Ferranti was also chair of the County Board when the vaccines were first being rolled out and regards his role in the process as one of his best accomplishments.

“[Arlington wasn’t] getting the number of vaccines that we needed to be getting per resident for the first month or so,” de Ferranti said. “We did some advocacy … to change the way that vaccines were being distributed. That helped to get more vaccines … [quicker] to Arlington residents. I worked pretty much nonstop for the first three or four months of 2021 … I felt the health and safety of all Arlington residents was super important.”

Another accomplishment from his first term on the County Board that affects the school more directly was enacting a salary raise for teachers.

“I started my career as a teacher so funding our schools is very important to me,” de Ferranti said. “We were able to get a significant salary increase for our teachers and all Arlington Public School personnel.”

This pay increase was added to the budget for the 2022-23 school year.

“On average, teachers, principals and administrators will see a 6.8% pay increase,” Brandi Bottalico wrote for ARL Now, “while support staff will see an average of a 9.5% increase.”

Climate change is also an issue that de Ferranti focused on with the County Board. Their goal is to have Arlington reach 100% renewable energy by 2035.

 “We have a solar farm that is in Southern Virginia that we’re gonna use for a lot of our energy,” de Ferranti said, “and we have a plan that is more aggressive to try and respond to the science that shows that climate change is accelerating and is … a risk.”

However, Arlington is going to need to do much more in order to meet this ambitious goal.

“We’re going to have to think about ways to make our buildings much more energy efficient,” de Ferranti said. “We’re also going to have to make our buses electric instead of natural gas.”

He offered hope for the success of these plans but expressed some frustration with the current governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin. 

“It will be very difficult to hit the 2035 goal in part, in my opinion, because there’s less commitment from this current governor to renewable electricity than I believe there should be,” de Ferrati said. “That does not take me and those on the County Board and those on the School Board off the hook from doing all we can to get there [though]. It will be difficult to get to it, but I don’t think we have any other choice but to try our hardest to do it.”

De Ferranti also weighed in on how APS can continue protecting the rights of transgender students in light of Govenor Younkin’s proposed model policies. These model policies would be incredibly harmful for students in any counties that decided to implement these policies, with Equality Virginia writing that these policies are “rooted in transphobia and … create a hostile and potentially dangerous school environment.” (For more information on these model policies, see the article on the Crossed Sabres website A Break Down of Youngkin’s Attempt to Break Down the Transgender Community.) 

APS has responded to these model policies, saying that their own policies regarding the rights of transgender students will remain in effect. In a news release published during the beginning of September, APS wrote that they “[continue] to support the rights of our transgender, non-binary, and gender fluid students and remains committed to providing school environments that are welcoming, safe and supportive for all students. (The full statement can be viewed on the APS website.)

“We need to speak honestly about how trans[gender] students need to be valued and included,” de Ferranti said. “That is our first huge responsibility as a county board … there’s also a big role for the superintendent and the school board to protect [transgender] students too.”

Lastly, de Ferranti advises that students engage in their communities and encourages them to reach out and email him and other local politicians* to make sure their voices are heard.

“When I was in high school, I had a lot of ideas about how the world should be,” de Ferranti said. “I encourage each Washington-Liberty student to follow those dreams … about how you want to make the world a better place.”

*The County Board members can be reached at the following addresses:

All 5 County Board members [email protected] 


County Board Member Staff Contact Staff Contact Email
Katie Cristol, Chair Amina Ait-Bella [email protected]
Christian Dorsey, Vice-Chair Stevie Kelly [email protected]
Takis P. Karantonis Sandra Calixto-Mendoza [email protected]
Libby Garvey Catherine O’Malley [email protected]
Matt de Ferranti Graham Weinschenk [email protected]


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