January 2016 Newsletter


The LWV of Falls Church is taking part in the national League's consensus study to update its position on Money in Politics. 

The League is updating its position because the current position dates back to the 1970s and predates Supreme Court decisions that changed campaign finance law significantly. The current League position, does not answer the question of whether all or some political activity constitutes free speech protected under the First Amendment.

You can review the Money in Politics Consensus Questions using this link that will take you to the national League's website: CONSENSUS QUESTIONS & LINKS TO BACKGROUND PAPERS

Dates to Remember:

Sunday, January 24, 3 to 4:30 p.m. LWVFC Informational meeting on Money in Politics Review
-- Falls Church Community Center -- 
 Keynote speaker: Tara Malloy, Deputy Executive Director, The Campaign Legal Center.

Sunday, January 31, 3 to 4:30 p.m. LWVFC Consensus meeting on Money in Politics Review
-- Falls Community Center.

This is our opportunity to help frame the national League position. What should be the goals and purposes of campaign finance regulation? What activities are types of political corruption? Who or what entities should be restricted from spending money to influence an election? 

For the League to advocate strongly against big money and its influence on elections and government, it must get member understanding and agreement as to the extent to which our organization believes that financing a political campaign is speech protected by the First Amendment. Under the Supreme Court's current rulings, it appears that we must allow money spent on elections to corrupt our office holders and candidates in the name of free speech. What are our options for changing this?

Come learn about and discuss options at the Informational Meeting, Sunday, Jan. 24, and then participate in the Consensus Meeting, Sunday, Jan. 31.

Questions: contact Bob Crowe 703-200-3379.


On January 16, Senator Dick Saslaw and Delegate Marcus Simon discussed the 2016 General Assembly and their legislative agendas at a Town Hall Meeting at the Falls Church Community Center. A summary of their remarks follows: 

Senator Saslaw's Refusal to Respond to the LWV FC Voter's Guide Questionnaire: His policy is to not answer questionnaires from any organization; he believes that he gets trapped into taking positions on bills that subsequently change, in which case he can be accused of having changed his position if he votes a different way

Legislative Climate: both sides recognize that, whereas one Party has the votes to block bills coming out of Committee, the other Party has veto power and enough votes to sustain a veto. Therefore, both sides are interested in working on issues where the two Parties agree.

Investment Priorities: research (new Inova Center at the former Exxon Mobil facility a good example), university-based research, and economic development

Legislative Priorities: Opposition to the Charter School Amendment; expansion of fair housing law to include gender identity and sexual orientation; bonds to refinance student debt; ethics reforrm (ban on personal use of campaign funds by candidates); cameras on school buses; bill to permit localities to prevent gun stores from locating near public schools

Change in the Local Composite Index: Falls Church is among the bottom third in State dollars going to support the schools; those who get more would certainly oppose a measure to change the formula

Redistricting: Senator Saslaw has voted for some redistricting bills and against others; he has supported measures that protect incumbents and believes that ultimately the only way to solve the problem is for the courts to take on the constitutionality of the minority districts

Medicaid Expansion: The opposition to it comes from the population that needs it the most

Minimum Wage: A bill to raise the minimum wage to $10 could not make it out of Committee; other bills will likely face the same outcome
Reminder: National Consensus Study & Consensus Questions

Lots was accomplished when more than 20 LWVFC Members turned out for our annual program planning meeting in early January.

In This Issue:


2015-2016 LWVFC Board and Off-Board Members 



Ellen Salsbury


Vice President

Linda Garvelink


Programs Co-Chairs

Robert Crowe

Renee Andrews


Local Affairs Chair

Wendy Frieman



Martha Cooper



Ruth Rodgers


Voter Service Co-Chairs 

Membership Co-Chairs


Liaison to NCA 

Ellen Gross


Administrative Team

Madalyn Cafruny

Genie Flahie

Edith Snyder


Special Projects

Cindy Donaldson

Bunny Jarrett

Marty Meserve

Jane Scully






Neil Johnston


The LWV of the Fairfax Area General Meeting
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Clyde's of Tysons Corner (New Location)
8332 Leesburg Pike Vienna, Virginia

9:30 a.m. 
 Registration & Coffee

Noon- Luncheon

Speaker: Dr. Wylecia Wiggs Harris, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of U.S.

Reservations are  required for the luncheon only; the program is free.

Luncheon Cost: $36
Deadline for Registration is Jan. 13

To Register and pay  click here.

LWVUS Study on Money in Politics
Sunday, January 24
Falls Church Community Center
3 p.m.

Consensus Meeting on Money in Politics
Sunday, January 31
Falls Church Community Center
3 p.m.

Understanding Commercial Real Estate Development in Falls Church: Four Perspectives
Sunday, February 21
Falls Church Community Center
3 p.m.

Save the Date!

Film Screening & Expert Panel:
"Extreme Realities"

Sunday, March 6
3 p.m.
George Mason High School Auditorium

Tickets:  $35 / $15 students

Richard Meserve - President Emeritus, Carnegie Institute of Science

This is our NEW fundraiser to Support LWVFC Voter Services activities.

Unprecedented extreme weather events are leaving a trail of destruction throughout the world. Are these merely once in a hundred year storms or an early warning signal - a tipping point?

This film narrated by Matt Damon, investigates the link between severe weather, climate change, and threats to our national security.  Our expert panel will further explore these issues with the audience.

These two documents were from Ruth Basom, a long-time League member in Alexandria, and were recently shared with us from our VA League Liaison Frances Schutz.

- A talk given at World Day of Prayer Service  
About Us

The League of Women Voters Falls Church is a non-partisan organization that serves the citizens of Falls Church City through encouraging informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influencing public policy through education and advocacy.

A Voice for Citizens and a Force for Change in the United States.