Tysons, VA

The Town of Vienna is gearing up for its election in a few months.

Recently, the filing deadline passed for people looking to run for the Town Council. Tysons Reporter has information below on who the candidates are, when debates are scheduled and how to ask questions.

Mayoral Candidates

Three councilmembers are vying for Mayor Laurie DiRocco’s seat.

DiRocco, who has been the town’s mayor since 2014, announced in December that she will not seek re-election.

Linda Colbert has been on the council since 2014 and has previously served on the Transportation Safety Commission and Hunter Mill Transportation Advisory Council, according to her town bio.

“I am running for Mayor of Vienna to advocate for Vienna residents, to preserve our neighborhoods, and to improve our commercial areas to create a more vibrant and economically viable main street that our residents will use with pride,” according to a statement on her Facebook page.

Pasha Majdi is running on a platform to “keep [Vienna] a small town.”

He was first elected to the council in 2014 after serving on the Town Business Liaison Committee, according to his town bio.

“Vienna should be an independent, green oasis that is a sharp contrast to Tysons, not a housing district for Tysons,” he said in his campaign announcement.

Howard Springsteen is also running on a platform to maintain the “small-town feel” of Vienna.

Springsteen was first elected to the Town Council in 2009 and has served on the Transportation Safety Commission for eight years, according to his town bio.

“I have a reputation for getting things done and focusing on residents’ concerns and issues,” Springsteen said. “I think Vienna should be determined by taxpaying residents and not non-tax paying developers.”

The terms for both Majdi and Colbert expire in June this year, while Springsteen’s term expires in June 2021.

Vienna Town Council Candidates

Depending on the mayoral election, either two or three council seats will be open.

Vienna Town Councilmember Douglas Noble, who has been on the council since 2016, plans to retire after his current term ends on June 30. (The terms for councilmembers Nisha Patel and Steve Potter expire in 2021.)

Voters will be able to pick no more than three of the seven candidates running to be councilmembers, according to the Fairfax County Department of Elections.

The candidates are:

Meet the Candidates

Ahead of the election on May 5, several candidate forums will give locals opportunities to hear the candidates debate and answer questions from residents.

Unless canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus, here are the scheduled forums, according to the Vienna Business Association (VBA):

  • NEVCA Candidates Forum: April 2 at 7 p.m. at the Community Center Auditorium
  • NARFE Candidates Forum: April 14 at 1 p.m. at the Community Center Auditorium
  • VBA Mayoral Forum: April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
  • Mayoral Forum: April 21 at 7 p.m. at the Cunningham Park Elementary School

Tysons Reporter will also reach out to the candidates for Q&As that will be published this spring ahead of the election.

If you have a question you would like the Tysons Reporter team to consider asking, please let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.

Images via Town of Vienna

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Former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is set to make an appearance in Tysons tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Bloomberg plans to participate in the Women for Mike get-out-the-vote event ahead of the March 3 Super Tuesday primary in Virginia.

The event is set to take place at 9 a.m. at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (7920 Jones Branch Drive), according to a press release. Doors will open at 8 a.m.

After the event, supporters plan to knock on doors for Bloomberg’s campaign.

“This will be Mike’s seventh trip to Virginia since launching his presidential campaign,” the press release says.

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Updated 2/28/2020 — Adds number of polling places in schools.

Students at Fairfax County’s public schools will get to stay home on March 3 for Super Tuesday.

Large crowds are expected to turn out for the primary election in Virginia. Brian Worthy, a spokesperson for the county, said that 167 polling places will be in the schools for voters casting their ballots for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Some of those polling spots will be at public schools, including George Marshall High School in Falls Church and Langley High School in McLean.

The county’s school board voted last spring to make Super Tuesday a student holiday for the 2019-2020 school year.

While students will have the day off, staff will still need to report to the schools, Lucy Caldwell, an FCPS spokesperson, said.

Eligible voters can find their polling location on the Virginia Department of Elections website or the My Neighborhood App.

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Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic candidate for president and senator from Minnesota, is coming to Falls Church tomorrow.

Klobuchar will be at a rally supporting her campaign ahead of the March 3 Super Tuesday primary in Virginia.

The event is set to take place at noon at the State Theatre (220 N. Washington Street). Doors will open at 11:15 a.m.

After stopping in Falls Church, Klobuchar will then head to Nashville, according to a press release from her campaign.

Photo via Amy Klobuchar/Facebook

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The Virginia headquarters for the presidential campaign office for Elizabeth Warren sits at 450 W. Broad Street in Falls Church.

