Campaign updates from Letty – Sept 28 edition

Dear Friends,
Happy Monday! It was a busy weekend with soccer games, the Makers Festival, meet the candidate events in Broadmont and Timber Lane, and some doorknocking. 5 weeks to go until Election Day!
What’s Happening:
A “Pocket Park” – a highlight at last week’s City Council meeting was a presentation from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) about their proposal to convert the unused space between Hunan Chef and the Hot and Juicy Crawfish/Lil’ City Creamery buildings on the 100 block of W. Broad St. into “Downtown Falls Church Plaza” – a pocket park, with options for outdoor seating, water feature for kids, and a small green space for performances and leisure. All of the options had construction estimates around $500K and the EDA would pay for half of the cost and looking to City Council to fund and prioritize the other half.
–> Letty‘s thoughts: I love the idea of transforming this underutilized space – it would be a bold, strategic move that would signal a revitalization of this corridor and support nearby businesses. We are in need of more outdoor dining and foot traffic in that area, and a pocket park would be a welcome addition. It’s unclear what the next steps are by the EDA or City Council, and I have a meeting this week with the EDA Chair and hope to learn more. I have some open questions about impact to the existing parking spaces, getting input from businesses, ongoing maintenance costs – and we should understand if there are any re-development plans for that block so that any investment doesn’t get un-done and wasted! That said, these are the kinds of projects I hope to support that will create a more vibrant community and improve quality of life for all.
Current under-utilized space
  pre pocket park
One of the options proposed by the EDA
pocket park option
Letty‘s Listen & Learn – a key part of my platform is that I want to ensure our government is more inclusive – that more voices in the community are heard and represented. I want use more creative means for outreach and engagement to achieve that goal. Starting this Friday, I’ll be holding a “listening hour” at various locations around town. I hope this will be a good chance for citizens to come out, share their thoughts with me, and talk about City issues beyond the hours and confines of traditional city government meetings. This week’s will be Friday Oct 4, at 9:30-10:30 am at Cherry Hill Park (rain location Mary Riley Styles Library). I will also be at First Fridays from 6-8 pm, which is an awesome FREE monthly event – snacks, art, and music for all. Stay tuned for locations and times for future Listen & Learns!
NPR Radio Interview – it is tough for me to “toot my own horn”, but I thought it would be worthwhile to share a cool opportunity that came my way over the summer. I was interviewed by The Takeaway, a NPR morning news radio show, and my interview aired last week. It reached 2 million listeners nationwide on over 270 stations. I am one of 5 “rookie candidates” profiled as part of the week-long series. Take a listen to my interview and the other stories of inspiring first time candidates. Regardless of the outcome of my own election, I hope my candidacy sparks an interest in others to jump in!
2nd GM/MEH Visioning Session – NEW! – If you don’t get the FCCPS Morning Announcements, you may not have seen this newly scheduled session announced this morning. There will be a second visioning forum on Oct 17, 9 am-12 pm to solicit input from everyone in the community on the GM/MEH re-development. RSVP here. If you can’t attend, you can still use the form to send input. 
Important Voting Dates – with this being an off year election, we need to make sure everyone turns out to vote on November 3rd or uses Absentee Voting.
5 weeks to go til Election Day – here are reminders about important dates: 
  • 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.
  • With changes to the law, many people are now eligible for in-person absentee voting. Reasons for voting absentee include: being out of town on Nov 3 for vacation or work, having a spouse or dependent in active service, working 11+ hours outside of the county you vote in, and many other reasons
  • Last Day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m
  • Sample Ballot
  • On Tuesday, November 3rd, the polls will be open from 6am to 7pm.
  • New voter ID laws are in effect. The list of accepted forms of ID and other related information can be found here.
League of Women Voters Event – This Thursday Oct 1, 7:30 pm at City Council Chambers. It unfortunately conflicts with Back to School Night for 1st graders at Mt. Daniel, but I hope those of you without the conflict will be able to attend and hear from all the candidates.
Community Issues Forum #2 – Next Thursday Oct 8 at 7 pm, American Legion.
Doorknocking – many of you have asked how you can help! Doorknocking and reaching more voters before now and Election Day will be my top priority. If you would like to join me doorknocking in your neighborhood, please reply to this email and I’ll provide you a schedule of when I’ll be out walking. 
Special thanks to those who helped last weekend at the FCEF Run for the Schools and wore my campaign t-shirts! Thank you for your continued support – keep spreading the word and please reach out with questions or thoughts. 
Have a great week!