Issue 17
Saturday, June 13, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

This week, several county and community leaders shared their thoughts on three powerful words: Unity, Equality, and Equity. I hope you'll find the resulting video thought-provoking as well as hopeful. Yes, we have work to do in our county, but with these words as our cornerstone, we can build toward a new future.

Engaging in community dialogues is a vital part of laying the foundation of change. Last week, PWCS Board Chair Dr. Babur Lateef and I met with 10 PWCS high school students. Tomorrow, Senator Jeremy McPike, Delegate Luke Torian, Supervisor Victor Angry and I will meet with members of Potomac Valley Church.

In addition to the unity and student meeting videos, in this issue you will find a Moving Forward Facebook live event, lots of COVID-19 news, BOCS information and two special acknowledgements.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Virtual Open Community Discussion
On Sunday, June 14 from 3:00-5:00 pm, Acting Police Chief Jarad Phelps, NVCC-Woodbridge Campus Provost Dr. Sam Hill, and Chairman of the Human Rights Commission Mr. Curtis Porter will discuss how we can strengthen community-police relations. View the event live and send chat questions through the PWC Police Facebook page. To submit a question in advance, send a private message to the Facebook page or email
Community Dialogue
If you missed the live event, the video of Tuesday's roundtable with 10 high school students from across the county is now available! The listening event, hosted by PWCS Board Chair Dr. Babur Lateef and BOCS Chair Ann Wheeler, focused on recent events, local government and discussed ways to get further involved.
Virginia COVID-19 News
Phase Two
On Friday, June 12 our area entered Phase Two of Governor Ralph Northam's public health restrictions. Some changes in Phase Two are:

  • The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering is 50 people
  • Restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50% occupancy 
  • Fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30% occupancy
Things Which Do Not Change In Phase Two:

  • Guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services
  • Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals remain closed
  • Physical distance best practices and face covering guidelines
Money For Schools
Virginia schools will receive $66.8 million through the CARES Act - Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. The money will be used to expand distance learning opportunities, fund services for students disproportionately impacted by loss of class time, and provide financial assistance to higher education students and institutions impacted by COVID-19.
School Reopening Guidance
Governor Northam announced a phased approach that allows Virginia schools to slowly resume in-person classes for summer school and the coming academic year. The PreK-12 guidance is aligned with the phases outlined in the  Forward Virginia  blueprint and provides opportunities for school divisions to begin offering in-person instruction to specific student groups.
At the Governor’s request, Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons suspended all eviction proceedings through June 28. During the moratorium, the Governor's administration is working to implement a comprehensive rent relief program for the thousands of Virginians facing housing insecurity in the midst of this public health crisis.
Helpful Resource
The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has launched a website and mobile app to help streamline access to critical and actionable resources from 2-1-1 Virginia, CommonHelp, and a myriad of other state and federal agencies.
In May, the Community Testing Task Force in cooperation with the Prince William Health District, the Virginia Department of Health and Mako Medical Laboratories, tested upwards of 3,387 people. As the testing continues, the health district is using the data collected to trace how exposure spreads through the community to try to limit the progress of the disease.
County Services
As public health restrictions ease, the county government is expanding the way it provides services. Some areas now providing in-person services include:

  • General District Court
  • Courthouse Services – court cases, land records
  • Elections Office
  • BOCS and Planning Commission meetings
  • Social Services SNAP EBT card pick-up at the Ferlazzo Building and Sudley North Government Center
Parks and Libraries
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism has opened trails, walking paths, picnic shelters, golf courses, skate parks and parking lots at outdoor parks. Starting Monday, June 15 libraries will open for curbside service with contact-free pick up and phone concierge service. 
Helping To Keep You Safe
Our Office of Economic Development and Emergency Operations Center recently partnered to provide PPE supplies to local businesses. With the help of Prince William Chamber of Commerce volunteers, local businesses were able to pick up almost 4500 cloth face masks and nearly 500 gallons of hand sanitizer. Chair Wheeler's office pitched in and helped the Office of Economic Development distribute an additional 850 Masks and 76 gallons of hand sanitizer across the county!
Local businesses are working hard to help our community stay safe and healthy. One way is the #PrinceWilliamStrong Pledge ( Issue 16 ). A voluntary program, it encourages county businesses to commit and adhere to guidelines, mandatory requirements and best practices.
Board Of County Supervisors
The BOCS will meet  June 16 at 2:00 pm.
For Public Comment Time options visit  SpeakUp! Prince William.
Advance sign-up  is required by
5:00 pm on Monday, June 15.
This is the last meeting in June.
Development of the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan is a key initiative for 2020. The County Strategic Plan:

  • Was first adopted in October 1992
  • Always covers a four-year period
  • Uses feedback from a community online survey and BOCS member hosted town hall community conversations held in each magisterial district
  • Is adopted by the BOCS
2017-2020 Strategic Plan
Adopted by the BOCS on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, the current plan's strategic goal areas include Robust Economy, Mobility, Wellbeing, Safe & Secure Community, and Quality Education & Workforce Development. The plan also includes a strategic priority of Connectivity.
Special Acknowledgements
Pride Month
In June, LGBTQ+ Pride is celebrated. Pride Month recognizes the impact the LGBTQ+ community has had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. The original organizers chose June in homage to a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, on June 28, 1969. The raid resulted in six days of protests. The first Pride March in New York City occurred the following year, making this year the 50th anniversary. 
 One of our nation's oldest celebrations of the end of slavery is Juneteenth. A combination of the word June and nineteen, its origin dates back to June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln. On that day, U.S. General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and read General Orders No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”  The former slaves immediately began to celebrate and the following year the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 470,000 residents.