Updates from Letty – November 8, 2019

Blog posts are the personal views of Letty Hardi and not official statements or records on behalf of the Falls Church City Council

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your tremendous support in my re-election and for the opportunity to serve a second term. I’m honored to continue to work with my colleagues to move Falls Church forward, to listen and be responsive to your concerns, and to tackle tough challenges like affordability that will help us live up to our values of being a community for all. With all the incumbents re-elected on Tuesday, it was a validation of our progress, but clearly we have more work to do. In January, we’ll be updating our work plan at our bi-annual offsite, which will guide City Council’s priorities. In advance of that, I want to keep hearing your input.

On Wednesday, I was invited to join the high school’s student council during their offsite to share “leadership advice.” (To be honest, I was having second thoughts about the wisdom of doing this the morning after Election Day!) I don’t know how much sage advice I offered, but I came away re-energized by the students’ passion and earnest desire for the adults to harness the momentum from the election and address issues like gun control and climate change. With a change of the make up of the General Assembly, I am optimistic that we’ll see a different fate for the many legislative priorities we advocate in Richmond in 2020.

Because there is life after Election Day – City Council meetings resume next Tuesday (packed agenda), and we will have a busy final two months of 2019. Before the end of 2019, we have two work sessions, two regular meetings, and two town halls and we’ll be covering everything from scooters to Fairfax County’s Seven Corners “ring road” project to the FY21 budget to the West Falls Church project. (You can go back to last week’s post for a more detailed preview of what to expect.)

We will be hosting the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony on Monday 11/11 at 11 am, it’s always a special event. Read on for links to the election results by ward and turnout stats; how to get more involved in local government if you were inspired post-election, and a new public art project that has been years in the making that I’m particularly excited to share.


PS – If your Letty yard sign hasn’t been collected let, please reply to me and I’d be glad to pick it up. (I’m trying to find a way to get them recycled.)

What Happened This Week:

Election Day 2019

This week, we had nearly 45% turnout in an “off-off” year – ie, no presidential or gubernatorial races. On top of that, we didn’t have any contested state races either. The most relevant comparison would in 2015 when our turnout was 42%. That said, I know we can do better!

Boards & Commissions Vacancies

If you are considering how to up your civic involvement – joining a board or commission is a great, low commitment way to dip in your toes. Check out the current vacancies – including ones that tackle hot topics like transportation/traffic calming, environment, and housing. All you have to do is the attend one of the board’s meetings to observe, complete the application, and then interview with the City Council’s Appointments Committee, which is really just an informal 10-15 minute chat. If you have an inkling of interest, I’m happy to discuss with you and answer any questions.

Also – with stormwater being a top citizen issue, especially following the July flooding event – a new Stormwater Task Force is being created. If you would like to serve on the task force to work with other citizens to prioritize stormwater projects, apply by November 15.

Signal Cabinet Public Art

The Arts & Humanities Council (one of the boards and commissions referenced above) has been spearheading an effort to beautify the metal signal cabinets that control our traffic lights. This is a creative way to add art in the streetscape. The idea was discussed soon after I was first elected – so I was thrilled to finally be able to watch the installation of art on the first box this week. You can check out the box at the corner of Little Falls/Park Ave. If we hear good community feedback during this pilot, expect a broader call for art (ie, a community solicitation/competition for art) for other signal cabinets around town next year.

What do you think?

What’s Coming Up: