Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Dear Friend ,

I would like to wish you and your family Happy Holidays!

I'm pleased to report that the Fairfax County School Board took a major step in creating a new leadership program at John Lewis High School. Last week, the Fairfax County School Board unanimously supported the creation of the John R. Lewis Leadership Program.

At the John Lewis High School dedication ceremony, I committed to being involved in the creation of a public service academy. Since then, I have continued to work with our school board members, educators, and community members to ensure students in this program have the support they need to become the next John Lewis.
The John R. Lewis Leadership Program will provide learning experiences tied to Congressman Lewis’s civic principles of leadership, service, and advocacy.

Congratulations to School Board Members Tamara Derenak Kaufax and Karen Keys-Gamarra, Lewis’s Principal Alfonso Smith, Assistant Principal Robert Barrow, and all of the Lewis High School students!
Supervisor Lusk attending the ribbon cutting of Zips Dry Cleaning in Alexandria
In February, 2020, ZIPS Dry Cleaners sustained damage to their building due to a four-alarm fire, forcing them to close. After more than a year, it was a pleasure to welcome back the staff along with my friends Holly Dougherty and Mark Viani of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulations to Zips of Alexandria's owners, Jeffrey Levine and Carmen Blanco, for your successful reopening! Also, a big thank you to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department for their swift response that day mitigating the fire, which resulted in no casualties.
I hope you and your families continue to have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

  • My office will be open for a half-day on Thursday, Dec 23, and closed Friday, December 24, and Friday, December 31.
Please contact my office if we can assist you:
Phone 703-971-6262
Table of Contents
  1. John Lewis High School Leadership Program Update (By David Temple)
  2. Board of Supervisors Recent Meeting Recap
  3. Red Flag Kickoff Event
  4. Online Communications for Older Adults
  5. Community Spotlight: Meg's Giveback
  6. Springfield Town Center Vaccine Clinic
  7. Crestwood 75th Anniversary Ceremony
  8. Supervisor Lusk In the Community
  9. COVID-19 Testing & Travel Guidance For the Holidays

John Lewis High School Leadership Program Update
Written by David Temple Jr., Education and Workforce Manager for Supervisor Lusk

At their December 14, 2021, work session, the Fairfax County School Board approved the development of a new single-school leadership program at the newly renamed and rededicated John R. Lewis High School in our Lee District. The unanimous action moved forward a proposal brought by Member Karen Keys Gamarra (At-Large) that resulted in the current Lewis leadership program, a whole-school, multi-year learning experience for all students attending Lewis High School. Leading up to the work session’s discussion and vote, Gamarra had enjoined her efforts with enthusiastic, committed students/parents and Lee District community leaders, such as “Lewis Academy Now (LAN)” (Esther Berg, Michelle Duell, Liz Murphy).

School Board Member and Lee District Representative Tamara Derenak Kaufax stated, “I have long advocated that this type of curriculum be offered in an FCPS school. I am proud that the Lewis Leadership Program will provide instructional programming on government leadership, policy, and civic engagement aligned with our International Baccalaureate (IB) program. It’s exciting to know that students in this new program will have unique opportunities for internships and college credits in fields related to civic leadership and public policy.“
In April 2021, at the Lewis Rededication Ceremony (together with fellow-platform participants, Senator Tim Kaine, Congressional Representatives Gerry Connolly, and Don Beyer), Supervisor Lusk remarked: “as we work to bring a dedicated public service academy to Lewis High School, I think back to all the leaders who have touched my life who are themselves an embodiment of Congressman Lewis’s values. I plan to be personally involved in and committed to a future public service academy on this site, so every student that walks through these doors who is called to public service has the support they need to be the next John Lewis.”
Over the next three (3) years, the continued build-up will include:
  • Finalizing essential program standards and components with students, school staff, and community partners;
  • Curriculum development; community working group with relevant expertise; university partnerships; specialized coursework; professional development plan; learning experiences tied to Congressman Lewis’s civic principles of leadership, service, advocacy, and justice. Students can choose their career connections.
  • Specialized course offerings (i.e., Public Policy, Human Rights, Internships). Establishing a three-year annual budget of $377K (specialized programming, internships, curriculum, providing program manager coordination of planning and services)
FCPS Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Sloan Presidio, led the presentations of key central office staff and introduced, for school-based remarks, Lewis’s Principal Alfonso Smith (FCPS “Outstanding New Principal’), Assistant Principal Robert Barrow, and two Lewis High students represented the Lewis student body.
The leadership program launch also parallels the potential of the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team (SCYPT) Executive Committee, where Supervisor Lusk and Dr. Presidio lead that intergovernmental County government/FCPS Committee on Workforce Readiness. In related initiatives, Dr. Presidio and FCPS Lee District high school principals have agreed to partner with Supervisor Lusk in developing/implementing the coming Rt. 1 area “Innovation District” Workforce Tech Skills Development Center.
Supervisor Lusk pledged to target attention and innovative work-ready skills remedies for underserved Lee District youth and families from the outset. Hence again, he applauds the Lewis High School students, parents, teachers, Dr. Presidio and curriculum and instruction staff, LAN and community leaders, and especially the FCPS School Board, for their resounding approval of the unprecedented and historic, careers-enhancing opportunities, soon to come to the John R. Lewis Academy for Public Service and Leadership.
Board of Supervisors Recap
My staff creates a short video that summarizes important information from the 9 hour+ Board of Supervisors meeting.

