News Briefs: May 11th – 17th

Local Dem Leader Objects to Petersen as Speaker

Former Falls Church Democratic Committee chair Peg Willingham issued a statement yesterday protesting the decision to have State Sen. Chap Petersen be the keynote speaker at a Memorial Day service. Willingham wrote, “I was taken aback to see that State Senator Chap Petersen will be making remarks at this year’s Memorial Day program.  Perhaps the organizers are not aware of the following?

“1) He is not our State Senator; Falls Church is still represented by Senator Richard Saslaw. 2) Petersen is running in the June 20th Democratic primary to succeed Senator Saslaw. It is highly inappropriate to have one candidate speak but not the other. To be balanced, the organizers should also allow the other candidate, Mr. Saddam Salim, speak as well. 3)  Petersen is not a veteran, unlike either Senator Saslaw or our Delegate, Marcus Simon (who has never been invited to speak at this event, even though Delegate Simon has represented the city in the General Assembly for the past decade.)”

Former House Speaker Endorses State Sen. Candidate Salim

Former Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn issued a statement Monday endorsing Saddam Salim in the upcoming Democratic primary for the State Senate 37th District seat. In a statement, she said, “As Speaker of the House of Delegates, I worked with Governor Northam and Democratic leadership to pass historic gun safety legislation to keep our communities safe. With each passing week, it becomes even more clear that we must take further action to curb our nation’s gun violence epidemic, including passing an assault weapons ban. We need leaders in the Virginia Senate who will vote on the side of Virginians, not the gun lobby — Saddam Salim will be that leader. I know he will work to expand our progress to make our communities safer, and so much more. I am proud to endorse Saddam in the Democratic Primary for Senate District 37.”

Fairfax Chair McKay Says New County Budget is “Balanced”

Following the Board of Supervisors’ adoption of its new fiscal year budget Tuesday, Fairfax County Board chair Jeff McKay wrote that “this budget  that I have worked on with my colleagues takes a balanced approach by investing in our workforce, providing car tax relief, reducing the real estate tax rate, and investing in our community’s priorities, particularly our highest priority the Fairfax County Public Schools. This budget recognizes the impact of inflation on our residents and on our ability to recruit and retain employees. It provides funding for key priorities in affordable housing, environmental protection, parks, libraries, protecting our most vulnerable residents, mental health treatment, and recognizes our future is uncertain and we must prepare for tougher times ahead.”

GOP Candidate for State Senate Visits F.C. Council

Ken Reid spoke at the public comment section of Monday’s Falls Church City Council meeting to introduce himself as the Republican candidate for the 37th State Senate District seat in November.

Creative Cauldron Awarded Ross Roberts Funding

Creative Cauldron, the City of Falls Church’s pioneering theater and educational troupe, was notified by founder Laura Hull this week that it has been awarded a $20,000 Ross Roberts Fund for the Arts grant for its “Artes Para Todos” work in the community. It is the second time the troupe has received the award

Va. Jewish Communities Hail Signing of Anti-Semitism Law

Following the signing into law this week of HB 1606, which adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, Virginia’s Jewish Communities issued the following joint statement:

“With today’s ceremonial bill signing, Virginia joins 29 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism as an educational tool to identify and combat antisemitism. The Virginia Jewish Communities of Northern Virginia, the Peninsula, Richmond and Tidewater are grateful for the partnerships that unified our communities as we educated our elected representatives about Jewish identity, antisemitism, and the value of the IHRA definition as a tool for combating the hatred of Jews. These partnerships will continue to benefit our communities for years.

“We especially appreciate our elected representatives in the Executive Branch and the General Assembly learning about the IHRA definition and engaging with our communities about the rising problem of antisemitism. We know that a definition alone will not erase antisemitism, but it is an important step affirming that the Commonwealth will not tolerate anti-Jewish hate.”