November 6, 2019
Thanks to all the volunteers who worked so hard to get voters to the polls yesterday.
In this Issue
  • Commentary: A Retrospective on this Election Cycle
  • Virginia Report
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar 

A Retrospective on this Election Cycle
The outcomes of the election on November 5 are not known as I write this column. I will no doubt have much to say about the results in future writings as this election is going to be pivotal for the Commonwealth’s history regardless of who turns out to be the winners. What I was able to observe in the weeks and days leading up to election day was the highest level of people willing to help throughout the state in knocking on doors, making phone calls, writing postcards, and otherwise willing to chip in for their favorite candidates. If the level of activity leading up to election day is any indication, the turnout of voters should have been record breaking. “When we vote, we win” became the mantra of campaigns hoping to hold onto power or to transfer it to a more progressive legislature. As I traveled around the state, I became aware that while I had focused on state legislative contests there were many local elections that were critical to the future of local boards of supervisors and school boards.

What is known before the first vote was cast is that these elections were the most expensive ever seen in off-year elections in Virginia. When the total expenses of both candidates in many legislative elections are added together, it will not be unusual that the total exceeds a million dollars. For some highly contentious races the totals exceed three million dollars. I have never seen the generosity of individuals to contribute to elections in other parts of the state as great as it was this year. There is a growing recognition that while it is important who your elected official is, there is an equal importance to who holds the majority in the legislative body. You not only work to get your representatives elected, you also need to help the campaigns of those with whom he or she will have to work. Political contributions from out-of-state individuals and organizations poured into the state in record amounts.

Also interesting in this election cycle is the amazing transformation that occurred in some incumbent legislators. It took Virginia more than four years to approve Medicaid expansion in the state. Yet, if you listened to television commercials downstate you would not be able to find anyone who opposed the expansion. To the contrary, there were claims on the part of some incumbents who had voted against the expansion who in the campaign claimed credit for passing it. It is amazing what a refreshment with voters can do to some legislators’ point of view and memories.

To analyze state and local election returns I recommend that you go to the website of the State Board of Elections at to see actual voting results. For more information on who the candidates were and how much they spent I suggest a visit to the Virginia Public Access Project, . In future columns I will provide my take on what the election results mean for the future of the Commonwealth.

A special shout out of recognition and thank you goes to all who worked so hard this election cycle. You are what makes the system work. Thank you!
Virginia Report 
Tune in to Ken's weekly television program,  Virginia Report, on  YouTube, Reston Comcast Channel 28 for public service programming or Verizon Channel 1981. Ken interviews state and local leaders who are making news by making a difference. 

TONIGHT: Wednesday, November 6 at 10:30 p.m., Delegate Plum talks with Jeanne Harrison of Traveling Players

Tuesday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, November 13 at 10:30 p.m., Delegate Plum talks with Dr. Sylisa Lambert-Woodard of Pathway Homes
  Fairfax County Library Launches New Catalog Next Week
Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 13, searching the library’s collection will be  smarter, more intuitive and mobile friendly. Learn what you can look forward to at New Library Catalog.
Volunteers Needed for Remote Area Medical
Mobile Medical Clinics
Remote Area Medical (RAM) brings free, quality, healthcare to people who cannot afford it, but they cannot do it alone! Learn more and locate a clinic at
Fairfax County Seeks Sculpture for New Parking Garage 
The County of Fairfax, Virginia Department of Public Works and Environmental Services invites artists to submit proposals for a permanent 3-dimensional public artwork for the Innovation Center Station Metro Garage Project located at 2345 Innovation Center Drive, Herndon, Virginia. Read the details at Public Art Sculpture.
What can I do? Civic Involvement

Learn How You Can Help Support Fair Redistricting
Free to register; donations welcome.
Calendar of Events

Friday, November 8-9, The Closet’s Everything Christmas Sale, at First Baptist Church of Herndon, 681 Elden Street. Come to this huge sale to get a head start on decorating and choose unique gifts WHILE helping your community! You’ll find everything from artificial trees to cookie cutters and food tins. Read more and sign up to volunteer at Christmas Sale.

Friday, November 8, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Opening Day for Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion, 1818 Discovery Street in Reston Town Center. Prices, hours of operation and more are at Ice Skating.

Saturday, November 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Fairfax County’s Fifteenth Annual History Conference, at Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, Fairfax. Registration is limited to the first 200, so register early to ensure your spot! View or download a flyer here.

Sunday, November 10, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Fall Foliage Tour Boat Ride. Join the special tour that captures the beauty of fall from a pontoon boat’s unique perspective. The tour includes a one-hour ride and a hot beverage. $8. Burke Lake Park, 7315 Ox Rd., Fairfax Station. For reservations, call 703-222-4664.

Wednesday, November 13, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Hidden History of Herndon Book Talk, at Jo Ann Rose Gallery, Reston Community Center, Lake Anne, Reston. The Reston Historic Trust & Museum hosts local author Barbara Glakas who uses rare photographs and firsthand accounts to tell little-known stories of the people, places and events that shaped the history of the Town of Herndon. Details are at Book Talk.

Thursday, November 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.

Saturday, November 16, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., America Recycles Day: Old Paint Recycling Event, at Rowan Tree, 280 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. Details are at Old Paint Recycling Event.

Saturday, November 16, Last Day of The Bargain Loft 50% Off Sale . Profits generated by The Bargain Loft support the FISH Assistance program to help residents with short-term emergency needs. Learn more about FISH and find directions at The Bargain Loft.

Saturday, November 16, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., History Camp Virginia, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. History Camp brings together people from all walks of life, regardless of degree or profession, who are passionate about history. And you don’t have to be a member of any organization to participate. Purchase tickets at History Camp.

Thursday, November 21, 7:00 p.m., Family Leave in Virginia, at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Briana Sewell of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy will summarize current Virginia law and proposed legislation on family leave. Details and more about our Branch are at Vienna Area Branch

Sunday, November 24, 8:00 a.m., Vienna Turkey Trot, at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street South, Vienna. The James Madison High School Band will be hosting the 17th Annual Vienna Turkey Trot 5K/10K and Kids' Fun Run on the Sunday BEFORE Thanksgiving! All proceeds benefit the JMHS "Pride of Vienna" band program and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Join in a great run, super music, fun prizes, refreshments after the race and the Finish Line Festival! Fees, registration and more information are at

Friday, November 29, 11:00 a.m., Reston Holiday Parade, at Reston Town Center. 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 1991, rain or shine, the parade has been an annual tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. Details are at