Tysons, VA

The McLean Governmental Center and Providence Community Center are among the most popular sites for early voting in Fairfax County after the county expanded early voting to 13 satellite locations on Oct. 14.

While voters have shown up in droves throughout the county, turnout has been especially high at those two Tysons-area sites, Mount Vernon Government Center in Alexandria, and Reston’s North County Governmental Center, according to county officials.

The Fairfax County Government Center, which has been open for early voting since Sept. 18, also remains popular, but the addition of the satellite locations has eased some of the pressure there after weeks of unusually long lines and wait times.

The wait time for voting in-person now generally ranges from 20 to 40 minutes, though it varies depending on the time of day and day of the week, Fairfax County public information officer Brian Worthy says, noting that mornings tend to be busier.

Sen. Mark Warner (D), who visited the McLean Governmental Center and other early voting sites in Northern Virginia on Saturday (Oct. 17), called the strong turnout “a great sign.”

“This is the first year we’ve had early voting, so I think maybe in future years, [we could think about] opening up additional sites earlier,” Warner said. “But I also think it’s a great sign of how healthy our democracy is if this many people are coming out to vote.”

Saturday represented the biggest turnout yet for Fairfax County. The nearly 11,000 early votes cast on Oct. 17 exceeded the biggest day for early voting in 2016, which came on the final day for early voting in that election, according to the county elections office.

Election workers at the McLean Governmental Center on Saturday told Tysons Reporter that the number of people arriving to cast ballots grew throughout the week, starting around 500 people and peaking at 800 people that Friday (Oct. 16).

Turnout continued to be brisk on Saturday, but the lines were shorter and moved more quickly, because some people instead went to Great Falls Library, which opened on Oct. 17 and is only available for early voting on Saturdays. Read More

0 Comments

Editor’s Note — Tysons Reporter is running Q&As with the candidates running for the open Falls Church City Council seat. The stories have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Debora Schantz-Hiscott is one of three candidates — along with Joshua Shokoor and Simone Pass Tucker — running for the open Falls Church City Council seat on the Nov. 3 election. 

Tysons Reporter: Why did you decide to run?

Schantz-Hiscott: I have lived in Falls Church City for 24 years. I have raised three children here. I’ve been extensively involved in the community with the women’s commission, with the schools, with athletics, with all kinds of organizations, and I have been thinking about running for city council for many years.

However, I decided I would do it once my youngest child graduated from high school, which is next June. I was thinking about running for [the] November 2021 city council to kind of build upon the 24 years of volunteerism and working, and raising a family and building a community here. With the very unfortunate passing of Councilman Dan Sze, this special election is being held. I decided I would shorten that timeline and run for this year’s special election on November 3.

Tysons Reporter: How are you connected to the Falls Church community?

Schantz-Hiscott: For the past eight years, I’ve served with the Falls Church Education Foundation’s executive director. I’ve been for almost all of that time a sole employee and have taken a standalone 501(c)(3) foundation at the Falls Church City Public Schools into a thriving organization with a volunteer board of 16 people that has raised almost $2 million for supporting programs and grants and scholarships within Falls Church City Public Schools. 

I’ve worked extensively for the past eight years with businesses to collaborate with them to see how supporting the foundation benefits their businesses…which work extensively with the school, the superintendent, and the school administration to see what current needs are in our city. 

I’ve worked with city staff across a dozen different departments to put together events…and then with school staff to create these events, to create fundraisers and to create support for the school. Support for the schools includes creating a grant program. Last year, we gave about $260,000 out for innovation grants, and those can be anything from additional programs at the preschool all the way through. 

We have also supported teacher training. So, above and beyond what our school board can and city can afford to do within professional development, we’ve supported staff on everything from…leadership courses to reading, math, science — you name it — for the teachers and the community. 

