October 8, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

There will be early voting this Saturday, October 10, at the Fairfax County Government Center located at 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Fairfax, Virginia, 22035 from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be early Saturday voting each Saturday until October 31. There is a 24 hour ballot drop box located outside the main Government Center if you need to turn in an absentee ballot. You do not have to wait in line to drop off your completed and sealed absentee ballot!

Beginning October 14, all satellite locations will have Saturday voting hours October 31 in addition to their weekday hours.

Please read below for complete voting information and more.

Continue reading for information on:

-Today's George Mason University's Engagement Session
-Upcoming General Election Information
-Upcoming Braddock District Council Meeting
-A VRE Welcome Back Message
-Local Flu Shot Clinics for Senior Citizens
-A Department of Family Services' (DFS) virtual 5k walk
-Northern Virginia Community College's Green Festival
-Citizen's Climate Lobby Event
-St. Mary of Sorrows Food Pantry
Yours in Service,
GMU Master Plan Engagement Session
Make sure to tune into George Mason University's Third Master Plan Engagement Session today, Thursday, October 8, from 1:00 p.m. through 2:30 p.m. The master plan will serve as a decision-making framework for how GMU will use their campuses and physical space to advance Mason's mission. More information about the master plan and the work to date can be found on the master plan site.

Your interest and participation continue to enrich this process and are essential to developing a plan that captures the best thinking, aspirations and needs of our community.

Tune in and watch the meeting here.
Upcoming General Election Information
September 18 - October 31: Absentee in-person/early voting is underway at the Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Fairfax, VA.
October 12: Office of Elections/Absentee Voting Closed for Columbus Day
October 13: Voter Registration Deadline. In-person: 5:00 p.m., online: 11:59 p.m.
October 14: Absentee in-person/early voting begins at 14 satellite locations.
October 23: Deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail, 5:00 p.m.
October 31: Final day for absentee in-person/early voting, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
November 3: Election Day. Your regular polling place will be open from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. Check the Citizen Portal to find your polling place and confirm your voter registration status.
Returning Ballots Received by Mail:
November 3: Deadline for mailed absentee ballots to be postmarked. Deadline to hand deliver absentee ballots to the Office of Elections is 7:00 p.m.
November 6: Ballots postmarked by November 3 must be received by the Office of Elections by 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes
The Virginia General Assembly has approved the use of drop boxes at precincts and satellite locations as well as at the Office of the General Registrar (Office of Elections).
During the dates and times that the Office of Elections is open, voters can return their ballot to the Office of Elections. During the dates and times that the satellite locations are open for absentee person/early voting, voters can return their ballot to the satellite locations. On Election Day, November 3, from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., voters can return their ballot to their regular polling place.

Currently, there is a drop box at the Office of Elections at 12000 Government Center Parkway, outside of the Government Center (see map above for outside location). You do not have to wait in line to drop off your completed and sealed absentee ballot.

 Important Notice
Only when the Office of Elections or absentee in-person/early voting satellite locations are open can a voter return their ballot to the drop box at those locations. Drop boxes will be at the satellite locations and at the polls on Election Day, November 3.
For information on the Virginia Constitutional amendments and the four bond questions about Public Libraries, Parks, Transportation and Health & Human Services, visit the elections website.

Constitutional Amendments on Your Ballot
Question 1:
Should the Constitution of Virginia be amended to establish a redistricting commission, consisting of eight members of the General Assembly and eight citizens of the Commonwealth, that is responsible for drawing the congressional and state legislative districts that will be subsequently voted on, but not changed by, the General Assembly and enacted without the Governor’s involvement and to give the responsibility of drawing districts to the Supreme Court of Virginia if the redistricting commission fails to draw districts or the General Assembly fails to enact districts by certain deadlines?
Question 2:
Should an automobile or pickup truck that is owned and used primarily by or for a veteran of the United States armed forces or the Virginia National Guard who has a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability be free from state and local taxation?
Bond Ballot Questions
There are four bond questions on the Nov. 3, 2020, general election ballot. Voters will be asked to vote YES or NO on each of these questions.
1)Public Library Bond
Bonds to raise $90,000,000 to build, renovate, equip, and purchase land for library facilities.
2)Transportation Bond
A bond in the amount of $160,000,000 for the purpose of financing Fairfax County's share, under the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Compact.
3)Health and Human Services Bond
A bond in the amount of $79,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds to improve community health and human services facilities and if necessary, to acquire additional land.
4)Park Bond
A bond in the amount of $112,000,000 to finance the Fairfax County Park Authority in order to preserve open-space land, and to develop and improve existing parks and park facilities; and to finance Fairfax County's contribution to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Upcoming Braddock District Council Meeting
On Wednesday, October 21, at 7:00 p.m. the Braddock District Council will host its October meeting via Zoom. The topic this month will be the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project, otherwise known as zMOD.

In 2017, Fairfax County launched a major initiative to modernize its Zoning Ordinance that was first established more than 40 years ago. Dubbed “zMOD,” the effort will help the county carry out its strategic plan to grow and diversify its economy. The modernization plan was presented on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Development Process Committee.

