Campaign updates from Letty – Oct 22 edition

Dear Friends,
We are in the home stretch – just 12 days until the polls close on November 3rd. I just finished the last debate at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week and will be knocking on doors non-stop up until Election Day.
The next 12 days will be the m ost important of the campaign–and I need your help! In the next few days, I’ll be finalizing plans to reach as many voters as possible about our vision for the City and get them to the polls. Your help will allow me to extend that reach to more voters – in a close election, just a few more contacts can make the difference! Voter turnout will be key in this important election. With that in mind, I’ve added a new section in the newsletter below with 5 specific ways on how you can help me.

5 ways you can help me:

  1. Final weekend of canvassing & help on Election Day – help me reach more voters between October 31-November 2 and work the polls on Election Day, November 3. A few hours from everyone will make a difference. Reply to this email with your availability and preferences if you can lend a hand, and I’ll send you more specifics.
  2. Write emails – friend to friend advocacy works! If you haven’t done so already, email your friends, family, and neighbors and urge them to support me. Feel free to forward this email or past newsletters.
  3. Like and share my Facebook page or website with friends.
  4. Absentee vote and remind friends/family – if you will be out of town or risk missing the poll hours for another reason, absentee voting is available in person or via mail between now and October 31st, at City Hall, weekdays 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays, October 24 and 31, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Find out more your eligibility and details here.
  5. Educate voters – many voter guides and YouTube videos of the recent debates are available to get educated about the candidates. See this blog post with all the resources. One of newest is the Q&A with candidates in today’s FCNP.

What’s Happening:
Envision Route 7 Project – I learned about Envision Rt 7 at this week’s City Council meeting. This is a regional study that is underway to evaluate next generationtransit options for the Rt 7 corridor from Tysons to Alexandria to accommodate future projected growth in the area and associated traffic. The two main options considered are Light Rail (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT – an express bus that would use dedicated lanes); both options would have a few stops in FCC and a connection point at East Falls Church Metro. With Rt 7/Broad St being constrained to 4 lanes within Falls Church, there will need to be creative options on how LRT and BRT would work. The study will conclude in the spring, where they’ll present the recommended options and ideas on how to fund such project to us and neighboring jurisdictions. These could be big, regional investments – LRT has capital costs of $990MM and BRT of $250MM, with $17-30MM in operating costs. There will be a public meeting on November 10 at 7 pm at MEH to learn more. If you can’t attend, you can get email updates, follow them on Facebook, etc here.

Schools of the Future Visioning – I participated in last Saturday’s session on envisioning the possibilities of our schools. Lots of creative juices were flowing, and I think many left feeling inspired about the opportunity to create a green, sustainable school with benefits to both the schools and greater community. A video of the visioning session and a summary report will be available. If you have comments and couldn’t go last Saturday, please send them to

Upcoming dates to pay attention to:

  • Oct 30 is when the conceptual/round 1 proposals are due from developers
  • City and school staff will be reviewing through mid November.
  • Town halls are planned on Saturdays Dec 5 and Dec 12 to share as much information as possible with the public.

wooden blocks

Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go? I attended the League of Women Voters of Falls Church forum last Sunday, and that was also full of useful information. The event was also filmed and the information paper will be available online soon. This is important stuff to pay attention to all year-round, not just the few months of budget season in the spring! Some tidbits worth noting:

  • Did you know that if FCC had the same LCI as Loudoun County (LCI = Local Composite Index, an “ability to pay” index used to determine how much state school funding we get) – our real estate property tax rate would be 10 cents lower? Note that Loudoun’s average income is actually comparable to ours, but we are disadvantaged by high property value, which is another factor in the LCI
  • Did you know that any project over 10% of the budget (about $8MM) goes to public referendum for approval by voters, except public safety initiatives? The GMHS/MEH project is expected to be voted on via public referendum November 2016
  • FCC is a leader in recycling in the state – more recycling helps reduce the costs of sending trash to landfills. Aluminum cans generate the most value for the city right now!


Mason Row – the latest draft of the submission is still being reviewed by Boards and Commissions with comments expected to be discussed at City Council at their work session on November 16. New information about the proposal from the developers on an “entertainment tax” has been circulating this week. To be clear, the proposal is very early – it has not been reviewed by staff, discussed by Council, or even negotiated. The current plan is for City Council to review the tax and the updated proffers at the November 9 work session. If you have thoughts or ideas, now is a good time to send them in by emailing


  • Email me to help with final canvassing and Election Day poll help
  • Election Day – November 3rd!

Please reach out with thoughts and questions and feel free to pass this email to friends.