The video covers my remarks and board matters around:

✅ (00:00) Comments on the Charman's Task Force on Equity and Opportunity

✅ (1:28) Recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Franconia Museum

✅ (2:27) My Board Matter on protecting sensitive information during the traffic calming ballot process.

✅ (5:33) Joint Board Matter on installing speed cameras in school and work zones with Supervisor Alcorn

The full 9-Hour Board Meeting:

In addition, the Board approved two important items.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved expanding the real estate tax relief program for seniors and people with disabilities. The expanded program will now allow people with higher incomes and net worth to qualify, add a new 75% tax relief bracket, and offer an option to defer tax payments. These changes are the first to the program in more than 15 years.

The increased relief will be phased in over the next two years, starting in January.

Second, The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted new local election districts today as a result of its redistricting efforts. The adopted redistricting plan maintains nine election districts for the Board of Supervisors and School Board. However, it shifts seven precincts into different districts, moving them in whole or in part:
  • 626 - Saratoga (from Mount Vernon to Springfield)
  • 703 -Fort Buffalo (from Providence to Mason)
  • 717 - Woodburn (split between Providence and Mason)
  • 730 - Penderbrook (from Providence to Springfield)
  • 827 - Irving (from Springfield to Braddock)
  • 840 - West Springfield (from Springfield to Lee)
  • 933 - Compton (from Sully to Springfield)

While these new districts take effect immediately, they are subject to certification by the Virginia Attorney General in accordance with the Virginia Rights of Voters Act of 2021.

I look forward to welcoming West Springfield into Lee District!
Red Flag event
Last week, I joined my colleagues to raise awareness on Virginia's Emergency Substantial Risk Order (ESRO) law, commonly referred to as a “Red Flag Law." 

Watch my full remarks:
The ESRO enables the Fairfax County Police Department to investigate and seek a court order to temporarily remove a gun or guns from individuals who have been determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others. ESROs prevent individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting any kind of firearm while providing necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process. This creates safer circumstances for the individual to seek treatment, stabilize their behavior, or access resources to address the underlying causes of their dangerous behaviors. 

Watch the full kickoff event here:

Thank you for helping promote the ESRO and keeping our communities safe Chairman Jeff McKay, Supervisor James Walkinshaw, Fairfax County Police Department, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, and Safer Country.
In Design: Telegraph Road at Hayfield Road in Fairfax County

A virtual public information meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 26 (in case an alternate date is needed, the meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 7) at 7 p.m.
This project will add a second northbound through lane on Telegraph Road (Route 611) at the Hayfield Road (Route 635) intersection.

Other improvements include:
  • Reconfiguring southbound Telegraph Road just beyond Hayfield Road by converting the existing on-road parking to a second through lane. 
  • Converting the eastbound Hayfield Road through lane to a shared left-turn through lane

At the intersection, Telegraph Road averages up to 21,000 vehicles a day and Hayfield Road averages up to 10,000 based on 2019 data.

Estimated Costs
Preliminary Engineering - $1.1 million
Right of Way Acquisition and Utility Relocation - $738,000
Construction - $3 million
Total - $4.9 million
This project is financed with state and Fairfax County funding.

This project aims to reduce congestion and improve safety and operations in the area of Telegraph Road and Hayfield Road.

Major Milestones 
Virtual Public Information Meeting - Jan. 26, 2022
Begin Right of Way Acquisition - Spring 2023
Begin Construction - Winter 2024/25

Meeting registration/Zoom link will be provided in the coming weeks.
Online Communication Resources for Older Adults
The Area Agency on Aging would like to remind our older adults of the online resources available to them.

