October 9, 2019
With colleagues from the General Assembly at an American Evolution 1619-2019 event.
In this Issue
  • Commentary: Evolution of American Democracy
  • Virginia Report
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar 

Evolution of American Democracy
Four hundred years ago is a long time, but what happened four centuries ago has implications for us today. Virginia is in the midst of a year-long series of programs and experiences based on events that happened a dozen years after the first permanent English colony was settled at Jamestown in 1607. All the activities taken together are referred to as American Evolution 1619-2019. There are many events scheduled for the remainder of this year. ( americanevolution2019.com ).

The planners of the commemoration are to be commended for recognizing that while the historic events that occurred are noteworthy and interesting, the real lessons to be learned come after the actual dates of historic events as we discuss and consider their resulting impact. Many references are made to America’s beginning as being 1776, but it can be argued that the beginning of America as a representative democracy began in the Virginia colony with the meeting of the first representative body meeting in Jamestown in 1619. Remembering that date in 1619 should cause us to reflect on all that has happened after that date that led us to the society and government we have evolved into today.

Similarly, the arrival of 20 or so Africans at Old Point Comfort just down the James River from Jamestown Island four hundred years ago in August of 1619 must be noted. They came not with steamer trunks of fancy dress; they came in shackles having been captured in Africa and brought here at the beginning of a slave trade that would fuel the economy of the colony and then the Commonwealth of Virginia for the next 250 years. To look at African Americans then and now without an examination of what happened in between is to miss a tragic part of our evolving history—the racism that gripped our country for its entire history and is still with us today.

Those Africans who arrived in 1619 were slaves. Soon after their arrival that first legislative body passed laws that defined their enslavement and the limitations on their very existence. The few efforts like Nat Turner’s rebellion that attempted to gain freedom for slaves were put down harshly with further slave codes being passed to limit them from being taught how to read and write and allow for more cruel punishments to keep them in line. When the constitution was written for the new country after the Revolution, slaves were to be counted as three-fifths of a person, despite Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence proclaiming that “all men are created equal.” It was not until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s that the descendants of the slaves of 1619 could claim anything close to equality.

We did not start with a perfect union; we have not achieved one today. We have been on an arc of history that in another context suggests that it is bent towards justice. The American Evolution 1619-2019 program is providing an important context for understanding the stream of history that is our past and upon which we must strive to build a more perfect union. 
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, October 9 at 10:30 p.m., Delegate Plum talks with Gwyn Whittaker about  The Game Changers film   
Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, October 16 at 10:30 p.m. , Delegate Plum talks with Briana Sewell of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy in Virginia
Plastic Free Challenge 2019
I accept the Plastic Free Challenge!
From October 1 to 30, I will avoid single-use plastic—especially plastic bags, bottles, and straws. I will reuse or recycle the plastic I do use, educate others about plastic waste, and advocate for a #PlasticFreeDMV.

Already skip the bag, bottle, and straw? 
Leading the Way Book Launch!
After three years of researching and writing - Leading the Way: Women in Power - is in bookstores! Senator Janet Howell and her daughter-in-law, Theresa Howell, have written this book for kids nine and up. Two local book signings this weekend!

George Mason University
Fall for the Book Festival
Saturday, October 12, 3:30 p.m.
Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive
Fairfax City

Scrawl Books
Sunday, October 13, 2:00 p.m.
11911 Freedom Drive, Reston Town Center
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station Open House
Saturday, October 12, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Stop by your local station that day to meet your firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety. Learn more: 
What can I do? Civic Involvement
Make Sure You Are Registered To Vote

October 15: Voter Registration Deadline
Calendar of Events
Tuesday, October 8, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m., CONNEXT Learning Event with Mary Abbajay, at ServiceSource, 10467 White Granite Drive, 3rd Floor, Oakton. Mary Abbajay, author of the best-selling  Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work and Succeed with Any Type of Boss delivers leading-edge talent and organizational development strategies for managing at every level. Learn more and purchase tickets at  CONNEXT.

Thursday, October 10, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Fairfax County Small Business Forum, at Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. Take advantage of learning from business experts and connect with county procurement representatives. Bring your entrepreneurial spirit and learn how to grow your business opportunities. Read more and register at Small Business Forum.

