Commentary, Local Commentary

Editorial: Hailing Tuesday’s Primary Results

Congratulations to voters in the City of Falls Church, who turned out at a solid pace in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, and voted overwhelmingly for the best candidates running for State Senate from the newly-configured 37th District and for Commonwealth Attorney. The turnout was, while low at 22 percent, double the overall turnout in the 37th district.

The margins for the winners, Saddam Salim for State Senate and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Commonwealth Attorney, were also significantly greater among Falls Church voters than elsewhere in the wider district. In the State Senate race, there will be a Republican and an independent on the ballot in November, but neither is expected to represent a serious challenge to Salim, our new Democratic nominee, in this area. Kudos, of course, also go to the winners themselves, both of whom were endorsed by this newspaper.

It is significant that the margins of victory for Salim and Dehghani-Tafti were in the 60-40 range in Falls Church, which has been the common general range for races, partisan or not, in Falls Church for many years. In other words, it can be seen as constituting a definite affirmation of City values, and the fact that this time both winning candidate names are far from WASPish is also a plus.

We take this as an important inflection point in the evolving history of the Little City, an affirmation that what the City Council, at least in its majority, have been increasingly adamant about will translate into a seismic paradigm shift toward a more meaningfully diverse community by virtue of adopting serious affordable housing initiatives, replete with generous incentives to encourage them.

It is not lost on us that this Tuesday also marked the deadline for filing to candidates seeking to run for the City Council and School Board in the City this coming November. All the candidates who stepped up to run have been certified for the November ballot. As it unfolds, this upcoming election should see a new level of civic involvement aimed at ensuring diversity and affordability become the watchwords of the City’s future, even as reasonable economic development and improvements in the quality of life here continue to occur.

As among those who are making the major day-to-day decisions at City Hall and among the City’s key developers now exemplify, it is also the major role of women in this community that is becoming a new hallmark, such as in the case of the roles of Deputy City Manager Cindy Mester and Hoffman Company’s vice president in charge of the massive West End development project here, Mary Beth Avedesian, who spoke to the local Chamber of Commerce this week (see story, elsewhere this issue).

After World War I, there was a big push in the U.S. to increase the role of women in major decision making because it was thought they would be less likely to exercise the same level of cruelty as men. It’s an important consideration to which we wholeheartedly subscribe.