Updates from Letty – October 11, 2019
Blog posts are the personal views of Letty Hardi and not official statements or records on behalf of the Falls Church City Council
We had no City Council meeting this week and will resume next Tuesday after Indigenous People’s Day*. Rather than take a week off – this week’s post will be a hodge-podge of important PSAs, links to surveys on the Environment and Wayfinding (fancy word for signs to help people find their way around and landmarks), and election information. With about 3 weeks to go ’til Election Day, the annual Vote411.org voter guide is now out – links below.
A welcome to new readers: this week’s is different than my typical posts, which are usually digests of select city decisions, my take on issues, and previews of upcoming topics and meetings. Disclaimer: I don’t represent official city views, I don’t attempt to be an exhaustive source for all city information or meetings (you can look at our minutes), nor do I speak for other City Council members with these posts. I started writing over 4 years ago while campaigning to share information, beyond the headlines, with friends and neighbors who cared about city issues, but had competing family or work priorities. Since my election, I’ve continued to see the value of engagement with new voices and transparency into our votes, my decision-making, and access to all the supporting data I have. Feedback is always welcome so I can keep these useful! (Side plug: an informative, funny complement to my posts is the Focus on Falls Church, which is the city’s official e-newsletter.)
*I’m proud to have championed Indigenous People’s Day (my annual PSA on why) and the City’s recognition as a holiday again this year. Also, you can support a Coat and Toiletries Donation drive at the Library and Community Center for the next two weeks to benefit the Oglala-Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
(1) Register to Vote: Next Monday, October 14th is the last day to register to vote or update your voter registration. If you have a new neighbor, offer a gentle reminder! In person absentee voting is underway all weekdays, with two Saturdays coming up. Check out the 20 (!) reasons why you might quality to vote absentee. More info on both registration and in person absentee voting is on the city webpage.
(2) Voter Guide: Speaking of voting – Election Day, November 5th, is about 3 weeks away. I find that this is the time that many people are beginning to pay attention. Vote411.org is a terrific, non-partisan website by the League of Women Voters, a one-stop shop with information about polling locations and candidates, including our local races. All City Council and School Board candidates were invited to answer questions and you can find this year’s newly released voter guide here. The challenge, for un-pithy writers like myself, is to succinctly answer these big, important topics in limited space! I’ve copied and pasted my answers below, but as is my goal of these weekly posts: I encourage you to read visit vote411.org and read about all of the candidates and get informed.
(3) Real ID & Local DMV Services: as you’ll need one of the accepted photo IDs to vote next month, it’s a good time to remind everyone of the Real ID Act that goes into effect for all US travelers a year from now. Instead of standing in line at the DMV office with everyone else next year, did you know that we host mobile DMV services in the City? In fact, the DMV 2 Go Bus is here today, from 9-4 pm in the City Hall parking lot.
(4) Pedestrian Safety: As I continue to doorknock and hear from citizens, walkabiilty / traffic calming / pedestrian safety are among the top issues I hear. Expect more updates on work underway and further discussion at our City Council meeting next Tuesday night, where public comment is welcome at the beginning of the meeting.
Also, if you don’t know what a LPI is – check out my Facebook post. We’ve added 4 LPIs recently, and you might have experienced one without knowing it!
(5) Wayfinding: a wayfinding project has kicked off to improve the signage around town, with a few goals I’m particularly excited about: highlight key city locations and landmarks, better welcome visitors, help drivers find public parking, and brand/unify the city. Take 10 minutes and share your thoughts with us at the survey.
(6) Environment: I wrote in a previous post about the draft updates to the Comprehensive Plan’s chapter on the environment. There will be a community meeting to discuss the proposed goals and strategies next Thursday October 17 in City Hall at 730 pm. If you can’t make it, you can also provide your thoughts in a survey.
What’s Coming Up:
- Tuesday, October 15 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, City Hall)
- Monday October 21 – City Council Work Session (730 pm, City Hall)
- Sunday, October 27 – Letty’s Office Hours (9 am, Cafe Kindred)
- Monday, October 28 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, City Hall)
- Tuesday, November 5 – Election Day
*Note the October 16 Town Hall on the West Falls Church project has been moved to November 13.