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Diggins seeks second term on Select Board

Lenard Diggins, 2023

Lenard Diggins announces his candidacy for reelection to the Select Board in this statement.

Dear Fellow Arlingtonian: My first run for the Select Board made me truly proud of Arlington, because even with all of the ways in which I am considered a minority and atypical politician, I was deemed an "establishment" candidate.

While I’ve never felt any sense of estrangement in Arlington, I realized during that campaign that I was more welcomed to the community and more respected as a part of it than I had appreciated. That said, I definitely have my own perspective on any number of issues, and it is a viewpoint that is unabashedly liberal/progressive.

Sometimes my arguments to protect the minority point of view in the sea of blue that is Arlington can make me seem a bit conservative, but after some dialogue with me, one is quickly disavowed of that notion.

'Strive to see all points of view'

Along those lines, those who work with me know that regardless of how strongly I feel on a given matter, I strive to see issues from all points of view. My goal is to see the value in the other person’s perspective, rather than to win the debate. Part of my collaborative nature is to help people make their case, even if I don’t agree with it. This is integral to who I am, and it shapes my interactions with others.

I also have a tendency to embrace change and to think far into the future as part of a long-range planning process. In doing so, I very much enjoy the challenge of figuring out the concrete steps from the present to various points in the future. This forward-thinking mindset makes me excited for Arlington and its future more than ever before, because I feel that we don't have to think that far into the future to imagine some very positive changes for Arlington that build on the solid foundation we have created.

As we work on the zoning changes that we need to adopt to become an MBTA Community, and as we proceed with implementing various goals in the Connect Arlington Plan, the Net Zero Action Plan, the Fair Housing Action Plan, the Age and Dementia Friendly Action Plan, and the other well-conceived plans we have adopted, we have the ability to transform Arlington into a town that is more connected within itself and with the region. In particular, I see the possibility of Broadway becoming an innovation corridor that can make East Arlington not only more of a gem than it is, but also a bigger economic engine for Arlington that generates new growth.

'Willing to try'

We just have to be willing to try things! We can't be afraid of failure and let the negative "what-ifs" loom so large that we become paralyzed and do nothing or only take tiny steps. There are many people in this community who want to make Arlington more vibrant, and I want to work with you. I want to hear your ideas and collaborate with you to ensure that these ideas receive full consideration, with the potential for being realized.

I feel a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunity that the voters gave me three years ago. I have learned much, and by working together with others, I’ve learned even more. I feel as if I am shifting into second gear, and I humbly ask that you give me the opportunity to continue working with you and supporting you as one of your leaders on the Select Board for a second term.

Finally, whether you support me and/or other candidates, I hope that you will reach out to those who aren't registered to vote and to those who rarely participate in local elections. Candidates often justify not reaching out to those who don’t or rarely participate in town elections by reasoning that we need to spend our limited campaign funds on and devote our attention to those we are confident will vote.

However, if reaching out makes even just a small percentage of residents feel more welcome and have a greater sense of belonging, it is worth the effort. I encourage those of you running for Town Meeting to make this extra effort, and I am willing to help you in that endeavor.

Contact:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Campaign website:

YourArlington welcomes statements from candidates. For details, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This political announcement, which includes opinion, was published Monday, Feb. 27, 2023.

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