“We want to be sure that our ordinance is forward-thinking in terms of being able to accommodate uses that we don’t know about today that will be here in the future,” said Barbara Byron, Director of the Department of Planning and Development. zMOD will work in tandem with the County’s existing process for amending its zoning laws by prioritizing proposed changes of County-wide significance. Zoom invitation details for the BDC October Meeting are below. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. The Zoom connection will be open at 6:30 p.m. for first-time users to confirm audio and video settings.

Topic: Braddock District Council October 2020 Meeting
Time: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 7:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 847 0122 9448
Passcode: 764971
Dial In: (301) 715-8592
VRE Welcomes Back Braddock Riders
As more Braddock District residents return to work and congestion increases on the region’s roads, many are rethinking their commutes. One option is the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), which has taken a variety of precautions to protect the health and safety of its passengers. These measures include an enhanced cleaning regimen, installation of social-distancing decals and hand-sanitizer dispensers on rail cars and platforms, and a facial covering requirement.

To ensure social distancing, decals guide riders to window seats in every other row. Only 45 of 130 seats in any rail car are available to passengers. Currently, no more than 50 percent of those available seats are in use. VRE’s train utilization web page helps riders find the train that best matches their social-distance comfort level. The rail system closely monitors ridership and has been adding and lengthening trains to allow for proper social distancing. 

VRE cleans it trains twice a day. Overnight cleanings use acidic electrolyzed water, a potent yet nonirritating disinfectant. The acid produced by electrolyzing the water can be 100 times more powerful than the active ingredient in bleach. Produced on demand, this environmentally friendly product uses only salt, tap water, and electricity.

VRE has five stations in Fairfax County – Backlick Road, Burke Centre, and Rolling Road on its Manassas Line and Franconia-Springfield and Lorton on its Fredericksburg Line. VRE is operating on a reduced schedule, with nine trains running northbound weekday mornings and southbound in the evenings. VRE’s mobile app allows for the contactless purchase and validation of tickets. As residents head back to work, VRE is welcoming them back in the safest and healthiest way possible. Learn more at VRE's Website
Flu Shot Clinics For Senior Citizens
Each year the flu causes millions of illnesses in the United States, and people age 65 and older account for the majority of flu hospitalizations and deaths. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick.

To help protect older adults in our community, the Fairfax County Health Department of Neighborhood and Community Services are offering flu vaccination clinics at select Senior Centers.

This service began on October 6 and is available to residents 50 and older by appointment only (see dates below).

October 19, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Lincolnia Senior Center, 4710 N. Chambliss St., Alexandria
(times also available Oct. 21 & 22)

October 26, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Original Mt. Vernon High School, 8333 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria
(times also available Oct. 28 & 29)

November 2, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Little River Glen Senior Center, 4001 Barker Ct., Fairfax
(times also available Nov. 4 & 5)

November 9, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lewinsville Senior Center, 1613 Great Falls St., McLean
(times also available Nov. 10 & 12)

For your safety, appointments are limited, and face masks and temperature checks will be required. Don’t wait – take control of your health this season and get a flu vaccine!

To make your appointment, call (703) 246-6010, TTY 711. Learn more about the flu season on Fairfax County Health Department's website.

*Pneumonia vaccine also available. Must be requested when making your appointment.

*Flu shots received are the basic flu shot and not the double dose.
Healthy Minds Foster Futures Virtual 5K
On Saturday, October 24, at 9:00 a.m. the Department of Family Services' (DFS) Foster Care and Adoption Program will host a virtual 5k walk to raise awareness about mental health in the foster care community.

The virtual 5k walk will include special guest speaker, opportunity for exercise, a kindness rock challenge, and raffle prizes. Registration is required. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Morales at (703) 324-7570 or Marilyn.Morales@fairfaxcounty.gov. The event will be held regardless of weather conditions.

DFS encourages everyone who participates to send any photos they have for the day to: DFSpermanencylifeskills@fairfaxcounty.gov.
NVCC Green Festival
Northern Virginia Community College will be holding its Green Festival on Wednesday, October 28, at 10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

The theme is "Waste and Its Impact on Habitats". Registration is required and currently underway. The virtual event is free and open to the general public.

This year's festival will include the keynote address “Cleaning America’s Rivers” by Chad Pregracke, founder and president of the non-profit Living Lands and Waters.
Citizen's Climate Lobby Event
It's no secret that climate change is warming the air, raising sea levels and causing more severe storms and wildfires. Did you know it's also affecting human health? Join a free presentation by Dr. Joan Schiller, on Wednesday, October 14, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to learn about the health impacts of climate change and what we can do about it. Registration is required.

Dr. Schiller is a recently retired oncologist from Inova Health System and an internationally recognized lung cancer researcher. She is passionate about the impact of climate change on health. She recently published two articles on the subject in The Journal of Clinical Oncology - Oncology Practice and Lung Cancer News, a publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
St. Mary of Sorrows Food Pantry
St. Mary of Sorrows Food Pantry is in need of non perishable items to continue serving the community with food insecurities. Since April of this year their client base has grown substantially. If you are able to help keep their pantry stocked, please consider a donation to their parish food pantry. They are located at 5222 Sideburn Road in Fairfax and can accept non perishable food donations on Tuesdays from 2:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. through 3:00 p.m. at door number 4 in the back of the church. You can also leave donations in the church foyer from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. any day of the week. Questions can be referred to Karen Abraham, (703) 978-1147 or karen.abraham@gmail.com.
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