Politics

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

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Beyer Rakes in Campaign Cash in Democratic Primary

Fundraising numbers reveal former lieutenant governor has significant edge.

Campaign finance documents released this week show Don Beyer well ahead of his competitors in the race for cash, giving the former lieutenant governor a significant edge over the nine other Democrats in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8).

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Advocates Urge Supervisors to ‘Invest in Fairfax’

Coalition of schools, government employees, parks, libraries and human services gather at budget hearings.

“Invest in Us, Invest in Fairfax.” That was the rallying cry last week at the Fairfax County Government Center as advocates for schools, libraries, parks, government employees and other human services gathered in support of more funding in these areas.

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Fairfax County Police Advocate for Pay Raise

Department is struggling to recruit and maintain officers.

Nearly 350 Fairfax County Police officers appeared at a public hearing on the Fairfax County budget on April 10, advocating for an increase in pay. The police filled the auditorium, leaving standing room only. Several police testified before the Board of Supervisors, advocating for pay raises and parity with other public safety departments, such as the firefighters, who are seeing an increase in pay this year.

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Achievement Gap Addressed at Budget Hearings

Admissions to Thomas Jefferson, cuts to Summer School, later start times discussed.

Of the 487 students admitted to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, only 10 are black. Eight of these students are Hispanic. This is even though 177 black students and 214 Hispanic students applied for admission to the school. “Unless you actually believe that black and Latino children have some type of intellectual deficiency that prevents them from competing for admission to TJ, you have to believe there is a failure in the Fairfax County Public School system in terms of preparing these students to adequately compete for admission to TJ,” said Tina Hone, former school board member and founder of the Coalition of the Silence (COTS), at the FY 2015 budget public hearing on April 8.

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Families, Community Advocate For Special Education Graduates

Supporters gathered at Fairfax County budget hearing on April 10.

Diana Martin, a Fairfax Station resident, was already losing sleep thinking about how she was going to balance the post-grad needs of her daughter Kenzie with her husband’s chemo and medical care. Now, she is even more concerned as funding for the programs that help special education graduates from Fairfax County Public Schools is included on a list of possible further reductions that County Executive Ed Long presented to the Board of Supervisors on March 18.

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Promoting STEM in Schools, Budget Hearings

Nifty Fifty STEM education events continue as students advocate for STEM at Fairfax public hearings.

As part of an effort to inspire students to pursue STEM careers and to spark interest in math and science, scientists visited Fairfax County Public Schools last week to talk about their careers and to provide insight on the field.

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Commission Approves Landfill Extension

Application will be reviewed by Board of Supervisors.

An application to extend the operation of the EnviroSolutions owned landfill in Lorton has been approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission. Commissioners voted 6-4 on April 3 to approve the application to continue the landfill’s operation. The application includes a green energy park proposal in exchange for the landfill remaining open until 2040.

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Considering the Effects of Mass Incarceration

A Public Forum on Criminal Justice Sentencing Reform held in Burke.

There is a racial disparity in the number of people incarcerated in the United States. Nearly one in ten black men in their thirties is in jail. This number has increased due to the war on drugs, which has also seen a racial disparity in the numbers of those convicted.

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Budget Dialogue Continues in Braddock District

Supervisor John Cook hosts budget town hall.

Fairfax County needs to be looking at the long-term picture in terms of the budget, Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock District) said at a town hall meeting on April 1.

Three New Members Join ACT for Alexandria’s Board

ACT for Alexandria, Alexandria’s community foundation, has added Lynnwood Campbell, David Frantz and Lori Murphy to its board of directors. Campbell, a retired federal worker, is a former member of the school board and presently serves a board role on a number of other Alexandria nonprofits including Senior Services of Alexandria, the Alexandria NAACP and the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Campbell’s experience in business and accounting, both in the private and public sectors, will aid ACT in the business, accounting and audit arenas.

City Is Advertising Lower Tax Rate

Although City Manager Bob Sisson recommended maintaining Fairfax’s residential real-estate tax rate of $1.06 per $100 assessed valuation in Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the City Council is advertising a lower rate.

Herndon In-town Absentee Voting Denied

Mayor, council still have more questions about details.

Authorization to establish an in-person absentee voting location for the Herndon Town Council election fell 6-1. A last-minute resolution ended up denied on Tuesday, March 25 due to the amount of questions the council still had about it so close to the May elections.

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McAuliffe Talks Medicaid Expansion

Patients share stories at Medicaid expansion roundtable.

Just a few days before the Virginia General Assembly convened in a special session in Richmond to decide on the budget and the possibility of Medicaid expansion, Gov. Terry McAuliffe met with patients of Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services in Arlington, as they shared with him how Medicaid expansion would change their lives for the better.

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Area Residents Depend On Medicaid Coverage

Surovell, Puller host Medicaid expansion town hall.

Before heading to Richmond to debate what Sen. Toddy Puller describes as the “biggest battle” that will occur during this session of the General Assembly, Puller joined Del. Scott Surovell and Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel to discuss Medicaid expansion and its possible impact on the Mount Vernon and Lee communities.

In Search of ‘Game Changing’ Ideas

Local legislators reflect on social issues addressed by Virginia General Assembly in 2014.

At a presentation hosted by SALT [Social Action Linking Together) on March 22, more than 50 community activists gathered to hear local legislators offer brief comments on social progress in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2014 General Assembly session. The presentation was hosted at American Legion 180.

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