October 21, 2020

Dear Neighbor,
For those of you who live near or will be traveling near George Mason University tomorrow, Thursday, October 22, the George Mason University (GMU) Police and one of their law enforcement partners will carry out a training scenario at EagleBank Arena from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 3:00 p.m. This scenario will begin with an arrival and departure of a Black Hawk helicopter that will land on the West Lot near GMU's lower fields. The helicopter's flight path is designed to avoid residential areas as much as possible and remain over campus property during landing and take-off. Participants will be using hazmat suits as part of the exercise.
©Photo by CBS Interactive Inc
The Board of Supervisors met yesterday and covered a wide range of topics. As always, you can review the full Board Package and summary or watch video of the meeting. Although be warned, during one of the 14 public hearings we held yesterday, one citizen testified, "I've been watching for 15 minutes...I had no idea the complexity and boring mundanity of what you do."

Affordable Housing

The Board approved my Board Matter directing staff to begin the process of scheduling a public hearing to consider the transfer of a corner of the existing parking lot in front of the main Fairfax County Government Center to the Fairfax Redevelopment and Housing Authority for the purpose of soliciting private sector proposals to build affordable housing. While yesterday's action was only the first step in what will be a long process with extensive opportunity for community input, I'm excited about the prospect of continuing our Braddock District tradition of delivering high-quality affordable housing.

John Marr Monument

The Board voted to transfer the Marr Monument to the Stuart Mosby Historical Society in Centreville. I have shared my perspective on the John Marr Monument in previous Advisory emails. Sadly, the public debate recently took a dishonest turn with a member of our Board attempting to erase the true history of the monument by declaring it "not a monument." There are ample historical sources making it clear that the stone obelisk is a monument, including Captain Marr's regiment, the 17th Virginia Infantry "Fairfax Rifles." This was a difficult issue and there was an honest debate to be had. But misinformation should have no place in an honest debate.

Solar Panels on County Facilities

Before I took office, Fairfax County finalized a solar power purchase agreement with solar installers to install photovoltaic panels on County government, school, and park sites. Fairfax County will purchase the electricity generated by the installers who are responsible for all installation, maintenance, and operation costs. The solar-generated electricity we purchase will be cheaper than the electricity we currently purchase from Dominion Energy, potentially saving $60 million over the terms of the contracts. To recap, taxpayers will spend $0 on the installation of the panels and save $60 million over time.

Yesterday, we moved forward with leases at 10 facilities, including the Martha Pennino and Herrity buildings in the Braddock District. The Herrity Building is named for the late Chairman Jack Herrity, a major figure in our county's history and a strong fiscal conservative. Given his passion for saving taxpayer dollars, I think he'd be pretty enthusiastic about saving money with the roof of the building that bears his name!

Outdoor Dining

As we continue to see dramatic spikes in COVID-19 cases around the country, ensuring our residents remain safe and businesses can survive is a priority. We held a public hearing to adopt an ordinance to facilitate safe, outdoor dining as winter approaches and the temperature drops.

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline

On another note, this Friday, October 23, at 5:00 p.m., is the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the November 3 General Election. If you prefer to vote by-mail and have not requested an absentee ballot, make sure to visit the Citizen's Portal webpage and request an absentee ballot today. You can also print, complete, and sign the paper absentee ballot application and scan, mail, or fax the application to the Office of Elections.

Continue reading for more information on:

  • Fairfax County COVID-19 Dashboard Update
  • Tonight's Braddock District Council Meeting
  • VolunteerFest 2020
  • Upcoming General Election Information
  • VDH Halloween Guidelines
  • Fairfax County's HomeWise Program
  • Energy Assistance Program
  • ECHO's Upcoming Community Food Drive
  • Upcoming Flu Shot Clinics for Senior Citizens
  • NAKASEC Voting Resource
  • Nominate a Northern Virginia Leader
Yours in service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw
P.S. Forward this message to your neighbors in Braddock District! Residents can use our sign up feature or email braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov to subscribe to the monthly Braddock Beacon newsletter and Advisories like this.
Fairfax County COVID-19 Dashboard
The Fairfax County Health Department continues to monitor and assess COVID-19 cases here in Fairfax County. The latest COVID-19 data is available daily on the County COVID-19 Dashboard. Please continue to follow all suggested Health Department Guidelines.
Tonight's Braddock District Council Meeting
Tonight, 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
VolunteerFest 2020
For over 20 years, Volunteer Fairfax has hosted its annual fall volunteering event, VolunteerFest, to mobilize volunteers across Fairfax County to help nonprofits and government agencies accomplish wish list projects, meet new volunteers and secure donation needs for the upcoming holiday season. Volunteer Fairfax is committed to doing that again this year on October 24-25.

While many of the traditional, large-scale opportunities are not possible this year, Volunteer Fairfax is pleased to be able to offer volunteers a wide range of opportunities to serve at home putting together projects or kits for nonprofit partners as well as offering some smaller in-person options.

Visit the VolunteerFest website to register and pick from a variety of volunteer opportunities.

