This Labor Day is a sunny one, perfect for kicking off the final press of the 2016 campaign season with the Arlington Democrats (if this summer's political circus has you eager to get involved to ensure a Clinton-Kaine victory, visit http://www.arlingtondemocrats.org to learn about the opportunities to volunteer). And also celebrating the hard-working men and women whose labor keeps our buildings safe and clean, our public grounds beautiful, and our ill and aging family members well cared-for.
As we wrap up the summer recess, here are a few things on the September agenda:
Childcare in our community and Funshine Preschool. There's nothing that consumes my energies more than protecting and expanding high-quality childcare in Arlington. Whether it's working with providers to help navigate the zoning and permitting process or collaborating with our professional staff to investigate land use and regulatory strategies, childcare is one of my top priorities.
But the gears of government turn slowly, and one of our best providers - Columbia Pike's own Funshine Preschool - is facing an urgent move. Funshine, a more than 30-year-old institution, is partnering with the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation to build out a new home at the Macedonia Baptist community center before their displacement from their current site at the end of the year. It's a wonderful opportunity to bring generations together and spur further revitalization in Nauck, but construction costs are a challenge. I'm proud to be supporting Funshine and its partners at a September 20th fundraising event, and I hope you'll join us.
Try Transit Week. Regional transit is on the brain these days, as the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and Virginia Railway Express Operations Board, on which I serve, plan for the upcoming General Assembly Session. And partners across the Commonwealth are getting in on the action with a statewide "Try Transit Week," from September 19th to 23rd. Arlington already leads the pack in Virginia when it comes to residents taking bus and rail (not to mention biking and walking), but you might be surprised to learn the full range of transit options, even beyond WMATA, serving our area. Visit http://trytransitweek.org to take the "Try Transit" pledge, and you could win a $50 SmartTrip card.
Joint School Board/County Board Facilities Planning. In the coming months, a joint subcommittee comprised of Barbara Kanninen and James Lander on the School Board, and Jay Fisette and me on the County Board, will launch, implementing one of the major recommendations of last year's Community Facilities Study. We'll be working regularly across the four of us, with the County Manager and Superintendent as well as our colleagues, and with citizen advisors. We aim not only to collaboratively address urgent facilities needs and opportunities, but also to develop a mutual understanding of how long-term trends and issues like housing patterns and the future of high school instruction will affect our facilities planning. I'll be sharing more in this newsletter and on social media as our joint work develops.
Happy end of summer to you and yours,