I hope those of you who celebrated the beginning of Passover or Easter this past weekend had a lovely celebration with those who mean the most to you.
At the same time, I was also stunned and saddened by the tragic news from Sri Lanka—where eight coordinated bomb attacks happened at churches and hotels across the small country, killing nearly 300 and injuring many more. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones. I am also grateful for the efforts of the first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to treat those injured. This attack comes not long after the horrific massacre at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. Far too often, we see hate filled acts of violence. However, I remain hopeful that instead we can come together as an international community, united in peace, tolerance and acceptance.
Fairfax County Parkway/Burke Center Parkway Update
As I mentioned in my previous enews, VDOT held a meeting on April 10th to discuss options regarding the widening of the Fairfax County Parkway from four to six lanes between Lee Highway and Ox Road. The overall project will also include building an interchange that will consolidate Popes Head Road and the future Shirley Gate Road extension. Additionally, the project aims to improve the Route 123 interchange and the Fairfax County Parkway/Burke Centre Parkway intersection, as well as the existing trail on the Fairfax County Parkway right of way and build a new shared-use path to make the trail continuous within the project limits. As the plan for the Fairfax County Parkway took shape, one major concern emerged: finding a solution for Burke Centre Conservancy residents leaving and entering their neighborhood, while also relieving traffic bottlenecks along this stretch of Fairfax County Parkway.
In light of that issue, I appreciated the opportunity to join members of the Burke Centre Conservancy, as well as my colleague, Senator Dave Marsden to learn more about the plans, view displays and learn more about the project and its preliminary design.
My office has been monitoring this issue for several months, and I am cautiously optimistic about “Option C,” which VDOT presented that evening. Option C will only restrict left turns onto Burke Centre Parkway from the Fairfax County Parkway during the morning peak rush hour. You can find more information about it and the overall widening program by clicking here.
Scouts BSA Troop 1345G Inaugural Court of Honor
I enjoyed joining the founding members of Burke Centre’s new all-female BSA Troop, Troop 1345G, as well as the Burke Centre boys, Troop 1345. Since their founding in February, Troop 1345G has embarked on an adventurous journey toward the Eagle Scout rank, joining the long history of service that Troop 1345 holds.
As a quick aside, attending Eagle Scout honor courts and Gold Award ceremonies, as well as speaking to Girl Scout and BSA Troops in general, is one of my favorite parts of being a Delegate. If you would like to invite me to a scouting meeting or ceremony, please click here to email my office.
Braddock District Council Meeting
I enjoyed attending the annual Braddock District Council Legislative Forum. Senator Marsden, Delegates Bulova, Kory, Watts and I provided updates on the legislative accomplishments of the 2019 session and answered questions from constituents. If you would like me to provide an update to your HOA or other local organization, please do not hesitate to contact me. Click here to send a scheduling request.
Shelter House Changing Lives Breakfast
I attended the moving, annual Shelter House Changing Lives Breakfast. Shelter House is a community-based, non-profit organization serving homeless families in Fairfax County, Virginia. Among their many achievements, they are the first non-profit to operate Artemis House, Fairfax County’s only 24-hour Domestic Violence Shelter. As always, at their annual breakfast, there were inspiring testimonies and a packed room. I am proud to support this organization and I am grateful for all of their efforts in assisting members of our community who are experiencing domestic abuse and/or are homeless.
Equality Virginia Dinner
I enjoyed a wonderful evening at Equality Virginia’s 16th Annual Commonwealth Dinner last weekend. It was truly inspiring to see so many elected officials and community leaders join in solidarity to support equality for all in the Commonwealth. Thank you and Congratulations to all of the OUTstanding Virginian honorees for your vital work in this Commonwealth.
Equality Virginia continues to be a valuable partner in our community. While I consider it unfortunate that none of our housing equality bills were even granted a hearing this year, Equality Virginia’s efforts and hard work did not go unnoticed. It is my hope that next year we can bring out LGBT sisters and brothers real equality through legislation.
Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability
I was in Richmond last week for a meeting of the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability, on which I serve. During the meeting Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Nick Donahue gave an update on the status of SMART Scale in Virginia.
SMART Scale is a program by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The goal of SMART Scale is to pick, “the right transportation projects for funding and ensuring the best use of limited tax dollars.” The program does so by scoring planned transportation projects, “based on an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent to the public and allows decision-makers to be held accountable to taxpayers.” Once SMART SCALE scores and then prioritizes the projects, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will select projects for funding. You can find more information about SMART SCALE here.
ServiceSource AWARE Art Show
Last Thursday, I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at ServiceSource’s 2nd Annual AWARE Art Show along with Delegate Ken Plum and Sully District Supervisor Kathy Smith. ServiceSource and Blossom Daily, a local cafe that catered the event, work to support inclusive employment for individuals with special abilities in Northern Virginia. I have seen first-hand the positive effect that the arts have on those with different abilities. I am pleased that ServiceSource has this program and look forward to supporting it for years to come.
High School Plays
Check out the upcoming high school plays in the 41st District
- Robinson Secondary School—Mary Poppins: May 2-4 and May 9-11 (Click here to purchase tickets)
- Lake Braddock Secondary School—Ragtime: May 2-4 (Click here to purchase tickets)
- West Springfield High School—Les Miserables: May 2-4 and May 9-11 (Click here to purchase tickets)
Woodson High School—Thoroughly Modern Millie: April 26-27 and May 3-4 (Click here to purchase tickets)