My Platform and Priorities
Falls Church residents care deeply about the City. I commit to engaging residents and small businesses on important issues from the outset, listening and responding to community concerns, and making thoughtful and balanced decisions that secure the best possible results for our community.
Government works best and inspires public confidence when decision makers show leadership, integrity, stewardship, transparency, and accountability.
I commit to abide by these principles, in word and action, and to advocate for City residents and local businesses by making balanced decisions that build on those qualities that make our City unique.
Excellent City Schools
and Reliable City Services
I've long advocated for children and families, and I will support the continued excellence of our schools and their focus on fostering kind and compassionate students. I will make sure that our school employees have the compensation and resources they need to provide excellent instruction and services to children at all levels and from all backgrounds.
I also will insist on the reliable delivery of municipal services, such as those related to pedestrian safety and traffic enforcement, inspecting bridges and construction sites, fixing sidewalks and traffic lights, and evaluating stormwater issues. The City government is operating with many vacancies and some City workers are performing the duties of two or more employees. We must ensure that City departments have the personnel and tools needed to meet their missions.
The Council drew from capital reserves in the FY24 budget to play catch-up on back-to-basics infrastructure. I will stay focused on these needs.
We lack adequate pedestrian crossways on many streets in our City. We need better sidewalks and crosswalks, including flashing crosswalks, especially near our schools and on long stretches of major roads. Better crosswalks will also make the City more walkable and help unify City neighborhoods.
I also support better bike connectivity, expanded neighborhood traffic calming efforts, and increased traffic enforcement, including to address cut-through traffic on local streets.
Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
I will protect our natural environment, including by strengthening tree canopy requirements to the maximum permitted by state law for both residential and business uses and by preserving mature trees on City land.
We also must increase efforts in our built environment to improve stormwater management, increase energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City and its residents must work together to protect our environment and reduce our climate footprint.
Promoting Small Businesses and
A True Sense of Place
We should protect and promote our small businesses, which give the City its distinct character. We can better support businesses, including by being realistic about the economic impact of large redevelopment, downtown parking hassles, and construction. The City should explore tax incentives, specialized districts, and small business grants to encourage and strengthen local businesses.
Our community is becoming more affluent and less accessible to people from different backgrounds and income levels. The City needs to act now to preserve the dozens of dedicated affordable rental units that will expire in coming years. If not, such units will decrease as an absolute number and as a percentage of the City's overall housing stock despite recent development.
Separately, new development must include a higher percentage of affordable units and expanded options for first-time homebuyers, individuals with disabilities, and senior residents. The City should explore expanded strategies to aid in these efforts, examine ways to better support residents who seek to age in place, and increase its annual contributions to the affordable housing fund.
I support development that is appropriately scaled, with proper setbacks and streetscapes, environmentally sustainable, and designed to deliver a successful product that meets community needs. Large developments must be based on realistic market projections, credible traffic studies, and properly account for increased demands on City infrastructure.
Falls Church is an attractive place to build. The City Council must use its leverage to ensure developments deliver economic and community benefits without sacrificing the trees and small business spaces that make our City special.
Founders Row, more than two years after opening
and Adaptive Reuse
Historic sites, buildings, and structures provide a sense of continuity in our City and make it a special place to live and visit. I will champion our architectural and civil rights heritage.
I support strengthening the City's Historic and Cultural Conservation District Ordinance and encouraging adaptive reuse of structures with historical and architectural significance, even where they do not qualify for direct protection under the ordinance.