Around F.C., Local Commentary

Campaign Statement of Falls Church City Council Candidate Justine Underhill

By Justine Underhill for Falls Church City Council (

A year ago I never envisioned running for Falls Church City Council– but as I became more deeply involved in the Falls Church Housing Commission and local civic groups, I realized there was a lot of space to have a positive impact on the city. 

I am a second generation Washingtonian, currently living about six miles from my childhood home and seven miles from my grandparents’ original home. My partner and I moved to Falls Church several years ago because of our love for the city’s walkability and access to the W&OD Trail. I was inspired to get involved with civic life and began my journey by joining the Housing Commission, Bike Falls Church, and most recently, organizing the new group Falls Church Forward.

I am excited about the city and its future. I care deeply about making our streets and sidewalks safer, implementing the city’s bicycle plan, reducing traffic congestion and parking issues, reaching our 2030 greenhouse gas emission goals, diversifying the tax base, maintaining our high quality school system and city services, supporting our community businesses and expanding affordability and diversity in housing, all while maintaining the charm of our city.

Alongside my priorities, I aim to lead with transparency and communication. Nearly a decade ago I was one of the youngest officials representing Dupont Circle as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. I was primarily elected to negotiate between my neighbors and the developers of a multi-million dollar project. The biggest lesson I learned from that project was the importance of frequent and clear communication. With that experience in mind, I recently brokered dialogue between the residents of The Broadway and the neighbor planning to develop their adjacent lot. While the project has a long way to go, the good news is that they are now communicating with each other in the hopes of finding a compromise. I would bring this level of transparency and spirit of collaboration to all of my work on city council, and as a journalist, I have the skills and experience of getting the full story from all sides of an issue. 

So far, my favorite part of running for city council has been meeting so many amazing neighbors in the city. That can include you too! If you would like to learn more about me or share your thoughts– even if you don’t regularly engage in city affairs– I would love to hear from you. Please reach out to me at

I am excited for the journey ahead and look forward to the opportunity to serve you on city council.