April 7, 2021
Virtual Post-Session Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, April 8, 7:00 p.m.

Delegate Ken Plum and Senator Janet Howell will provide their post-session report on the General Assembly. Register here. Email questions to kenplum@aol.com
In this Issue
  • Commentary: A Civic Duty
  • Latest Updates on COVID-19
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar
A Civic Duty
As we probably learned and as we teach our children, voting is the most important of civic duties. By choosing our leaders at election time and by deciding questions on referenda, we set the direction for our communities, states, and nation. Voting is a way to express our values and beliefs.

In one of the contradictions that strain the legitimacy of what we teach vs. what we do is to teach our children, proclaim in civic pronouncements and require for Scouting citizenship merit badges an acknowledgement of the importance of voting while at the same time making it difficult and sometimes impossible for some people to vote.

During the colonial period and early years of the state of Virginia, only white land-owners could vote. The Reconstruction era after the Civil War brought Black men into the electorate, but in a matter of decades that free access to voting was cut off by white supremacists who reasserted their power. An avowed purpose of writing a new constitution in 1902 was to disenfranchise Black men. It was successful in that the voting rolls were cut in half as most Blacks and poor whites were not able to make their way through the maze of requirements that one had to meet in order to vote. A blank sheet registration system and a $1.50 poll tax to be paid three years in a row at least six months before an election kept many from voting. White people in the upper crust of local society made it through these hurdles as the voting registrar who was part of the governing machine would provide them assistance while everyone else floundered at trying to get through the process.

Regardless of their race, women in this country have been able to vote for just over a hundred years, and that right came after incredible struggle. The Civil Rights era and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 opened up the electoral process for many Black people. Even now there are debates in the states about ways that access to the polls can be limited.

The Virginia General Assembly has put the Commonwealth on the path to supporting citizens carrying out their civic duty with several of the most progressive voting laws in the country. A headline in the New York Times last week proclaimed that “Virginia, the Old Confederacy’s Heart, Becomes a Voting Rights Bastion.” Over a fourteen-month period and two legislative sessions the General Assembly has passed and the Governor has signed bills to repeal a voter ID law, enact a 45-day no-excuse absentee voting period that permits early voting, made Election Day a holiday, and established a system for automatic voter registration for anyone who receives a Virginia driver’s license. The Virginia Voting Rights Act follows some of the provisions of the earlier federal law but applies to localities in the state to ensure that voting remains accessible.

In Virginia we will continue to say that voting is one of the most important of our civic duties, and now we will have a legal structure that demonstrates we believe it!

Latest Updates on COVID-19

Fairfax County

4/6/2021 — Vaccine Registration Now Open for Some Frontline Essential Workers in Phase 1c. Read the details.

4/6/2021 — Fairfax County Public Schools Widens Opportunities for In-Person Instruction Throughout April. Read the announcement.


4/6/2021 — Governor Northam Announces Virginia to Expand Vaccine Eligibility to All Adults by April 18 as Vaccinations Continue Rising. Read the announcement.

4/6/2021 — Virginia Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Workforce, Creates Additional Pathway to Enlist Volunteer Vaccinators. Read the release.


4/6/2021 — IRS Announces New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation. Read the announcement.

4/6/2021 — CDC Discusses How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated. Read the guidance.

Bulletin Board
Equity Matters: Moving Forward to Equal Justice
Free Film Screenings with Panel Discussions
Recent events demonstrate that the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equitable treatment for Blacks in America remain urgent efforts. Join local Black leaders for these thought-provoking and deeply emotional films and their dialog following the screenings about how the subjects connect to their lives. Patrons can listen to the post-screening dialog which will be livestreamed on RCC’s Facebook page shortly after the movie ends. Learn more and register.
Town of Vienna Mayors' Fitness Challenge
April 3- May 29

