As Sully District supervisor, I have fought to ensure our schools receive the funding they need to remain one of the best systems in the country. From the classroom to the school board, and as a community leader and former teacher, I have fought for students, teachers and parents; and I will continue that work.
Good schools are the center of strong communities. They are an important factor in maintaining a strong economy. They provide a skilled workforce which attracts businesses to the area. Fairfax County Public Schools provide equal opportunity for kids from diverse backgrounds to live up to their potential; they encourage students to do amazing things; and they promote the inclusion of our newest residents. Funding our public schools is a core requirement of local government, and in Fairfax County, 71% of the school budget comes from the county.
As Supervisor, I have voted to fund our schools to ensure that FCPS will continue to be one of the best systems in the country. We have begun to bring equity to our schools with several new programs and policies:
- Increasing teacher’s pay to attract the best and brightest to teach our children
- Fully funding our schools
Sully District was carefully built around environmental treasures that we must protect. Some of our neighborhoods such as Rocky Run, Bull Run, and Cub Run are named for the streams that run through our district.
My priorities concerning the environment are:
- Stream Protection- As your supervisor, I have made the restoration of our streams a priority.We have already completed the Flatlick Branch Stream Restoration Project One and Two.
- Reduction of County Energy Usage
- Climate Change Task Force
- Preserving Open Space - Sully District has some of the best tree covering in all of Fairfax, large old trees which must be protected; having adequate open space for the community to enjoy is essential.
Sully District residents face the longest commute times in Fairfax County. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I will continue working to better link regional land use planning with transportation resources with the focus on relieving traffic congestion.
The current discussion over the future of I-66, WMATA metro stations, and bus routes requires constant communication. I have been following this process and believe that community input is needed to evaluate the impact of any changes. Walkability remains a main concern throughout the region. We need to have trails and bridges that connect local residents to main commercial, transportation, and school areas. Busy highways should not be a barrier for someone to get to work or live in affordable housing.
We must also begin to think of other modes of transportation to travel around Sully District, whether via bus, metro, ridesharing or bikesharing. Adding more alternative modes of transportation will help keep our roadways clear. Walkways and trails which enhance access for specific communities must be well maintained. We also should maintain the trails and sidewalks that we already have for disadvantaged and special needs communities and not let them deteriorate.
As supervisor, I will continue to lobby our legislators and VDOT to join other area jurisdictions in adopting Vision Zero to reduce serious pedestrian accidents/injury. Fairfax County is one of the few area jurisdictions that has not adopted Vision Zero; we must make this a priority to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries that occur while traveling.
When most of Sully District was built, young families populated our area looking for good schools and housing priced more reasonably than in the eastern areas of the county. Decades later, our population is growing older with more people choosing to retire here in Sully and age in homes they have lived in for years. This creates a whole new set of issues and opportunities that we need to focus on in western Fairfax.