Community Spotlight: Meg's Giveback
In December 2020, my constituent Meg Gallagher started Meg's Giveback an organization dedicated to “giving back a little childhood” to kids with cancer. Meg’s Giveback offers some moments of joy and happiness by giving gifts from toy drives to children while they are in the hospital. As a former cancer patient herself, giving back to kids in the hospital during the holidays is very important to Meg.

Meg, her family and friends have worked to make many kids’ holiday seasons brighter. Meg has coordinated over 10 deliveries to local hospitals including, Inova and L.J. Murphy Children’s Hospital. As mentioned, giving back to kids in the hospital during the holidays is very important to Meg, considering she was one of those kids just six years ago. Meg was diagnosed with cancer at age 13 and completed her cancer treatment in 2018.

“Meg’s spirit, tenacity, and bravery are unmatched. We are and will always be so very proud of her. - Meg’s Mom”

Meg is now a Freshman in college; she hopes to work in social media and advocacy in her future career. Bringing awareness to childhood cancer and bringing a bit of joy to kids undergoing treatment is her passion. Life hasn’t always been easy for her, but with the strength inside her and support from her community, she has continued to blossom into who she is today.

To learn more about Meg and Meg's Giveback, visit or email

On behalf of Lee District, Meg, thank you for all of your amazing work!
Springfield Town Center Vaccine Clinic
Free Covid-19 Vaccines continue to be available Saturdays and Sundays at the Springfield Town Center, lower level between Macy's and Dick's Sporting Goods. Walk-ins are accepted 12pm-2:30pm and appointments can be made between 3pm-6pm. 

Find more vaccine locations, types, and appointments:
Crestwood Dedication
Last week, I joined community members to celebrate Crestwood's 75th anniversary.

It was 75 years ago, on December 30th, 1946, that the Washington area developer, Mr. Edward R. Carr, began buying and amassing the first 2,300 acres of land to turn the rural property into a much-needed suburban satellite city.

Thank you to Gail Nittle for putting together a wonderful event!

Click here to watch the entire ceremony:
In the Community
Volunteering at a toy drive with Fairfax County Police, Fire Fighters, and David Broder, President of SEIU Virginia 512.
Thanking staff at the Springfield Town Center vaccine clinic.
Donating gift cards with United Community.
Getting a booster shot at the Springfield Town Center vaccine clinic.
Thank you to Cubmaster Greg Huska and these two amazing Cub Scouts for visiting my office and discussing our government and community!
Attending the Audubon Estates Posadas celebration
Greeting the choir at the Northern Virginia Chorale "The Very Best Time of Year".
Speaking with parishioners about their holiday plans.
Group photo at the Crestwood's 75th anniversary ceremony.
In Case You Missed It: COVID-19 Testing and Travel Guidance Updates in Time for the Holidays
As we all get ready to enjoy the holiday season, we need to consider how we can best ensure that the time we spend with families and friends keeps everyone safe and healthy. Cases of COVID-19 are increasing and there is a new variant, Omicron, that has been found in certain parts of the country. At this time, we have not identified Omicron locally but the number of COVID-19 cases has been going up and the Northern Virginia region has returned to high transmission level this week.

International Travel Requirements
International travel requirements have recently changed. As of Dec. 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day (24 hours) before travel to the United States. Travel guidance, for both international and domestic travel, is available from the CDC.

Testing Before Gathering
Testing is widely available across Fairfax County from retail pharmacies, grocery stores, health care providers and the Fairfax County Health Department. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) offers an online search tool to help you find testing opportunities near you.
Additionally, self-tests can be taken at home. They’re easy to use and produce rapid results. In fact, this week, the CDC has also announced that people should consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household. This is especially important before gathering with unvaccinated childrenolder individuals, those who are immunocompromised or individuals at risk of severe disease.

If you use a self-test, here are some important things to be aware of:
  • Be sure to use an FDA-authorized test and follow the manufacturers instructions.
  • A positive self-test result means that the test detected the COVID-19 virus and you may very likely have an infection. You should stay home (or isolate) for 10 days, wear a mask and inform your close contacts that they may have been exposed. You should speak to a healthcare provider about your result, as well.
  • A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not completely rule out infection. Repeating the test a few days later, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the chances that you are not infected. More information about self-testing is available on the CDC website.

VDH and the Fairfax County Library system received a shipment of 10,000 Binax test kits this week and are disseminating them, upon request, to residents who need to be tested.
Fairfax County COVID-19 Resources
Contact our Health Department COVID-19 Call Center during business hours Monday-Friday at 703-267-3511.

Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19; text FFXCOVIDESP to 888777 for updates in Spanish.

Email questions or concerns to This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.

For regular updates, continue to follow the following trusted sources:

Rodney L. Lusk
Lee District Supervisor