And then lastly, and probably most importantly, supporting equity of access for our community: equity to educational resources, equity to food security, technology, clothing, emergency services, etc. I work really closely with the social workers. There’s one assigned to each school to identify what needs we have, and in the past year, since the pandemic, we — just in the spring alone — gave about $120,000 out in food support, in addition to clothing and everything. You can kind of see that my job and my life are kind of intertwined.  Read More

0 Comments

Editor’s Note — Tysons Reporter is running Q&As with the candidates running for the open Falls Church City Council seat. The stories have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Simone Pass Tucker is one of three candidates — along with Joshua Shokoor and Debora Schantz-Hiscott — running for the Falls Church City Council’s open seat in the upcoming Nov. 3 election. A 2016 graduate of George Mason High School, Tucker runs the candle shop Lavender Mensch Candles out of their home. If elected, they would become the first openly non-binary person to take office in Virginia history.

Tysons Reporter: Why did you decide to run for the Falls Church City Council?

Tucker: I have lived in Falls Church my whole life. I grew up being pretty involved in the local community and in politics. In 2008 and 2012, my parents took me door-to-door campaigning for Barack Obama, and I’ve dedicated my adult life to leadership, volunteering, and civic engagement. At North Carolina State University, and then William & Mary once I transferred, I became involved in progressive activism focused on things like reproductive justice, racial equity, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and climate change.

So, I have a history in activism and advocacy work. I came back to Falls Church City with a mission after college to make a Falls Church that is more eco-friendly, more compassionate, more equitable, more just, and more livable for everyone who lives here. I am a non-binary Jewish person, and so, I know what it is like to feel unrepresented by government, and I don’t want anyone else to have to feel that way, so I’m running to be a voice for our marginalized communities, to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, and really, to bring a fresh perspective to our city council.

Tysons Reporter: For progressive issues like racial justice and environmental justice, why do you think those issues are important for the city to think about?

Tucker: In terms of racial equity, stated support of groups like Black Lives Matter is a great start. You know, Falls Church has a pretty racist past as a city, so we need to pledge to do better through concrete action and policy. In 1887, most of the black neighborhoods in Falls Church City were gerrymandered out, and we passed a local segregation ordinance in 1915 that wasn’t repealed until 1999, and we’re still largely divided actually along that same red line on Route 29.

To address these issues, as a member of city council, I’ll fight to establish dedicated city housing for people who work in Falls Church; purchase, preserve, and prolong the affordable housing units set to expire; fund housing vouchers; end restrictive, racist single-family homes zoning laws; establish public housing; [and] require the usage of body cameras for all police officers. As of right now, actually, we don’t even require our dash cameras to be operated at all times. I’ll bring unrepresented voices to the table by asking them directly what they need from local government. We don’t have a ton of citizen outreach like that at the moment, but it is extremely important to make sure everyone’s involved.

In terms of environmentalism, climate change is going to be costing billions of dollars and even more lives, so it’s really important nationally and internationally, but also at the local level, that we take action now before it’s too late. So, I am lucky enough to be endorsed by a few Virginia Sunrise Movement hubs — Sunrise McLean and Sunrise Williamsburg — and I am a passionate believer in the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal does have a national scope, but there are tons of ways to focus on enacting it at a local level. We focus on our carbon footprint, and we need to implement green energy in all of our government buildings and work towards requiring this in all incoming developments.

I also believe that…adding more green space, more permeable land is really important for Falls Church specifically, because we have a rapidly expanding floodplain, and our stormwater runoff issues are just steadily growing worse. I also think it’s important that we have proportional stormwater management fees and need to rethink how we’re approaching stormwater management. We don’t want to be having pipes that are just redirecting that stormwater. We want to make sure that we’re absorbing it so that it isn’t just causing a problem somewhere else. We don’t want to reroute the problem, we want to solve it. Read More

0 Comments

Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman announced on Tuesday his bid for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Perryman has been a practicing attorney for 10 years, working on policies relating to emerging technologies. He has been an active member of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee Steering Committee since 2018. He also served as counsel on the House Oversight Committee while working on the staff of late Congressman Elijah Cummings.

“I would be someone who every day would try to make sure I’m incorporating the voices of those that feel marginalized or unheard,” Perryman said. “That would be my primary goal of doing this.”

He joins a group of candidates vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination for lieutenant governor that includes Del. Elizabeth R. Guzmán (Prince William), Del. Hala Ayala (Prince William), former Democratic Party chairman Paul Goldman, and Arlington County businessman Xavier Warren.

