Fairfax County has long been recognized as a welcoming and inclusive jurisdiction, a place where our growing and diverse population contributes to the fabric and culture of our community in many ways, seen and unseen. At its regular meeting on April 4, the Board of Supervisors reaffirmed that commitment unanimously, after spirited debate.
The resolution proposed by Chairman Sharon Bulova is simple and declarative. It exemplifies values of respect and acceptance, understands that community policing efforts must be based on trust, maintains a safe and inclusive learning environment for all children in our public schools and complies with all federally mandated requirements. The resolution also points out that immigration is a federal matter and, while Fairfax County does partner with the federal government on serious criminal matters when required, our police officers are not immigration officials, and are not expected to assume the federal responsibilities of enforcing immigration laws.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity noted his opinion that the resolution was a statement done for political reasons that omitted costs of educating immigrant children and unaccompanied youth, and did not mention gang violence. Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, in rebuttal, said many families are concerned and scared, even traumatized, about raids and threats of deportation. The Board of Supervisors has a moral imperative, he said, to address those fears, and the statement sets the record straight. A request by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins to clarify the statement by including opposition to any future “registry” was rejected because, as Chairman Bulova reiterated, “we are not getting into what ifs.” Braddock District Supervisor John Cook said the resolution restates concepts about how our community comes together, and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck agreed. At the conclusion of debate, the resolution was adopted unanimously, and reaffirmed “our strong commitment to maintaining a community culture that values and celebrates the similarities as well as the differences among our neighbors.”
The 2017 Local Economic Area Report from the Realtors Property Resource® confirms that Mason District is densely populated, split almost exactly in half by gender (49.8 percent female; 50.2 percent male), and the median age is 38.3 years, which is the same for Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Average household income ($114,539) is less than Fairfax County as a whole ($147,644), but much more than Virginia ($86,296). Median estimated home value in Mason District is $471,170, trailing the rest of the county, but much higher than Virginia’s $292,770 median value. Data sources for the report include the U.S. Census American Community Survey and MLS real estate records.
As reported in a previous column, the March 29 Mason District Town Hall about gang activity was standing room only. You can access an audio recording of the meeting, including presentations and the question and answer session at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable /channel16/podcasts/asx/masondistrict_th_gangs_3_29_17.asx. Or log on to the Mason District webpage: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason and click on the link under Mason District Town Hall. The run time for the recording is two hours and 20 minutes.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at email@example.com.