Tribute to an Arkansas transplant in Virginia | Arkansas Blog

Tribute to an Arkansas transplant in Virginia

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CATHERINE HUDGINS - FAIRFAX COUNTY
  • Fairfax County
  • CATHERINE HUDGINS
A reader notes news about an Arkansas native who made political history in the Washington, D.C. area — Catherine "Cathy" Hudgins.

The Washington Post reported recently that Hudgins, a Pine Bluff native and UAPB graduate, would not be seeking re-election this year to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She became the first black member of that board in 1999, running as a Democrat and defeating a  Republican incumbent.

Hudgins, 74, who taught math and then became a computer programmer and consultant for AT&T, served two terms as Virginia's National Democratic committeewoman. She represents a district covering Reston, where she lives, and Vienna on the county governing board. Fairfax County has been a key to recent Democratic electoral victories in state and national elections. The Post wrote:

She has been instrumental in the steady transformation of the Reston area, which now includes high-rise apartment buildings and office towers near Metro’s Silver Line [she served on the Metro Transit Board], and she has drawn criticism from residents frustrated by increased traffic and crowded classrooms.

In 2017, Hudgins also helped push through a One Fairfax ­policy that uses social and racial equity as guidelines for county spending and land-use decisions.
She's been honored over the years for work on mass transit and services for mentally disabled. I found this interesting, an article that mentions how she came to settle in the new community of Reston in 1969. She and her husband Willie struggled to find a community welcoming to what she called "our type of family." For all her success, current news from Virginia (ad elsewhere) make clear racial struggles aren't a thing of the past.

For a slow Sunday, I thought passing along news of an Arkansan who's done well was an antidote to gloomy weather.


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