Centreville's Carol Hawn is the Democratic candidate for 40th-District delegate, and those familiar with her decade of public service here believe she's the best person for the job.
"She's served on everything," said Board of Zoning Appeals member Jim Hart. "I can't think of anybody who's had as wide-ranging experience with local issues. She's been on the Airports Advisory Committee, the Community Action Advisory Board (CAAB) and all kinds of transportation and land-use task forces."
Hawn, 43, of the Old Mill community, is running against Republican Tim Hugo and Independents Mark Calhoun and Joe Oddo. She and husband David have been married 17 years; he owns a commercial roof-consultant business. She works for Travesky & Associates (owned by former Springfield Supervisor Marie Travesky) and does public outreach for the Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit Project to bring rail to Dulles and Loudoun County.
Born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa, as a VEISHEA Leadership Scholar at Iowa State University, Hawn received the most prestigious award an incoming freshman can receive. She obtained a bachelor's in psychology in 1986; at UNC Charlotte in 1993, she received a master's in sociology. Then she plunged into civic activities.
"I've always had a commitment to public service, as far back as I can remember, and I wanted to get involved in something local," she said. So she joined her homeowners association (then Singleton's Grove), serving on its Architectural Review Committee and two-term, homeowners-association president. She attended her first West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee meeting in 1995 and, since her second meeting, has served as its secretary.
Hawn's also on the WFCCA, itself, plus the Sully District Council of Citizens Associations and its land-use committee, and is first vice-president of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations. Honoring her dedication and hard work for the community, in May 2000 Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) named her Lady Fairfax.
She represented her community on the 2001 Sully District Area Plans Review Task Force, was a past director of the Centreville Community Foundation and was countywide chairman of the Census 2000 Complete-Count Committee. She served on the 1998 and 2002 Bond Referendum Citizens Committee, appointed by Frey to represent Sully District. And she's currently on the 10th Congressional District Democratic Committee.
"My mom always stressed helping others and being part of the community," explained Hawn. "I feel very blessed that I'm able to do it and have been able to volunteer so much of my time to the residents of Centreville and Fairfax County."
So when the Sully District Democratic Committee (she's a past co-chair) asked her to run for the 40th, she said yes. "As a Centreville resident, I'd like to be a voice in Richmond for residents of the 40th District, which is mainly Centreville/Clifton, plus the southwest Fairfax County area," she said. "Because of my involvement in all these activities, I have a really good idea of the issues and concerns of the residents in this area."
Since the upcoming legislative session is just 30 days, Hawn believes the state budget shortfalls will predominate. And she's honest enough to acknowledge that neither she — nor anyone else, for awhile — can promise voters all the state dollars this region deserves. But she has hope for the future.
"Northern Virginia needs its fair share of funding in all areas, but I don't believe the funds are there in this budget," she said. "But I'd work with Republicans and Democrats to hopefully lessen the impact of the budget cuts." In better times, she said she'll "do my best to bring the money back here."
Hawn prides herself on being a moderate who listens to and works with members of both parties. Hart agreed: "I think she's going to have bipartisan appeal. She's worked well on a number of committees with people of all different political stripes, and she's been appointed to task forces and committees by both Kate [Board of Supervisors Chairman Katherine Hanley, a Democrat] and Michael [Frey]."
Education is a priority of Hawn's and, when the budget allows, she vows to seek more school funding for this area. She's also a proponent for protection of the Occoquan Watershed. And she firmly supports the bill Del. Gary Reese (R-67th) is going to introduce to require the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to act within six months of receiving a truck-ban request from a board of supervisors.
As it is, the local supervisors have waited two years for action on their proposed through-truck ban on Centreville's Bull Run Post Office Road. "I feel very strongly about local control for the Board of Supervisors," said Hawn. "I think that, if the supervisors approve [a truck ban], that should be it. They're capable of making this decision on their own. Two years to receive CTB approval [is] too long. This impacts a number of communities in Centreville."
Obtaining health-care for children from poor families is also important to Hawn. CAAB advocates to help low-income residents become self-sufficient and, as a member, she's creating a job for a community-outreach coordinator who'd enroll Fairfax County children in a federal health-care program for which they're qualified.
"Virginia gave $56 million back to the federal government, between 2000-2002, because we didn't enroll all the children that we could have," explained Hawn. "These are children not eligible for Medicaid and whose families don't earn above a certain level."
Sully District Democratic Committee Chairman Pete Contostavlos says Hawn's leadership is "just what we need in Richmond — a voice representing the Centreville area. She has experience at the community level and is a leader that Centreville voters will go to the polls for." Noting her proven record of community service, Hart said she's cared about local residents for a long time: "She didn't just show up [for the election]." To reach her campaign, call 703-437-5145.