Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpTuesday, June 13, is Primary Election Day for all of Virginia, as candidates from both major parties vie for nomination for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Your local polling place will be open from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Under Virginia law, you must present a valid photo ID to vote. Voters also will be asked to designate whether they want to vote on a Democratic ballot or a Republican ballot (there are separate ballots for each party). Fairfax County residents may vote absentee-in-person this Saturday, June 10, at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Dr. Ralph Northam, Virginia’s current Lt. Governor, is running for the top spot, and deserves the Democratic nomination. I did not know Ralph prior to his current position; Ralph previously served in the Virginia State Senate, representing Tidewater and the Eastern Shore. He was reared on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where sea level rise and subsidence, and efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay, are of special significance. Ralph is a doctor and a veteran, who has seen the trauma that weapons of war can wreak on the human body, as well as clearly understanding, and advocating for, health care needs. And that includes the right of every woman to control her own healthcare decisions. Virginia needs the thoughtful, yet fierce, commitment of Ralph Northam to lead our Commonwealth in the next gubernatorial term. I hope you will join me in supporting, and voting for, Ralph Northam on Tuesday.

Three Democratic candidates are running for the Lieutenant Governor nomination on Tuesday. Justin Fairfax, a Mason District resident, is making his second try for statewide office, having run for the Attorney General nomination four years ago. I’ve been impressed with Justin’s passion for public service, and his clear understanding of the importance of hard work to reach goals. Justin was born in Pittsburgh, moved to Washington, D.C. with his single mom to live with his grandmother in a difficult neighborhood. With strong family role models, Justin and his siblings all graduated from college, and earned additional professional degrees. Their success from humble beginnings has been remarkable, and Justin pays it forward by inspiring others to reach seemingly insurmountable goals. Let’s help Justin reach the next goal by voting for him in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

For some free fun this weekend, you can join in celebrating Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week at Mason Neck State Park, along the Potomac River south of Mount Vernon. The event will feature information displays about the Bay, games, interactive exhibits, and a ceremonial “Back to the Bay” community turnaround. We literally will turn our backs to the Bay to recognize that humankind’s activities on the land have a significant impact on the health of the Bay. Summertime offers more opportunities for Bay experiences, one of the goals of the Chesapeake 2000 agreement among the Bay states. It’ll be fun, and it looks like the weather will cooperate!


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.