Tysons Reporter reached out to Warren’s campaign and connected with Rylie Cooper, an organizer from the office, to hear her opinions on the campaign’s progress and base in Falls Church.

Below are Cooper’s answers to questions from Tysons Reporter.

Tysons Reporter: How many people are engaged with the Falls Church campaign office overall? 

Cooper: We’ve had literally hundreds of volunteers come through our Falls Church office. On any given weekend, we launch canvasses with more than 30 people scheduled for each shift. One of my favorite events to launch out of this office was our Foreign Policy Professionals for Warren Canvass!

We had nearly 40 foreign policy professionals from all over the D.C. area ranging from professors and their students to foreign service members who organize themselves into a group and come together on a Sunday afternoon to knock on doors and talk to Virginia voters about Elizabeth and her plans to bring big, structural change to the Commonwealth.

TR: How have outreach efforts been going in the area? 

Cooper: The enthusiasm on the ground for Elizabeth Warren and her message for big, structural change has been very well received both here in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth. This area was especially really active following the 2016 election.

The people here are incredibly excited about the opportunity to elect a woman who represents their values. There was a significant organic and grassroots movement for Elizabeth Warren in place even before any of our staff even hit the ground. This is the same group who helped elect the most diverse state legislature in Virginia in 2017 and take it back for Democrats in 2019 and now they’re activating their networks for Elizabeth.

TR: What are the borders of the outreach area? 

Cooper: Our campaign is organizing everywhere. In addition to the Falls Church office, we have an office that focuses on Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach area and we have grassroots hubs in Central Virginia.

TR: What have been some successes? 

Cooper: I think our biggest success has been training our volunteers and empowering them with the tools they need to do this work on their own time, in their own communities and in the way that feels most impactful to them. We have nearly 1,000 people who have raised their hands to volunteer in over 100 cities, towns and counties across the commonwealth — including in every single congressional district.

We’ve knocked on nearly 75,000 doors and made over 43,000 calls since Jan. 1. We’ve had over 150 volunteer phone banks and canvass and over 700 one-on-one conversations with people wanting to get involved with the campaign. People are also really happy to be connected with other Elizabeth Warren supporters in their communities.

TR: Are there full-time staffers at this office? Are they paid? Volunteers? 

Cooper: We have several full-time staffers — all the staffers are paid. We also have several volunteers who come in to help around the office when they can. We’ve trained more than 100 volunteers. They come to our office when it makes sense, but they also organize out of their own garages and homes and with their neighbors.

TR: How are the outreach efforts different in the NoVA area compared to other places in the country? 

Cooper: Our campaign has been organizing in traditionally red and blue areas of states who will be voting in the next few weeks. Here in Virginia, we are reaching as many communities as we can across the state and that is how we are organizing across the country too.

TR: As a team leader what are your responsibilities?

Cooper: My responsibilities range from training and managing our organizers to preaching Elizabeth’s message to every single person I meet to working with our leadership team to make sure we have a happy and productive work environment to making sure our volunteers have a great experience every single time they volunteer.

TR: Has Warren visited the HQ or does she plan to make a stop anytime soon in the area? 

Cooper: She was in Arlington last Thursday for a town hall! It was so amazing to see people come from all over the D.C. area ready to get involved for that last final push leading up to Super Tuesday!

I just wish everyone could see her in a town hall like we did. It’s reassuring to know that a lot of the people who were able to witness the magic of an Elizabeth Warren Town Hall are now signed up to help us talk to Virginians all over the commonwealth and share that energy of the Arlington town hall with voters at the doors and on the phones.

The interview has been lightly condensed and edited for clarity. 

Photo courtesy Rylie Cooper

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Vienna Town Councilmember Douglas Noble announced earlier this week that he plans to retire after his current term ends.

Noble was first elected to Town Council in May 2016, according to his town bio. His term expires on June 30.

Noble told the Town Council on Monday that he’s been helping with mom’s knee replacement rehabilitation, along with assisting his wife with an aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease and helping dad publish a photography book.

“I note this not without a touch of irony, considering last week I was accused of being ageist and discriminatory by a member of a public,” Noble said. “And I guess public officials should simply accept that people attack us personally.”

Noble has several things he’d like to see the Town Council accomplish in the next two years.

“I need to get the zoning code update right and we need to get it finished,” Noble said, adding that he also wants to see updates to the comprehensive plan.

He said he’d also like the town’s performance dashboard to be online and move projects and studies forward more quickly.

“And lastly, in the next couple years — four years, 10 years — we need to have a real conversation about this small town thing,” Noble said. “We need to come to grips with the idea that we haven’t really been a small town since the 1950s.”