Republican candidates include former delegate Timothy D. Hugo (Fairfax), Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. (Virginia Beach), Fairfax County business consultant Puneet Ahluwalia, and Lance Allen, a national security company executive from Fauquier County.

Each candidate is vying for the role that will be vacated by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), who is running for governor.

Perryman is focusing his campaign on the values learned and utilized through his advocacy work and public service, as well as his work as the first director of social impact and diversity and inclusion policy at the Internet Association.

“I would say the ‘Es’: education, equity, economics and environment,” Perryman said. “That’s really the issues I view as the most urgent problems we’re facing and what we’re going to focus on as a campaign to get us out of this mess in the years to come.”

Perryman added that his decision to run for lieutenant governor comes amidst the “inequities that we already had” that were brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

0 Comments

Fairfax County is seeing record numbers of locals turning out to vote early, in some cases leading to long lines at polls.

The County is planning to open more locations starting Wednesday, Oct. 14, as millions of Americans nationwide vote early in the election.

Upcoming voting facilities in the Tysons area include:

  • McLean Governmental Center (1437 Balls Hill Road)
  • Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive)
  • Tysons Pimmit Library (7584 Leesburg Pike)
  • Thomas Jefferson Library (7415 Arlington Blvd.)

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

0 Comments

Editor’s Note — Tysons Reporter is running Q&As with the candidates running for the open Falls Church City Council seat. The stories have been condensed and edited for clarity. 

Joshua Shokoor is one of three candidates — along with Debora Shantz-Hiscott and Simone Victoria Pass-Tucker — running for the open Falls Church City Council seat in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

Tysons Reporter: Why did you decide to run? 

Shokoor: I decided to run because I believe the greatest policy issue facing our community is a lack of affordable housing and the pending loss of hundreds of affordable units, which will leave people of color, city staff, teachers and employees of small businesses with nowhere else to go in the Falls Church. I have worked in affordable housing for years, both professionally and as a veteran of the city’s housing commission and an author of the “Affordable Living Policy.” I have the public policy and private knowledge to mitigate these losses. But my fear is, without my voice on the City Council, not much attention will be paid to this issue.

TR: What’s your connection to the Falls Church community? 

Shokoor: I am a lifelong resident of the city and of course went through the K-12 school system. I am also a veteran on the housing commission and an author of the Affordable Living Policy. I was fortunate enough to intern with the city’s Department of Housing and Human Services while obtaining my master’s in public policy.

TR: What are your top three agenda items? 

a) Preserve the affordable housing in the City

b)  Increase access to the City through the creation of more affordable housing

c) Create a Racial Equity Commission to develop policies through the lens of making Falls Church more inclusive and welcoming for all families

TR: How do you plan to work cohesively with the other council members? 

Shokoor: I already know many on the City Council and we get along fairly well. Everyone on the council is volunteering many hours of their time a week because they are dedicated to making Falls Church a better place to live. Like any team, some people disagree with each other, but at the end of the day, you have to realize that the City Council shares a united goal and vision for this community, and it is no different than the one I have for Falls Church.

TR: Do you approve of how the city has handled COVID-19 so far? What would you change?

Shokoor: The City has done a lot to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that is through strict social distancing, mask wearing, and initiatives to focus resident’s consumer purchase to businesses in the city which are still not back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of patrons and revenue. But I think Falls Church’s best response has come from the Department of Housing Human Services. Through their efforts they have provided rental assistance to 45 families since the pandemic began, many of which have been helped numerous. They have paid for utility expenses for over 50 families, provided masks to communities most at-risk, and supplied food to residents through donations to their programs. In a wealthy community like Falls Church, it is easy for some to overlook the struggles of many residents and families.

