2024-06-18 11:43 PM

Letters to the Editor: Response to Last Week’s Article on F.C. Wealth

Last week you published an article titled “Falls Church Residents Ranked Wealthiest in Virginia.” A more appropriate title might have been “Falls Church Ranked Greatest in Income Inequality of Virginia”. Or perhaps “Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Poorer.” The ratio of the median income in the U.S. today to the average price of a home is about 14 percent. In the 1930s this was about 22 percent. Put another way, it was 50 percent easier for a working family to buy a home during the Great Depression than it is today! While some of the wealthy elite of Falls Church might be doing very well, there are countless signs that many of our fellow Virginians are suffering.
It’s morally bankrupt to think we could have an honest conversation about wealth without acknowledging that our “Little City” is so small because it was specifically gerrymandered to enforce racial segregation and wealth divides. That racist and biggoted legacy is still clearly present in Falls Church, as exemplified by this ranking. Much of the city is zoned to only allow big (expensive) single family homes and has been since the 50s. Of course the people that can afford those homes are the ones that live here. I find it disgusting to chalk our concentrated wealth up to “our own creative and diligent work” as the editor suggested, and not the decades of careful planning, zoning, and intentional discrimination.
If these facts resonate with you, and you want to help make Falls Church more fair and equitable, here’s what you should do: Make your voice known! Come to the next City Council meeting on Monday, August 8th, and tell the council to prioritize affordable housing in new development and immediately update zoning laws that are left over from Segregation.
We have a long way to go to address existing income inequalities, but if we work together, we can do it!

Joseph Schiarizzi
Falls Church


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