Politics

Politics

Drawn from the 15 weekly community newspapers published by Connection Newspapers.

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Hundreds Rally in Alexandria to End Racism

Peaceful demonstration held at police headquarters.

A group of more than 500 demonstrators gathered outside Police Headquarters June 2 as part of a vigil to “End White Silence in Alexandria” in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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A Call to End ‘White Silence’

Demonstrators converge at Public Safety Headquarters in Fairfax.

After seven days of nationwide protests, escalating riots and looting by some in the fallout from the death of African-American George Floyd while being arrested by a white officer in Minneapolis, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Northern Virginia held protests at two northern Virginia police headquarters.

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Overlooked Primary for U.S. Senate

Three Republicans on the ballot this month.

Don’t look now, but Virginia is in the closing days of a primary. You might not have heard about it because of the global pandemic and the economic crisis. But buried beneath all the headlines about police brutality and racial injustice, Republicans are about to decide which candidate they want to appear on the ballot this November against incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Warner.

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Fairfax County’s Week in Coronavirus

Facemasks mandatory; outdoor seating in restaurants; retail stores start to open.

“Science shows that face coverings are an effective way to prevent transmission of the virus, but wearing them is also a sign of respect. This is about doing the right thing to protect the people around us and keep everyone safe,” said Gov. Ralph Northam.

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Senator Favola Hosts Virtual Town Hall Centered on COVID-19

Panel of local elected officials weigh in.

Virginia Senator Barbara Favola (D-31) hosted a Virtual Zoom Town Hall Meeting with panelists, Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34), Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust (D).

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Al Fresco Pandemic

Restaurants eye parking lots and sidewalks as potential outdoor dining spots.

In normal times, the parking lot behind the Del Ray Cafe gives the restaurant a competitive advantage. Drivers can turn off East Howell Avenue and pull into one of the dozen spaces behind the 1925 house that’s been repurposed into a thriving restaurant. These days, the parking lot is giving the restaurant a different competitive advantage, one that nobody saw coming a few months ago.

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New Mayor to Work for #OneVienna

Linda Jane Colbert grew up in Vienna and looks at her new position as an opportunity for all.

In a local election last week, Vienna now has a new mayor, Linda Colbert, who has deep roots in the town and a few goals in mind that surround her campaign slogan of “#OneVienna.”

Harmon, Ross Join Incumbents on Fairfax City Council

Meyer and School Board members all re-elected.

Fairfax City re-elected its mayor, City Council and School Board incumbents, Tuesday, May 19, and added Joe Harmon and Tom Ross to the Council, replacing Jennifer Passey and Michael DeMarco who chose not to run. And despite the pandemic, which caused many to vote by mail, more votes were cast than in 2018.

Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Budget Plan, Fairfax RISE

Highlights of May 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Some of the first words Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay Fairfax County Board of Supervisors said at the May 12 Board of Supervisors meeting were for county families; in particular, those who lost loved ones or had family members hospitalized with the coronavirus. "If we could keep them and their entire families in our thoughts and prayers," McKay said. "As a reminder, our County flag continues to fly at half-staff, throughout the County at our facilities, in honor of the residents who sadly died as a result of COVID-19 and in recognition of our many essential workers who are responding to the pandemic," he said.

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Chantilly Native Volunteering for Better Community

Toora Arsala, 30, has spent the past 20 years working with community festivals and political candidates to improve his community.

For 30-year-old Chantilly-native Toora Arsala, volunteering has become a way of life. He first started volunteering in high school as part of the Best Buddies organization. From there Arsala started volunteering in various other organizations and does what he can to help his community.

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Hunger Rising

Applications for food stamps skyrocket in Alexandria as local economy tanks.

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic spike in the number of people in Alexandria with no resources to put food on the table for their families, leading to a skyrocketing number of applications for food stamps as unemployment numbers climb and people in Alexandria suddenly find themselves in an awkward position — asking for help from the government just to buy groceries. Officials at the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services say applications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have more than tripled since February, before the novel coronavirus pandemic prompted Gov. Ralph Northam to issue a stay-at-home order and shut down most of Alexandria’s economy.

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NoVA Legislators Lasso Outdoor Tethering Law

New tethering restrictions go into effect July 1.

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Loan Sharks in the Water

Lawmakers crack down on predatory lending, although reform won’t happen for eight months.

The LoanMax on Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria is open for business during the pandemic, and colorful signs in the windows announce in English and Spanish that the car-title lender remains open during a stay-at-home order — offering loans at 200 percent annual interest during a time when unemployment claims in Alexandria are skyrocketing. Those kinds of interest rates will be illegal under the Fairness in Lending Act, which Gov. Ralph Northam signed last week after lawmakers signed off on some last-minute changes. But the ban on such high-interest lending won’t take effect until New Years Day 2021, which means high-interest lenders have eight months to engage in an unprecedented lending spree during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

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Mounting Layoffs

Businesses notify state officials of 5,000 layoffs in Northern Virginia.

Businesses across Northern Virginia are flooding the Virginia Economic Commission with thousands of layoff notifications, an indication of how deep the region’s economic uncertainty is becoming as the COVID-19 crisis continues its devastating path. Since the beginning of March, the commission has received notification of about 5,000 layoffs in Northern Virginia. That’s more layoffs in one part of the state than all the other regions in Virginia combined.

Earth Day Is April 22

Special Earth Day Address from His Holiness Pope Francis to be included in Earth Day.

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