A reminder to all: the deadline to register to vote in this critical November 2 election is next Tuesday, Oct. 12.
The first Falls Church City Council debate was held under pandemic conditions last week, meaning it was all online. It is hard to know how such circumstances impacted the course of the debate. But we’re getting another dose tonight (Thursday, Oct. 7) with a debate among seven School Board candidates that might be more contentious.
Then each assembly of candidates, for the City Council and the School Board, will get another round of bites at the apple with online debates expected the following Thursday nights, Oct. 14 and 21, in advance of the Nov. 2 election.
Meanwhile, the News-Press this week begins weeks of publishing 500 words from each of the candidates for the two bodies, starting with four of the School Board candidates, and the F.C. League of Women Voters is publishing its five-page Voter Guide in this week’s News-Press edition, as well.
So there’s a lot of information about the candidates for these two bodies — six running for Council and seven running for School Board — to sort through.
Even with numerous citizens already voting by mail or in person at the Registrar’s Office at City Hall, we expect there will be time for many waiting to vote on Nov. 2, or closer to that date, to assess the field and make smart choices.
This election is unique in that it’s one of only two in the entire U.S. where an office as significant as governor is on a ballot. Here, it’s former governor Terry McAuliffe seeking a second term, after a four year hiatus, running against Republican Glenn Youngkin. We have heartily endorsed McAuliffe, based on a proven track record of achievement as governor from 2013 to 2017. We need to stress that it’s very important that a high turnout for him prevent what would be a terrible Trumpian catastrophe.
But it’s our local races that must command equally great attention from Falls Church’s highly-educated and socially responsible electorate.
In the wake of Trump, who’s still stirring the pot, violence or nearly such at school board meetings on our borders — Fairfax and Loudoun counties — has drawn on the same hateful sentiment that animated Trump. And in Falls Church, proper, there was a lot of anger about the school name changes and the response to the pandemic earlier this year.
The tension from the school name changes, based on a courageous anti-racist stand by the current School Board, combined with the anger of a small percentage over pandemic protocols, to cause no single member of that body to sign up for re-election this year, and two left the board.
But it is now clear the F.C. schools handled the tough pandemic circumstances beautifully, and subsequent moves around the state against remnants of its racist past have validated the F.C. School Board’s name-change steps.