The Town of Vienna, Fairfax City, and City of Falls Church are hosting the first-ever Mayors' Fitness Challenge. This is a great opportunity for Town residents and employees to come together to get involved in a healthy competition to determine the Most Fit Community of 2021. Walk, bike, hike, practice yoga, or play in the park - the opportunities are endless! Learn more at Mayors' Fitness Challenge.
Reston Virtual Founder's Day Celebration
Saturday, April 10 2021
Celebrated every year on a Saturday near Founder Robert E. Simon, Jr.' s birthday (April 10), Founder's Day is a celebration of Reston's founding with a variety of family-friendly activities. Learn more here.
Traveling Players Theatre Classes
Summer Camps and Performances for Grades 4-12
Check out all the great opportunities at travelingplayers.org.
What can I do? Civic Involvement
Become Involved in Equitable Vaccine Distribution to Underserved Communities
Fairfax County Public Meeting: Thursday, April 8, 6:00 p.m.
In this session, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay and other Fairfax leaders will answer questions and share their plans on how Fairfax leadership plans to help improve healthcare equity for those who need it most.
Calendar of Events
Wednesday, April 7, 7:00 p.m., VDOT Town Center Parkway Underpass Study - Virtual Public Information Meeting. Find out about a study to assess extending Town Center Parkway below the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267), the Dulles International Airport Access Highway and the Metrorail Silver Line. The study aims to reduce congestion on adjacent roadways and improve accessibility and connectivity to Reston Town Center for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. To read more, register for the meeting and learn how to provide feedback on the project, visit Public Meeting.

Thursday, April 8, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., Constitution Series: Equality and Justice for All featuring Dr. Carla Hayden. Dr. Hayden is the 14th Librarian of Congress in our nation’s history, serving three presidential administrations. She will discuss the 13th Amendment ratified by Congress in 1865 and signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Learn more about this free online event and register at Justice for All.

Thursday, April 8, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., FXCO Public Meeting: Equitable Vaccine Distribution to Underserved Communities. In this session, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay and other Fairfax leaders will answer questions and share their plans on how Fairfax leadership plans to help improve healthcare equity for those who need it most. Learn more and register.

Thursday, April 8, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., General Assembly Report (virtual). Delegate Plum and Senator Howell will report on the Regular Session, Special Session 1 and Reconvened Session and answer participants' questions. Register here.

Thursday, April 8, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Criminalizing Mental Illness & Addiction. VOICE leaders will hold a virtual research action with two national experts from Arizona about Mental Health/Addiction Crisis Centers. This will be a great learning opportunity for those interested in challenging the plague of Mass Incarceration in Virginia. Register here.

Tuesday, April 13, 7:00 p.m., Reston Association’s Annual Members’ Meeting (virtual). The purpose of the annual meeting is to present reports on the state of the association, receive and hear the results of the election of the Board of Directors and any other referenda, and receive comments from members. For Zoom information, visit RA Members' Meeting.

Wednesday, April 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided. Most protesters will drive past the NRA with signs taped to their car windows or doors. Those who want to social distance and wear masks will stand on the sidewalk.

Wednesday, April 14, 7:00 p.m., Edible Plants for Your Landscape & Front Yard virtual workshop. Bestselling author, PBS contributor, and horticulturist, Brie Arthur is bringing her enthusiasm and practical gardening advice to Northern Virginia. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. View or download a flyer here.

Sunday, April 18, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Fairfax Veg Fest 2021! See how easy it is to find healthy plant-based foods in Fairfax County, Virginia. Find local sources of eco-friendly and cruelty-free products. Learn about the science behind the benefits of a plant-based diet. Learn more and register for this free online event at Fairfax Veg Fest.

Monday, April 19, 7:00 p.m., Hunter Mill Virtual Community Conversation on the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan. Learn about the plan and share how you travel and access destinations by biking, walking, hiking, rolling (scooter/wheelchair/stroller), running and riding in and around your local community. Learn more here.

Wednesday, April 21 to Friday, April 23, Town of Herndon Annual Spring Clean-Up. On your trash day only. View or download a flyer with the details at Herndon Spring Clean-Up