When I first ran for City Council in 2015, my kids were 3, 5, and 7 and I was in the thick of early parenting: potty training, playdates, and so. many. legos. I ran to be a “new voice” representing the next generation in the city. I understood why my cohort wasn’t at City Council meetings on Monday nights – we were juggling work, dinner, commutes, and bedtime stories. That balancing act drove the priorities I’ve worked on our behalf the past 8 years: generational investments in a new high school that some thought we’d never build (plus library and city hall), new parks, sidewalks, traffic calming, big strides in affordable housing, public art, and a more vibrant, walkable city – powered by smart development, new businesses, and financial stewardship, at an even lower tax rate than 13 years ago. I am proud to have had a hand in each of these results, helping make Falls Church an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. I also promised that I’d serve with transparency and thoughtfulness – I would hold office hours, respond to emails to explain my votes, and even if we disagreed, I shared my thinking on a weekly basis to find common ground and make local government accessible.
Now that all of my kids are closer to high school than preschool (advice for parenting tweens and teens is welcome!) and most certainly won’t wear mom’s campaign t-shirts – I am no longer the new voice. And that gave me a lot of pause, especially because I strongly believe in making room for others.
Yet it is this different season of life and changing perspective that became the resolve to keep building on the past 8 years of accomplishments and to run for re-election. What happens when my oldest graduates and can’t afford to return home? Or aging parents who have no viable housing options for downsizing? Or when my youngest starts middle school next fall, he can’t ride his bike because there is no bike route so I’ll instead caution him to look both ways, and then some, on his walk to school. Or the existential threat of climate change that can only be stopped if we make a serious commitment to change how we live and how we get around. How will we use our immense privilege and resources as a community to match our progressive values?
The path ahead and our community’s priorities are clear. We’ve got a great thing going and so much opportunity in front of us: we can keep preserving the best of our small town charm while working towards a more sustainable, welcoming community and a high quality of life now and for future generations. I am grateful to have met so many of you, listened, and served our community; I hope to earn your vote again this fall and keep us moving forward.