Saturday, October 12, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Fire Station Open House. In celebration of Fire Prevention Week (October 6 – 12), all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations will be hosting an Open House. Stop by your local station that day to meet your firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety. Learn more:  Fire and Rescue Stations Open House

Sunday, October 13, 8:15 to 10:00 a.m., Reston Pumpkin 5K & Kids' Dash, at Reston Town Center, 11900 Freedom Drive. Participants are encouraged to début their Halloween costumes and join in the fun with the whole family! Register, sign up to volunteer or sponsor at  Pumpkin 5K

Sunday, October 13, 8:30 and 11:00 a.m., National Coming Out Day Worship, at United Christian Parish, 11508 N Shore Drive, Reston. We celebrate National Coming Out Day, give thanks for our LGBTQI+ sisters and brothers, & pray for a safe community where all feel comfortable. ( UCP)

Sunday, October 13, 2:00 p.m., Book Launch Party with Senator Janet Howell, at Scrawl Books, 11911 Freedom Drive, Reston Town Center. Janet and Theresa Howell will sign copies of their new book,  Leading the Way: Women In Power. See more at  Book Launch.

Sunday, October 13, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., League of Women Voters Hunter Mill District Candidate Forum: School Board and Senate Districts 32 and 33, at Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Details are at  Candidate Forum.

Monday, October 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.

Monday, October 14, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Formal Dedication of the Virginia Women's Monument, Capitol Square in Richmond. The Virginia Women’s Monument Commission will be dedicating seven statues: Anne Burras Laydon, Cockacoeske, Mary Draper Ingles, Elizabeth Keckly, Laura Copenhaver, Virginia Randolph, and Adele Clark. More information is at  Women's Monument.

Thursday, October 17, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., Together We Give, at the Leidos Conference Center in the Reston Town Center. The Giving Circle of HOPE will celebrate another year of giving and grant making in a real-time demonstration of collective giving and showcases the impact that giving circles can make. Tickets are $25 with 100% of the proceeds awarded to the nonprofits. For more information about the Giving Circle of HOPE and this event, visit Together We Give.

Thursday, October 17, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Public Art Reston Celebration & VIP Unveiling, at Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, 2222 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Celebrate Public Art Reston Annual Reception and VIP unveiling of the public artwork at the Colts Neck Road underpass in the presence of artist Ben Volta. Learn more and purchase tickets at Underpass Project.

Friday, October 18, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., Light The Night - Northern Virginia, at Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)'s Light The Night Walk funds treatments that are saving the lives of patients today. Registration is free, but walkers are encouraged to raise funds to support the mission. Learn more by visiting www.lightthenight.org/nca or speak with a staff member today at 703-399-2941. 

Saturday, October 19, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Annual Southgate Community Day, at Southgate Community Center, 12125 Pinecrest Road, Reston. Come celebrate community with music, DJ, free raffles, free moon-bounces for the kids, cake walks, talent show, and food vendors. More is at Community Day.

Saturday, October 19, 2:30 to 5:00 p.m., Decision 2019- Candidate Forum, at University of North America, 12750 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax. Join the Multicultural Chamber Alliance for a opportunity to learn from the House of Delegates, State Senate and County Boards candidates across Northern Virginia on how they vision to build the economy and improve opportunities for minority-owned businesses. This is a FREE joint event featuring the candidates of the Democratic Party, Republican Party and Independent Party of Northern Virginia. Register at Decision 2019.

Sunday, October 20, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., 2nd Annual SLHS PTSA Food Pantry's "Do it Your Way 0.5K." Start and finish at the Lake Anne Brew House with a stop in-between for donuts and water. Details are at Do it Your Way 0.5K.

Sunday, October 20, 4:00 p.m., I Dream a World concert by The Reston Chorale, at Saint Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean. Enjoy a concert of traditional spirituals, plus choral and organ works created and arranged by African-American composers. Purchase tickets at Reston Chorale.

Sunday, October 20, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., 2nd Annual Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna’s Gala, at Westwood Country Club Vienna. Your Gala 2019 ticket will include complimentary wine, beer and appetizers throughout the Welcome Reception /Silent Auction, Sit-Down Dinner, Wine Pull, Heads or Tails 50/50 raffle and other fun activities. This year’s gala entertainment will feature the Dueling Pianos from National Harbor. Questions: call 703-281-0538. Tickets, meal choices and details available at one.bidpal.net/scovgala.

Tuesday, October 22, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Film Screening of "An Endless War? Getting Out of Afghanistan," at Reston Public Library, Room One, 11925 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston. Documentary screening with discussion to follow. Free and open to the public. Read more and reserve a spot at An Endless War.

Wednesday, October 23, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., National Affairs Forum: “Forging a New Foreign & Military Policy,” at Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Learn more and register at National Affairs Forum.

Saturday, October 26, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Fall Festival and Art & Craft Fair, at United Christian Parish, 11508 N Shore Drive, Reston. This juried show features a wide variety of arts and crafts fashioned by local artists and craftspeople and includes activities for children. More is at Craft Fair & Fall Festival.

Sunday, October 27, 9:00 a.m., Reston Trick or Tri Race, at 12196 Sunset Hills Road, Reston. YMCA Reston and CORE Foundation have teamed up to produce a new multi-sport event. Details are at Reston Trick or Tri.