Photo courtesy Joshua Shokoor

0 Comments

Friday Morning Notes

Fairfax County to Receive an Additional $4.85 Million in CARES Act Funding— “Through this final allocation, Fairfax County will receive an additional $4.85 Million in federal funding to assist residents facing higher risk of eviction and help combat the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Fairfax County]

3 F.C. Council Candidates Appear at First Joint Campaign Event — “A new breed of candidates for public office has surfaced in the race to temporarily fill a vacancy on the Falls Church City Council.” [Falls Church News-Press]

D.C. Restaurants Turn to Pop-up Concepts to Stay Afloat — “Bethesda’s URBNmarket is bringing a socially distant Oktoberfest event to Tysons on Oct. 9 and 10 with seasonal beverages in the pop-up biergarten.” [Washington Business Journal]

McLean Mom Plans Meal Packing Efforts During Pandemic — “Through her LiftLikeAMother​ Amplify program, McLean’s Alicia McKenzie coordinates meal packing efforts to help those in need.” [Patch]

0 Comments

More Info on COVID-19 Outbreaks — “The Virginia General Assembly responded last week, unanimously passing emergency bills in the House and Senate to require the disclosure [of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living centers.]” [Inside NoVa]

Kanye West Will Be on Virginia Ballots — “Rapper Kanye West has qualified to appear on Virginia’s presidential ballot in November, according to state election officials.” [Inside NoVa]

Affirm Logic Corp. Scores New Funding — “A McLean cybersecurity startup, whose pedigree includes research from Carnegie Mellon University and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has secured a $25 million equity financing round.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

0 Comments

Job seekers have the chance to apply for a new seasonal gig. The Fairfax County Office of Elections recently announced it’s hiring more than 200 workers for the November election.

The positions came about because the elections office is expecting a significant rise in absentee voting this year, Brian Worthy, a Fairfax County spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

Applicants can apply to be considered for three various positions, according to the job listings.

About 200 people are needed to process mailed absentee ballots, starting around Sept. 28 and likely working until a few days after the election. Meanwhile, about 40 people will get hired to assist inperson absentee voters at satellite locations from Oct. 14-Oct. 31. A limited number of people are needed for the administration tasks like data input, which the job description did not include a timeframe for.

“Skills we are looking for are people who have attention to detail and basic computer skills,” Worthy said, adding that applicants must also be registered voters in Virginia. Other requirements and a detailed description of each position can be found online.

“For all positions, you are hired as a seasonal employee, paid hourly, and must go through a background check including fingerprinting. The work is seasonal with no benefits and is dependent on the election schedule,” the listing said, adding that most employees will be paid around $14 an hour. The opportunities are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We are still in the hiring process so we don’t have a count of how many positions have been filled yet,” Worthy said.

Anyone interested in applying can fill out an online Survey Monkey form. Applicants shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t hear back right away, Worthy said.

“The hiring process does take some time, so people might not hear back immediately,” according to Worthy, who added that he encourages people to apply early so they will have plenty of time to complete the onboarding process.

According to Fairfax County’s website, there are also openings for local election officers. The county said that it’s received roughly 10 times the normal number of applications for the election officer roles.

Photo via Tiffany Tertipes/Unsplash

0 Comments

An upcoming protest in Merrifield is part of nationwide mobilization at post offices across the U.S.

From Alaska to Florida, 602 volunteer-led protests are set to take place at 11 a.m. local time tomorrow (Saturday) to demand Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s resignation and “save the post office from Donald Trump.”

The protests are in response to DeJoy’s cost-cutting measures for the financially-rocky United States Postal Service, which critiques said could delay the expected surge of mail ballots for the November election.

After facing a backlash, DeJoy said he will pause the changes until after the election. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly slammed mail-in ballots, said he opposes more funding for the USPS because of mail-in voting.

The protest at the Merrifield post office (8409 Lee Hwy) will be wheelchair accessible, according to the event description. Protests will also take place in Reston and Arlington.

The nationwide mobilization is backed by several unions and organizations, including MoveOn, Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, the Working Families Party, The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, American Federation of Teachers, Indivisible and Vets for the People.

Organizers are asking participants to wear face coverings, remain 6 feet apart from each other, bring hand sanitizer and keep the protests peaceful and nonviolent.

“Individual hosts are responsible for compliance with their own local laws and event requirements (including orders limiting the sizes of events),” the event description said.

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list