November 23, 2022

7th District
  • Commentary: Silver Lining for Thanksgiving
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Silver Lining for Thanksgiving

I am thankful that the Silver Line of Metro is now a reality. Persons living in Loudoun County can get on the train at Ashburn, the westernmost station of the Line, and ride to Largo, Maryland, without getting out of their seat! For some a trip might be to go from Reston to downtown for work or educational or cultural reasons. Persons living in the District of Columbia or Maryland may make their way to Tysons Corner or Dulles or points in between for their jobs or for the educational opportunities available in the region. The new line provides a thread that can tie our region together in an environmentally friendly way and enrich all parts of the area.

The line was a long time coming. The forward-thinking planners who envisioned and built Dulles Airport in the 1960s set aside land on which the Dulles Toll Road and the Silver Line are built. From that early vision of the transportation needs of the region would be a long stretch of doubt, reluctance, and lack of political will that needed to be overcome.

To respond to the resistance to making bold steps to meet our transportation needs, I along with Patty Nicoson and other business and community leaders established the Dulles Corridor Rail Association (DCRA). I am thankful for the business and community leaders with whom I worked on this project for the persistence we had to show and for the number of times we had to nurture the project back to life. It was particularly fulfilling to see the politicians who lined up to show their support for the Extension at the ribbon-cutting when some of them had been among the most difficult to convince in the beginning. Some had even expressed opinions in the early years that the project would never be built.

There are other silver linings at this Thanksgiving time. I continue to be astonished at the generosity of so many who organize and contribute to charities in our area that help feed, clothe, and house those in need in our community. Our local governments in Northern Virginia are very progressive, but it takes the whole community of volunteers, nonprofits, and faith groups to make our community open to those in need.

I am also thankful for the wonderful educational systems we have in our communities in Northern Virginia. The dedicated men and women who teach our young people deserve our daily thanks. We have the beginnings of more universal early-education programs that will reward us with future student success because of their early start. Likewise, our public safety and fire and rescue programs are without equal making us among the safest places in the world in which to live.

Is everything perfect? No, it seldom is. It seems to me that we need to honestly acknowledge where we are in our quest for a more open and just society. Some will grumble that we cannot solve the problems we have—just like they did with the Dulles Rail Silver Line. But that project shows us that no matter how big the problem might be, if we can dream a solution, we can make it a reality!


Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Learn more and purchase tickets.


Pre-Session Town Hall with Regional Elected Officials

Tuesday, November 29, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Register to receive the Zoom link.


Friday, November 25, 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Reston Town Center’s Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting. Reston Town Center launches the season with the annual Reston Holiday Parade celebrating its 31st year! The one-of-a-kind, one-hour, half-mile parade along Market Street also welcomes the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. Since 1992, rain or shine, the parade has been an annual tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. After the parade, the Clauses will return for the Tree Lighting at 6:00 p.m. on Market Street.

Monday, November 28, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Church Street Holiday Stroll, at Historic Church Street in Vienna. Enjoy live holiday music from local groups, a tree lighting led by Mayor Linda Colbert and great deals from local Church Street businesses! Visit historic sites such as the Freeman Store and Museum, Little Library, Caboose, Train Station, Knights of Columbus (formerly First Baptist Church) and Vienna Presbyterian's Old Chapel. For more information call the Vienna Community Center at 703-255-6360. Visit Holiday Stroll for street closing information.

Saturday, December 3, 8:00 a.m. to noon, Final Day for Reston Farmer's Market, at Lake Anne Village Center, 1609-A Washington Plaza. Visit Reston Farmer's Market for more information.

Saturday, December 3, 9:00 a.m. to noon, IEP Palooza and Community Resource Fair, at Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Drive, Annandale. Registration is free at IEP Palooza.

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Gifts from the HeART Shopping Event, at Reston Community Center Lake Anne. Free • All Ages. Join us for this unique holiday gift shopping event. Beautiful original artwork, remarkable ceramics, stunning jewelry and many other one-of-a-kind items will be sold by the artists. This event takes place in conjunction with the 24th Annual Gifts from the HeART Exhibit, which showcases original works of art in a variety of media and a wide range of sizes and prices. More information is at Gifts from the HeART.

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Cookies with Santa, at The Lake House, 11450 Baron Cameron Ave, Reston. Santa makes his first stop in Reston! Join the holiday countdown with a cookie jar full of fun and see Santa Claus before he embarks on his annual journey around the world. We'll have crafts and activities to jumpstart your holiday season and a letter to and from Santa that will surely be a highlight. Registration and fee are only for the child. Parents must stay at the event. Questions? Call 703-435-6577 or email Purchase tickets.

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Home for the Holly-Days, at Lake Anne and Washington Plaza. Food and drink, music, Jingle on the Lake, crafts for kids, and more.

Saturday, December 3, 4:00 and 7:30 p.m., The Reston Chorale Presents The Wonder of the Season, at Reston Community Center/Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road. A musical holiday treat for the entire family A reception honoring Tordis Fahringer, keyboard artist emeritus, will be held between concerts. Tickets and information are at

Sunday, December 4, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Holiday Fest, at Walker Nature Center. Join the fun along our woodland trail and see the Nature Center decked out for the holidays. There will be holiday music by Ginny Carr of MSE Productions, plus hot cocoa and cookies for all. Enjoy a Gingerbread Contest and storybook trail. Search for hidden tomtes (gnomes), play games, and make an ornament. Pre-registration required. $10/RA Members, $15/non-members. Contact or call 703-476-9689 ext. 3 for assistance. 

Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 p.m., The Reston Chorale's Annual Messiah Sing-Along, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church (Chapel), 11900 Lawyers Road, Reston. This treasured holiday tradition also benefits Cornerstones' Coat Closet. Bring a new or gently used coat--or new hat, gloves, socks or scarf--and receive $5 off the price of admission. Tickets and information are at

Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., The Arc of Northern Virginia Legislative Panel, (virtual) featuring Delegates Plum, Shin and Sickles and Senators Howell and Barker. Learn more and register at Legislative Panel.

Wednesday, December 14, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters. We will commemorate the 26 victims on the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre – the impetus for the monthly protests that have been held in front of the NRA headquarters in Fairfax without fail, every single month since. This event will feature many guest speakers and the involvement of faith leaders. Please plan to attend this important event in front of the NRA HQ at 11250 Waples Mill Rd, Fairfax to remind the gun lobby and Congress that we have not gone away and we are still demanding better laws to protect our children and all of the people in our country from gun violence.

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