Below are her answers to a questionnaire from The Connection:
Name, community you live in, and your party affiliation:
Kathy L. Smith, Poplar Tree Estates, Democrat
Family - spouse, number of children & grandchildren:
Husband Steve, four children & six grandchildren.
Highest level of education and your major field of study:
BA Elementary education, Sociology.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Campaign Website: www.kathysmith.org.
Fairfax County School Board, 2002-2015; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, 2016-present.
Why are you running for Sully Supervisor, and why do you believe you’re the best candidate for this office?
I am running for reelection for Sully Supervisor because we need someone who has the experience to serve our community. I served as PTA president at my children’s schools, then I was elected and served on the School Board for 14 years, and I currently serve on the Board of Supervisors and Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Virginia Association of Counties.
The following organizations have endorsed me: Northern Virginia Assn. of Realtors, Nova Building Industry Assn., Firefighters - Local 2068, Virginia Police Benevolent Assn., Fairfax Education Assn., Service Employee International Union, Amalgamated Transit Union, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
What are the highlights of your platform?
Affordable housing, supporting our businesses, protecting the environment, improved transportation, and pedestrian and bicycle safety.
What issues are most important to you, and how would you address them? Affordable housing is one of the most important issues that my constituents consistently raise as a concern for the district. Many families and individuals are getting priced out of the area and are having to commute to work. We should be able to have the choice to live and work in the same location.
My office has been working with local leaders to increase the availability of affordable housing in Fairfax County, with a goal of achieving 10,000 new units by 2034. The Board of Supervisors has also committed $118 million dollars in the budget, over the past two years, to address affordable housing.
Where do you stand on allowing data centers in the Sully District, and why?
There is a process to consider land-use cases and each case is considered separately. County staff prepares a report that assesses whether the application meets the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and other requirements. The case then goes to the Planning Commission, which holds a public hearing and then makes a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.
The Board of Supervisors then holds a public hearing to get comments from the community. The Board will then make a decision using the information from the staff report and the public hearing. This is the process whether the land-use application is a restaurant, housing, office building, or other commercial building such as a data center. Each applicant has a right to go through the process.
What are the most important issues facing the Sully District?
Housing that is affordable, improved pedestrian connections, improved public transportation, and ensuring that our schools stay fully funded.
What sets you apart from your opponent?
My experience serving the community. I have served as PTA president at my children’s schools when they were growing up. I was PTA president at the elementary, middle- and high-school levels. I also served on the board of the county PTA. I was on the school board for 14 years and worked to set student achievement goals that focused on academic achievement, essential life skills and responsibility to the community.
In my work on the Board of Supervisors, I have focused on affordable housing and funding the school budget. I serve on the board of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Virginia Assn. of Counties. This work focuses on regional and state issues that affect Fairfax County.
What’s been your greatest achievement for the Sully District since you’ve been in office?
This work is not about greatest achievements. It is about hearing from CYA that we don’t have enough gym courts and working to get a second gym court in the new Sully Community Center. Knowing that we need to provide clinic services in Sully and providing a clinic in the Sully Community Center. Hearing from advocates from the Centreville Immigration Forum that we need bus routes that will bring people to the health clinic and to Herndon and providing those routes from Centreville.
Getting Costco to provide a traffic light at Penrose Place and Lee Road so that people could safely leave the shopping center. Working with our faith communities and Western Fairfax Christian Ministries to provide food drives during the pandemic. Providing financial support to small businesses during the pandemic so that they could stay open. Working with developers to provide a percentage of their new townhouses for sale at 80 percent of the area median income. Working with communities on traffic-calming measures.
What else do you want to say about yourself to your prospective constituents?
I am committed to working for you. I have raised my family here. Before having children, I started out as a schoolteacher and then began a career of public service for 25 years. First as PTA president at Poplar Tree Elementary School and then as PTA president at Rocky Run Middle School and at Chantilly High School.
I was Chair of the Fairfax County School Board for three years and am finishing my second term as Supervisor. My hard work and dedication have already delivered results for Sully, and I hope to continue this work and earn your vote on Nov. 7.