January 13, 2021
The General Assembly will convene at noon today, Wednesday, January 13, virtually. The tradition is that I put the flag of the Commonwealth out in front of my home during the session. This year my car will still be parked there as we are meeting via Zoom.
In this Issue
  • Commentary: INSURRECTION
  • Latest Updates on COVID-19
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar
Commentary

INSURRECTION
Last Thursday’s one-word headline in the Richmond Times Dispatch was in such a large font that it extended across the entire width of the newspaper: INSURRECTION. The generally conservative newspaper that was in its history the mouthpiece of massive resistance against school desegregation could have termed the events at the United States Capitol the previous day a riot, a disturbance, or a protest. That they and many others chose insurrection as the best description of what happened is an indication of the seriousness of it.

No one expressed the situation better than Senator Mitt Romney in his prepared speech delivered at the Capitol as soon as the insurrectionists had been forced out: “We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.

An insurrection is defined legally as the act or an instance of revolting especially violently against civil or political authority or against an established government. Under federal law, whoever incites, assists, or engages in any insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined and/or imprisoned; and shall be incapable of holding any office in the future.

The rights to assemble and to petition the government are protected in the Constitution. America is known for its open protests to bring injustices to the attention of government officials and the public. Some would say that such actions are as American as apple pie. What happened last week is different. Incited and directed by the President of the United States, his lawyer and a retired general who was recently pardoned by the President, thousands of persons marched from near the White House to the United States Capitol where for the first time since the British occupied the Capitol in 1814 took over the building for a short time.

It is essential that the Congress and the justice system take appropriate action against those who incited, led and participated in the insurrection. Defense of our democracy demands it. Likewise, we need to understand why the Capitol was left so defenseless when it was well known that a major bullying of the Congress was going to take place that day as the President had been talking about for weeks.

The Guardian offered a perspective: “A group of white supremacists from throughout the country who had been radicalized by the rants and misinformation from the President occupied a space that has been the citadel of democracy.” About the ease with which the insurrectionists took over the Capitol it observed, “The contrast with the mass deployments of over 5,000 troops for the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer could not have been more glaring. Then, Washington resembled a city under occupation.”

Through what has been one of the most disturbing days of our history I remain hopeful that we will be able to undo the many wrongs of the last four years and the racism of hundreds of years. I pledge myself to working as hard as I can to make it happen!
Delegate Plum Seeks Your Input into Priorities for the
2021 General Assembly Session
Latest Updates on COVID-19

Fairfax County

1/12/2021 — Vaccinations Now Underway for Eligible 1B Populations. Read the information.

1/12/2021 — Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Announces COVID-19 vaccine will be available to ALL FCPS employees as a part of the 1B group of other essential workers. Learn more.


Virginia

1/12/2021 — Governor Northam Announces New Steps to Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts. Read the article.

1/12/2021 — Virginia Department of Health Outlines COVID-19 Vaccination ResponseVisit the website.


Nationwide

1/12/2021 — Treasury and IRS begin delivering second round of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans. Read the details

1/12/2021 — CDC Explains What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.  Read the information.

Bulletin Board
Fairfax County Begins Vaccinating Phase 1B
The Health Department is offering vaccination appointments to Phase 1A health care personnel and Phase 1B adults ages 75+. Learn more at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/vaccine
Reston Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
January 16 – 18
Grant Funding Available
The Board is now seeking Letters of Interest (LOIs) in response to two Competitive Request for Proposals (RFPs) with up to $800,000 of total funding available under two categories:
Creating Inclusive Communities--This RFP focuses on community supports for people with developmental disabilities as well as on improving or expanding services to rural areas of the Commonwealth.
Strengthening Self-Advocacy in Virginia--This RFP will fund projects designed to strengthen an existing self-advocacy organization, or program within an organization, led by individuals with developmental disabilities, by improving an organization's skill set, structure and/or work to effect policy change. More information on each RFP can be found by visiting vaboard.org/grants.htm#administration.
LOIs are due by February 1, 2021, by 4:00 p.m. ET
What can I do? Civic Involvement
Give Input to the 2021 General Assembly Session
Begins January 13
There are several ways you can be involved:
Calendar of Events
Wednesday, January 13, 5:30 p.m., Code Create Vienna Virtual Public Meeting. It is time to hear from the people! The Town of Vienna will hold a virtual public meeting to garner feedback from residents on proposed changes to the Town's residential standards. Town staff will review the proposals and present a visual preference survey, as well as take questions and feedback from attendees. Register here.

Thursday, January 14, Temporary Realignment of W&OD Trail at Idylwood Park Starting. The Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD Trail) near Idylwood Park (between Virginia Lane and the trail bridge over I-495) in Falls Church will be realigned slightly to the south of the current trail for approximately five months beginning on or about Thursday, January 14, through June 2021. The trail is being shifted temporarily while crews construct the new, permanent trail alignment to accommodate new ramps as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project. Crews will also construct a retaining wall to support the widening of the ramp from I-66 West to I-495 South during this period. All work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled if inclement conditions occur. Weekly updates are available at Transform66.org. To receive updates automatically by email, sign up here

Thursday, January 14, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Unclaimed Property Virtual Call Event. Virginia Department of the Treasury and Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch are bringing citizens this virtual call event where Treasury staff will give personalized service to search and start the claim process for callers. Call 1-833-302-0704. Remember that 1 in 4 Virginians has unclaimed property so call in during this event to find your missing money!

Thursday, January 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.

Saturday, January 16, 9:00 a.m., Community Service Projects for MLK Celebration, at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. RCC is partnering with Reston Association, Cornerstones and The Closet for small, socially distanced community service projects. Volunteers will sort items from The Closet and make bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. Weather permitting, additional volunteers will be outside doing clean up on the paths around RCC Hunters Woods. Volunteer hours conclude around 11:00 a.m. To volunteer, please contact Ha Brock, Reston Association Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator, at 703-435-7986 or habrock@reston.org.

Saturday, January 16, 2:00 p.m., Reston Community Orchestra presents "Keeping the Dream: 15th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," a virtual performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," online at RCC YouTube Channel.

Sunday, January 17, 2:00 p.m., Akua Allrich and The Tribe, A Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba Tribute, at RCC Hunters Woods – the CenterStage. Jazz vocalist and Washington, DC, native Akua Allrich has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. $15 Reston/$30 Non-Reston. Learn more and purchase tickets at Akua Allrich and The Tribe.

Sunday, January 24, 3:00 p.m., Anna Deavere Smith Notes From the Field screening and Q&A, at The CenterStage at Reston Community Center. Playwright, actor and educator Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to explore issues of community, character, and diversity in America. Learn more and purchase tickets at Notes From the Field.