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Votes

Vienna in 2013

A look at the new year through the vision of elected officials, citizens.

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U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11)

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11)

Q: What issues are important to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the federal level and what are your strategies for resolving these challenges?”

A: “Nearly every issue that comes before Congress has some bearing on the lives of Virginians, running the gamut from protecting our seniors and supporting our veterans to reducing the deficit, enhancing educational opportunities and safeguarding women’s rights.

Among my top priorities on behalf of the people of Virginia is maintaining and growing our Northern Virginia economy. This comes in many forms, including my efforts to stop sequestration which could have a serious impact on our Northern Virginia contracting employers and employees, my support for a responsible and balanced approach to resolving the so-called ‘fiscal cliff,’ my work to provide incentives to help small businesses grow, and my bipartisan legislation to reform our government’s information technology practices.

Transportation is another key area, particularly since the Virginia General Assembly is unable to provide the money necessary to maintain our roads and bridges, no less fund new transportation and transit projects needed to reduce traffic congestion in our region. I’ve been successful in securing federal funding for the long-overdue completion of the Fairfax Parkway over I-395 and for other vital transportation projects. Continuing the work I began as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on rail to Dulles, I am working with thee U.S. transportation secretary and a bipartisan coalition of Washington-area members of Congress to secure additional funding authority from the federal government to reduce the burden on Dulles Toll Road users.

In the coming months, I will continue to stand up for what is best for the residents of Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, our Northern Virginia economy, and our quality of life. I will work in Congress, on a bipartisan basis, to cut through the rhetoric and find solutions. As always, I welcome thoughts and ideas from 11th CD residents. In addition, my door is always open in my two congressional district offices in Northern Virginia to provide assistance to constituents in dealing with issues involving federal agencies.”

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Cathy Hudgins

Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill District)

Q: What are the most important issues or challenges facing your district and Fairfax County today?”

A: Transit and affordable housing. And it is through transit that we can further develop more affordable housing opportunities.

In 2013, Hunter Mill District can expect to see the beginning of Silver Line Metro operations. With that comes change—most of which will be very exciting and some of which may present a few challenges.

With MetroRail comes greater opportunity for more connections by rail and bus, plus more opportunities for walking, biking and connecting the community.

In Reston, Vienna and Tysons, we expect growth in those areas designated for increased density, a gain in affordable housing, while protecting older neighborhoods. 2013 will see the contracts for Phase Two of the Silver Line to Dulles Airport via Herndon.

The end of the year reminded us just how vulnerable the social services safety net really is. Over the last several years, federal, state and local governments have cut these services, such as services for mental illness and schools. Many of our schools are looking at increased student enrollment, as well. While federal and state dollars are diminishing, the demands for social services increase in our county.

In this year’s county budget discussions, we must prioritize what these services provide in terms of the quality of life for total community.

I believe it is possible to effect the needed positive changes through sustained and comprehensive management.”

Q: What strategies do you propose to mitigate the effects of those challenges?

A: “Engaging the community on these, and all issues, has always been imperative to me. It is important to stay up to date on what is happening in our community and our county.

I urge citizens to stay connected and get involved, and to sign up for all Hunter Mill District communications, by sending an email to huntermill@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Working together, we accomplish more. Citizen input is critical if we are to succeed.”

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Del. Mark Keam

Del. Mark Keam (D-35) Virginia House of Delegates:

Q: What are the most important issues or challenges facing your district and the commonwealth today?

A: “Since I represent Tysons and surrounding areas such as McLean, Vienna and Oakton, the most important issue or challenge for our region is the traffic congestion and the lack of transportation options beyond driving your car. I'm eager to have the Silver Line Metrorail open up the four stations in Tysons, which should provide residents and workers with a much-needed option for commuting. However, I would like to see the addition of rapid buses, robust bicycle routes and other transit options to help traffic flow easier in that area.”

Q: What strategies do you propose to mitigate the effects of those challenges?

A: “As a state legislator, I have introduced bills and sought budget amendments to provide additional funding from Richmond for the most congested roads to pay for improvements. I have also supported any and all transportation proposals that would provide a new stream of revenues dedicated to reducing traffic congestion in Northern Virginia, and I will continue to work on these legislative solutions. I have also worked with Fairfax County and Town of Vienna officials to look for innovative ideas to address our local transportation needs, and I will continue to work with all stakeholders to seek realistic solutions.”

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Mike Gadell

Mike Gadell, Town of Vienna Business Liaison Committee Chair

Q: What are the most important issues or challenges facing Vienna businesses today? What is the Town Business Liaison Committee doing to promote Vienna businesses?

A: “The Metro opening at Tysons Corner, at the end of 2013, will increase the traffic flow through Tysons, coming through Vienna. That’s a double-edged sword. More traffic in town, but more exposure to Vienna businesses, particularly in the food and beverage area.

We don’t know yet how transportation in and around Vienna will be impacted by Tysons Metro.

The mission of the committee is to make the public aware of all the businesses in the Town of Vienna. We’re working with VBA—the new Vienna Business Association, to promote Vienna businesses, their products and services. Together, the TBLC and VBA sponsored Shop Small Business Saturday on Saturday, Nov. 24.

With Metro coming to Tysons Corner, it’s even more important we make people aware of Vienna businesses so we’re not overshadowed by Tysons Corner. We can capitalize on the traffic coming to our area.

We promote Vienna businesses with grand opening celebrations, usually with a ribbon-cutting by the mayor and Town Council members. The media is invited.

We recognize businesses with outstanding community service with the Carol Wolfand Award.

TBLC works on giving Vienna businesses the opportunity to be part of the community.”