“Shirlington Civic Association? We’ve been waiting for you!” said the young woman answering the phone in the Arlington County Clerk’s office. Waiting a very long time!

Welcome to our new Shirlington Civic Association. Our urban village grew up so quickly in the past 20 years, didn’t it? We were all having such a good time living here that we never realized that it was one of the only parts of Arlington that didn’t have representation. Big mistake.

Arlington County government and the independent Arlington Civic Federation depend on input from citizens funneled through civic associations, whether it is about taxes, streets, zoning, schools, parks or services.  Civic associations are open to all – renters as well as owners — and provide a vital way for residents to get involved.

As a condo board member said at one of our spring organizing meetings, “Now I understand why we never got the memo when anything was happening!” This applies also to having a community dialogue with the managers of the Village at Shirlington. We are delighted that Federal Realty will talk to us at our September 29th membership meeting at the Shirlington Library at 7 pm. Be there!

Early in 2016 the County will start long-delayed master plans processes for the light industrial area along Four Mile Run Drive and Shirlington Crescent and a parallel process for Jennie Dean Park and Shirlington Park. While these areas fall into the neighboring Nauck Civic Association, all of us use these areas constantly.

Done right, these plans can be transformational for our valley. The SCA will allow us a seat at the table and make sure we know what’s going on, communicate that to the Shirlington community, and get your reactions.

I can’t thank our new board members enough for all they have done this summer.  Bobby Crider jumped in as Treasurer to get us incorporated, set up a bank account (at BB&T of course!), and more. Masha Sharma put together this amazing, mobile-friendly website in her “spare” time with a new  baby and a business to run. Joel Mandelman has plunged into Arlington meetings and street repair issues. Neesa Wilkerson just finished her M.A. thesis and joined us as Secretary.  I’ve gotten an “education” helping to identify a new elementary school site in south Arlington this summer.

With your help, this is going to be a great year.  Please go online to join the association. We need your energy, experience, ideas, dues, and donations for this start-up operation!

Edie Wilson