Local Commentary

Editorial: March for Women Sunday

The last 15 years has seen a consistent commitment of leaders in the City of Falls Church not only to fairness, equity and non-discrimination in all public matters, but to the welcomed eradication of symbols of the slavery and Confederacy’s treasonous assault against the modern world’s first and most enduring Constitutional democracy. At the F.C. City Council meeting last Monday, no less than six deftly-worded proclamations underscoring the City’s commitment to equality and protection for the vulnerable and marginalized were presented.

They declared Child Abuse Prevention Month (along with a very poignant pinwheel planting ceremony before the meeting on the Park Avenue edge of Cherry Hill Park, still very visible there), Fair Housing Month, Community Development Month (in support of community-serving non-profits), Equal Pay for Women Day, Local Government Education Week and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

All came with thoughtful language identifying the issues and concerns they are designed to speak to, and we note the Local Government Education Week for its worthy focus on the way in which local government functions to directly benefit the lives of citizens in ways that, even with the bigger numbers, state and federal governments can’t. For example, in acknowledging Fair Housing Month Monday, the Falls Church Council’s Letty Hardi was able to speak to the Council’s wish to include “sexual orientation” among the criteria protected in the spirit of fair housing by the City, even though the so-called Dillon Rule prohibits the City from officially adding that to lists prohibiting discrimination. The Dillon Rule is that antiquated remnant of the old Byrd Machine in Virginia that prohibits local entities from passing laws that are not specifically authorized by state law.

It is one more reason why the push must continue to overthrow the current Republican majority in Richmond in state legislative elections later this year. In the wake of the Charlottesville white supremacist riot and the troubling rise of hate groups and assaults across the U.S. in the last two years, it is vital that jurisdictions in the state are able to stand strong against discrimination and, oh by the way, to restrain unreasonable gun use as well.

In this spirit, we commend the Women’s History March set for this Sunday in downtown Falls Church. In the Equal Pay Day proclamation last Monday, the Council statement noted that the pay gap between men and women still exists in the land, with women earning on average 80 percent of what men earn and that college educated women working full time earn more than half a million less than their male peers over a lifetime.

It is the American Association of University Women that is bringing greater public attention to this matter. Here, the F.C. chapter is holding an annual book sale at the Community Center on the weekend of April 12 and 13.

We urge everybody to march Sunday and buy good books April 12 and 13.