Cristol, 34, and Dorsey, 47, were first elected four years ago, bringing both youth and diversity to what had been an all-white, late-middle-age board.
Both have served in the rotating chairmanship during a time of change — Cristol in 2018, when Amazon chose Arlington as the home for its second headquarters, and Dorsey this year as the community grapples with the pressures generated by growth.
Cristol, an education policy consultant, lives with her husband, Steve Giballa, and their young son in the Columbia Pike neighborhood in South Arlington. She has focused on expanding day-care options, resulting in a change in zoning rules that, among other things, allows home-based day care businesses to accept more children.
She is also chair of the Virginia Railroad Express Board.
Dorsey lives in the Columbia Forest neighborhood in South Arlington with his wife, Rachel Feldman, and their two daughters. He is a policy and communications consultant for liberal organizations.
Before joining the board, he was a senior leader at the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that promotes progressive economic policies. He is vice chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the principal board member representing Northern Virginia on the Metro board.
As chair of the county board this year, Dorsey carved out a partnership with Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson (D) to address affordable housing, even as the pending arrival of Amazon threatens to make real estate even more scarce and expensive. Dorsey also led an effort to emphasize eliminating inequities when making budget and policy decisions in county government.
Both Dorsey and Cristol will bring continued emphasis on progressive issues in this very Democratic jurisdiction. Arlington’s elected leaders have long sought legal authority to do things such as raise the local minimum wage, exercise control over gun sales and protect undocumented residents.
Absentee voting in Arlington was about double from a similar “off-off”-year election in 2015, when no presidential or major state races were on the ballot. Gretchen Reinemayer, Arlington’s director of elections, said almost 3,600 people voted absentee in person and 3,500 ballots arrived by mail.
No major community disagreements split the vote, as they did in 2014 when independent John Vihstadt upset the Democratic power structure by winning both a special and general election on the power of his critiques of spending on capital projects. Vihstadt lost his reelection bid in 2018.
So confident was the Arlington Democratic Committee of its chances of victory this year in both the County Board and local General Assembly races that it deployed more than 100 volunteers to canvass for Democratic candidates in Chesterfield, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fredericksburg and Prince William counties, and in the Virginia Beach area.
County Democrats set up 25 phone banks and sent 20,000 postcards to voters in swing districts throughout Virginia.