Noble said some of the highlights of his time on the council have included the Vienna Community Center getting finished, the new police station started, expanded community events and added town positions.

Noble’s announcement means that at least three new faces will join the council later this year.

Councilmembers Pasha Majdi, Howard Springsteen and Linda Colbert are running for Mayor Laurie DiRocco’s seat.

The terms for Majdi and Colbert both expire this year, while Springsteen’s current term ends next year.

Councilmembers Nisha Patel and Steve Potter’s terms expire in 2021.

Image via Town of Vienna

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Vienna Town Councilmember Pasha Majdi announced that he is joining the race for the mayor’s seat in the spring election.

Majdi was first elected to the council in 2014 after serving on the Town Business Liaison Committee, according to his town bio.

So far, Majdi is competing against councilmembers Linda Colbert and Howard Springsteen, who announced their campaigns at the first Town Council meeting of the year.

“I’m running for mayor because Vienna is my hometown and I want to keep it a small town,” Majdi said in a statement. “Vienna should be an independent, green oasis that is a sharp contrast to Tysons, not a housing district for Tysons.”

More from the statement:

 My vision for the next 10 years is to protect residential neighborhoods and streets to keep Vienna the best place to raise a family in Northern Virginia, apply smart growth principles for Maple Avenue that control and mitigate traffic, and build a Town square around Church Street and the W&OD trail.

The terms for both Majdi and Colbert expire in June this year, while Springsteen’s term expires in June 2021.

Laurie DiRocco, who has been the town’s mayor since 2014, announced in December that she will not seek re-election.

The Vienna election is May 5.

Image courtesy Pasha Majdi

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Editor’s Note: Tysons Reporter does not endorse any specific candidate for the upcoming 2020 election. 

With the upcoming November presidential elections, several candidates have campaign offices and events in Tysons’ backyard.

Tysons Reporter found local groups, campaign offices and activities supporting three Democratic presidential candidates.

Elizabeth Warren

The headquarters for Elizabeth Warren’s Virginia campaign located in the heart of  Falls Church at 450 W. Broad Street.

The campaign is looking for volunteers to canvas later this week on Saturday (Jan. 25) and Sunday (Jan. 26), as well as on Feb. 1 and 2. Each day there will be two timeslots from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 12 until 3 p.m. Sign-up is available online.

Also this Saturday and Sunday, there will be a phone bank at a Starbucks in Vienna (362 E. Maple Ave) from 1 to 3 p.m.

For those wanting to canvas for Warren in Vienna, there will be a group meeting at Starbucks (362 E Maple Ave) this Saturday from 10 to 1 p.m. and 12 to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m.

Andrew Yang

Every Monday, the MATH Mondays Organizing Night brings people together in support of Andrew Yang’s campaign.  The event begins at 6 p.m. at Urbanspace (2001 International Drive) and lasts until 9 p.m.

Attendees can get involved with the campaign at various levels, depending on interest.

“This includes texting, making calls and writing letters to Iowa voters as well as orientations on how you can recruit your friends and help the NoVA Leadership Team with local events and activities,” according to the event page.

Anyone considering volunteering is advised by the event page to bring their phone and laptop.

Bernie Sanders

Although there isn’t a central office in the area, staffers and supporters of Bernie Sanders are hosting events in the area.

On Sunday (Jan. 26), the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Bernie group will be canvasing at the Lunar New Year Celebration in Tysons Corner Center from 11:50 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to Bernie Sanders’ campaign website.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is also hosting an event around 7 p.m. in Pimmit Hills (2021 Griffith Road) to organize individuals who want to spread knowledge of the campaign to friends and family.

Attendees will walk away with the skills to rally others, according to the event listing.

Nearby, President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg have campaign offices in Arlington.

Photo via  Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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Locals will have a chance to learn about Virginia policy at an upcoming town hall with politicians next weekend.

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th) and Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) are hosting the event to talk about the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session.

The General Assembly convenes next Wednesday (Jan. 8).

The town hall is set to take place at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center Street S.) next Saturday (Jan. 11) from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

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The Fairfax County delegation to the General Assembly will hold a public hearing for the upcoming 2020 session.

The hearing will take place on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway).

Residents interested in speaking at the hearing should register online or contact the county’s Department of Clerk Services at 703-324-3151 by Thursday, Jan. 2.

Only county residents can speak either on behalf of themselves or an organization serving county residents. All speakers will be allocated three minutes to address the delegation. The hearing will be streamed online.

The 2020 session convenes on Wednesday, Jan. 8. More information about key dates is available online.

This story was written by Fatimah Waseem and also appeared on our sister site Reston Now.

Photo via Fairfax County/Facebook

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