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Photo of Tenley smiling directly at the camera. She is wearing a bright pink Planned Parenthood shirt and a black blazer




Hi, I'm Tenley!


I’m running for Arlington County Board. I’m a progressive Democrat, an APS mom, and an experienced community leader on budget and planning issues. 

My progressive values and deep community experience inform my work as a pragmatic consensus builder. Arlington and our region are changing – the population is increasing, climate change is a significant threat, and children are still recovering from the pandemic. We need to be very intentional about how we navigate this change to grow and adapt in ways that work for all Arlingtonians.

I’m from a small town in Massachusetts. My parents, who both served in local government, instilled in me the value of public service. When my husband completed his Navy commitment, we settled in a condo in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood. I was soon appointed to review the Arlington budget as a member of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission (FAAC). After serving on the FAAC for eight years, including four as Chair, I was appointed to the Planning Commission where I have served since 2019. 


My family loves everything about Arlington, from the award-winning parks to the wonderful schools and walkable neighborhoods. During the pandemic, we visited every playground in the county. We love Arlington's culturally rich neighborhoods and the diversity in the classrooms. I am a substitute teacher at APS and proud AEA union member, in addition to consulting for nonprofit organizations.

Why me?

  1. Progressive means prioritizing people. All of my commission votes in the past decade have been about supporting Arlingtonians, whether we’re talking about people who need housing grants, those having a mental health crisis while interacting with the police, public safety officers who need budget support to do their jobs well and stay in Arlington, kids who need park space to get outside and play, or fellow Arlingtonians who benefit from bringing nature to all of our neighborhoods. I prioritize people when making budget and planning decisions. 

  2. I know how Arlington works. As the Chair of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, I advised the County Board on the County’s $1.5B annual budget. I led engagements with directors and staff from county departments, evaluated the county’s performance metrics, and developed policy recommendations to better steward county resources. I also served with members of the County Board on the Audit Committee, identified priorities for audit review, and advised the Board on the biennial Capital Improvement Plan. Following my service on the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, I was appointed to the Planning Commission where I’ve led the Site Plan Review Committee. I chaired the community engagement for Amazon’s HQ2 project, supporting a significant contribution to affordable housing, a new community park, and a home for Arlington’s Community High School. I have consistently called for more family housing when planning decisions are being made, and I’ve supported zoning updates to tackle our office vacancy rate.

  3. I’m a consensus builder who listens, brings people to the table, and finds solutions that work. I want to find common ground, so Arlington can continue to move forward and function as a place we can be proud of. We are a community of diverse people, businesses, workers, and neighbors, and I want respectful dialogue to be part of all decision-making. 

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