If you have any questions about VolunteerFest, please contact Hollie Gordon at hgordon@volunteerfairfax.org.
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 14 - October 31: Absentee in-person/early voting began 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, and one available 24/7 outside of the Government Center. You do not have to wait in line to drop off your completed and sealed absentee ballot.

 Important Notice
Drop boxes located inside voting locations are only available when the Office of Elections or Absentee in-person voting locations are open. Drop boxes will be at the satellite locations only when those locations are open and at the voting polls on Election Day, November 3 (Neither will simultaneously take place).
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.
Virginia Department of Health
Halloween Guidelines
While Halloween typically represents a time of fun and excitement for many children and adults, the current Halloween season will be different than prior years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, the more closely people interact with each other and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus altogether. This is particularly important for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This may mean choosing not to participate in Halloween activities during the pandemic. Read VDH’s entire message by visiting their website.

The following are some common Halloween activities categorized by risk level:

Lowest Risk:
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people in your household
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate Risk:
  • Participating in trick-or-treating with distancing strategies in place
  • Individually wrapped goodie bags lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags
  • Stopping only at houses where individuals are wearing masks, and it is easy to maintain six feet of distance between the host and other trick-or-treaters
  • Attending a small, outside event such as trunk-or-treat, where social distancing can be maintained, and everyone is wearing a mask
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards, where wearing masks is encouraged and enforced and people can maintain at least six feet of physical distance

Highest Risk:
  • Trick-or-treating to many houses or visiting multiple neighborhoods, where participants go door to door
  • Trick-or-treating at houses where individuals are not wearing a mask, and where six feet of physical distance is not maintained between individuals
  • Attending parties or events that may become crowded and social distancing is difficult to maintain
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Going to indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming
Fairfax County's HomeWise Program
HomeWise is a new program aimed at helping residents reduce their energy and water use while also reducing their monthly utility costs. The program brings qualified volunteers together with low and moderate income county residents to make physical improvements to their homes, and teach methods that will conserve energy and water.

The HomeWise program is currently recruiting an inaugural class of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please see the Volunteer Opportunities section below for more information and application materials. Community engagement and education activities are expected to begin in early 2021. If you have questions about the program, please email homewise@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Applications are now being accepted for HomeWise volunteers in all three categories. Please click here to download a fillable PDF application. All applications are due by 11:59 PM on November 1, 2020 via email to homewise@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Energy Assistance Program
The purpose of the Assistance for Heating and Fuel Costs program is to help eligible households with low income (in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church) offset expenses associated with heating and/or cooling their homes.

Applications are being accepted until November 8. If your application is approved, you will be notified at the end of December and payments begin in January. Apply online today by visiting the Department of Family Services' Financial and Medical Assistance webpage.

You may also request an application by calling (703) 324-4328; TTY 711, or pick up/drop off an application at any of the Department of Family Services offices:

ECHO's Upcoming Food Drive
Econumerical Community Helping Others (ECHO), a local nonprofit that provides food and financial assistance to help families or individuals through through difficult times, is still distributing nearly 8,000 pounds of food each week. ECHO looks to the generosity of neighbors to keep the food pantry stocked.

Please consider picking up some of the items from the ECHO Food Pantry Most Needed Items list below. Bring items to ECHO, located at 7205 Old Keene Mill Rd Saturday, October 24, from 11:00 am – 2:00 p.m. for a drop off food drive staffed by Volunteer Fairfax VolunteerFest volunteers.

Your donation will help feed local families in need.
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 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 the Fairfax County Health Department's website.

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

*The High Dose Flu Shot is not available at these clinic, only the regular flu shot.
NAKASEC Voting Resources
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) is a grassroots organization whose mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, VA and Los Angeles, CA and has affiliates in Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center) and Chicago (Hana Center).

NAKASEC Action Fund wants to complement county and state educational voter efforts by creating non-partisan multilingual resources for voters who are Asian American and/or limited English proficient voters. The latest resource is a short video that describes how to complete and submit an absentee ballot. This video is available in EnglishKoreanVietnamese, and Chinese (Mandarin) (with subtitles). All resources are housed on our 2020 Virginia elections website.

If you know someone who would prefer to learn how to properly complete and submit an absentee ballot in Korean, Vietnamese, or Chinese (Mandarin), please share this information with them.
Nominate a Northern Virginia Leader
The Northern Virginia Leadership Awards are looking for leaders that embody the ideals of selfless service, strategic vision and community collaboration. Now is the time to nominate them for Northern Virginia Leadership's Annual Awards (NVLAs)!

The awards recognize the dedicated and passionate service of leaders in Northern Virginia, and will be bestowed in the following categories:

  • New! Covid-19 Hero Award
  • Educational Leadership Award
  • Nonprofit Individual Leadership Award
  • Nonprofit Organization Award
  • Corporate Leadership Award
  • Regional Leadership Award
  • Trustee Leadership Award

Nominations are due this Friday, October 23. Submit your nominations here.
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