Dear Neighbor,

Tomorrow, June 18, Fairfax County offices will close in recognition of the Juneteenth Holiday Please note that some County facilities are open and schedules vary. Juneteenth -- also known as Freedom Day -- is the oldest celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S and recognizes the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free.

There are a number of opportunities to celebrate Juneteenth and I encourage you to explore the series of programs, tours, and lectures offered by the Park Authority. Throughout the month of June, FCPA's "Our Stories and Perspectives" blog will also highlight impactful stories of Black history in Fairfax County. Learn more about Juneteenth below.

On another note, we received new updates from the County's wildlife specialist regarding recent reports of sick birds. While wildlife managers and diagnostic laboratories can't say for sure what the definitive cause of death is for these birds, they have asked the public to stop feeding the birds in the meantime. Birds congregating at feeders and baths can transmit disease to one another. 

If you encounter sick or dead birds, please submit an event report. I thank residents who have reached out and contacted our office to learn what they can do to help. I will continue sharing the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.

Continue Reading the Advisory for More Information on:

  • Summer Entertainment Series
  • What is Juneteenth?
  • The Child Tax Credit
  • Meet the Chief Series
  • Update on Sick Birds
  • Funds Available to Help Fairfax County Businesses Recover From COVID-19
  • Solarize NOVA
Yours in service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw
Summer Entertainment Series
I am excited to announce that the Braddock Nights summer series is beginning next month! This series of free concerts presents a wide array of performances from classical to bluegrass, with something for every music lover. I hope you'll bring a picnic dinner, blankets, and lawn chairs to enjoy this fun-filled series. This year there will be two evening options:

  • Wednesday nights at Rutherford Park (beginning July 7)
  • Friday nights at Royal Lake Park (beginning July 9).

We will also be hosting a Children’s Arts in the Park series Saturday mornings at Wakefield Park beginning July 10. This is a free, family fun event series for kids of all ages. Kids will enjoy different types of music and be given the opportunity to sing and dance along with the performers. Make sure to spread the word and review this year's artist line-up!

Volunteers are needed to MC the events and to help make sure the event runs smoothly. For more information, please contact my office at (703) 425-9300 or I look forward to seeing you this summer!
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, the last enslaved Black people living in Galveston, Texas, were told the Civil War had ended; the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln; and all Black people were now free from the bondage of slavery.

This date came to be known as Juneteenth, and in modern times it became a day to celebrate freedom and resiliency after 246 years of enslavement; appreciate African American history and culture; and encourage continuous self-development.

Fairfax County declared Juneteenth a county holiday for the first time in 2020, following Virginia's declaration that a state holiday be observed.

“Please use this day to reflect on and to take actions that promote the unity we embrace here in Fairfax County,” County Executive Bryan Hill said on observing the county holiday. “We are on this One Fairfax journey together.”

Want to learn more about Juneteenth and why this day is special? Click the following links:

Juneteenth (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Learn more about Juneteenth by clicking the video above
The Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan Act -- which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021 -- provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever and most families will automatically receive monthly payments without having to take any action.

For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

If you’ve filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020, or if you signed up to receive a stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service, you will get this tax relief automatically. You do not need to sign up or take any action.

People who receive payments by direct deposit will get their first payment on July 15, 2021. After that, payments will go out on the 15 of every month. (In August the payment will go out on August 13 since the 15 falls on a weekend.) If you haven’t provided the IRS with your bank account information on a recent tax return, a check will be sent out to you around the same time to the address the IRS has for you.

For additional information, visit the The White House's website.
Meet the Chief Series
The Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee -- a citizen group focused on strengthening and building positive relationships between public safety agencies and the communities they serve -- is hosting Fairfax County’s newly appointed Police Chief, Kevin Davis, in meeting with community members. Chief Davis will discuss his plans for the department and keeping Fairfax County one of the safest places to live.

You can join tonight, Thursday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m., at the Temple Rodef Shalom (2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church, Virginia 22043), for a chance to meet with Chief Davis. Register and join tonight's event virtually using this Zoom Link.

If you are unable to join, there will be several sessions that will be held around the County in upcoming weeks. Facemasks are required for all in-person sessions.

Please send any questions to or include them in the chat feature if you are joining via Zoom.  
Update on Sick Birds
In late May, wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. No definitive cause of death is identified at this time.

The District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, and National Park Service are continuing to work with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause of mortality.

Birds congregating at feeders and baths can transmit disease to one another. Therefore, the State and District agencies recommend that the public in the outbreak area:

  • Cease feeding all birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded;
  • Clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution;
  • Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
  • Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

If you encounter sick or dead birds in Virginia, please submit an event report. If you must remove dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash. Additional information will be shared as diagnostic results are received.
Funds Available to Help Fairfax Businesses Recover from COVID-19
The grant program is called “PIVOT” and it will provide grants to local businesses in the hotel, food service, retail and services, and arts and culture industries. PIVOT will use $25 million provided through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act to provide targeted assistance to the most hard-hit sectors of the Fairfax County economy. The goal of the program is to help those businesses continue their recovery by providing needed capital for ongoing operations and to sustain business sectors.

The grant portal will be open from June 23 through July 9Funds will be disbursed via four programs: 

  • Lodging
  • Food service and food truck
  • Retail, services, and amusements
  • Arts organizations, museums and historical sites

Businesses must be located in Fairfax County, including the Towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna, and have a have a commercial storefront (no online only or home-based businesses will be eligible for awards). Businesses must be open or temporarily closed, planning to reopen by August 31, 2021, and have a valid Business and Professional License (BPOL). Grant award amounts, eligibility criteria and other requirements will be available on the Fairfax County website.
Solarize Fairfax
The Solarize Fairfax County program is back for a fifth year, providing county residents and businesses the chance to install solar arrays at a discount. From now until June 30, Solarize reduced rates will be available through a pre-qualified solar installer, Solar Energy World.

All county residents and business owners are eligible for a free, remote assessment to evaluate if solar is appropriate for their home or commercial building. Those who decide to pursue solar through the program receive a 10-15% discount off current consumer rates for solar arrays and systems.

In 2021, for the first time, the Solarize program is offering participants the opportunity to install battery storage systems in connection with their arrays. Additionally, residential Solarize participants are eligible for a complimentary, virtual home energy assessment to help improve their home energy performance holistically. Solarize participants can also bundle electric vehicle charging stations with their solar system purchase at a discount.

For additional information, visit the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination's website.
Watch Supervisor Walkinshaw's testimonial by clicking the video above
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