Update from Hunter Mill District School Board Member Melanie Meren

Concluding this school year brings with it a whirlwind of emotions. While there is much to celebrate, there have also been incidents in our community and nation that should bring us great pause. 

I remain committed to working with other elected officials to provide safe learning and living environments for the children and adults. Here are some updates on these latest efforts:

  • Gun violence prevention:
    • FCPS has a plethora of information here, sadly, for student support resources regarding gun violence prevention as well as about FCPS’ safety practices
    • The School Board approved my motion to prioritize $15 million of the Fiscal Year 23 Budget to ensure all facilities have “security vestibules” – a needed strategy that you can read about here in this Fairfax Now article
    • At the June 16 public Regular Meeting, the Board adopted a guns-free school policy.
    • I am seeking opportunities to inform the community about what levels of government – local, state, federal – are responsible for gun violence prevention policy and laws. If this is something you’d like to be involved in, please contact me here
  • Traffic and pedestrian safety:
    • I continue to work with FCPS and Fairfax County staff, alongside community members, to improve transit safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. While improvements have been made near several Hunter Mill District schools, please be sure that you prioritize driving responsibly.
  • Welcoming a new Superintendent:
    • The June 30 public Regular Meeting will include the Administration of the Oath of Office for FCPS’ incoming Superintendent, Dr. Michelle Reid. The public is welcome to attend, and details will be updated on Board Docs, here. Dr. Reid brings vision, enthusiasm, creativity, and curiosity to the implementation of excellent public education. I am thrilled to have this 2021 National Superintendent of the Year at the helm of our public schools beginning July 1!  
  • Investing in environmentally sustainable schools:
    • Providing a secure learning environment includes having spaces that mitigate climate change, and preparing students for workforce needs to implement climate change solutions. Through my collaborative efforts with Board Members and staff to identify funding, FCPS is doubling the number of staff in Fiscal Year 23, who work centrally to support environmental education and sustainable facilities! To be transparent, it’s going from two to four people – but it’s progress! This is one step in a multi-year approach to expand professional development, outdoor learning spaces, and content including STEM core academics so that ultimately, every student in FCPS experiences the research-proven success of environmental education on academic and emotional learning, in spaces that promote greater sustainability of resources.
    • FCPS is hiring a new Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Transportation. This is an opportunity to further the community’s green goals. If you have suggestions for candidates, please inform me!

              Melanie Meren
               Hunter Mill District School Board Member
               Melanie.Meren@fcps.edu 

Get Tickets for the May 22 Lasagna Dinner!

46th Annual Hunter Mill Democrats Lasagna Dinner

Join us for our 46th Annual Hunter Mill District Democrats Lasagna Dinner on May 22. We are coming back from the hiatus due to the pandemic and we will be making sure to take some extra precautions as we come back to an in-person event. Our Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee is our signature event of the year and a very important fundraiser to help support our Democratic candidates. Our format will follow previous years with a reception and a dinner program. The Lasagna Dinner is an excellent opportunity to invite local democrats who might not be familiar with our committee and interact with our elected officials in a casual setting. As always, we will be awarding two awards during the ceremony: the Ed Herlihy Activist Award and the Martha Pennino Community Service Award. These awards denote exceptional service both within the Democratic Party and throughout our Hunter Mill District community. 

Buy your tickets today! Ticket prices will increase on May 11. It is crucial that we have the resources to support our candidates and voter outreach into the community. This work is especially important following the devastating losses in 2021.  Our committee will support Democratic candidates like Congressman Gerry Connolly and prepare for the important 2023 election year too. The Hunter Mill Democrats Lasagna Dinner is a volunteer lead operation and we are still looking for some volunteers. If you are interested in lending your talents or donating some food, you can sign up here. We will be adding some updates about the Lasagna Dinner over the next weeks so be on the lookout and we hope you are able to join us.

Better Know a Precinct

There has been much ado about maps in Virginia so far in 2022, but what’s most interesting to many of us are the changes made to our very own precincts.

As we have told you before, the new legislative maps adopted by the Supreme Court in December have led the Board of Supervisors to make adjustments in the boundaries of nine Hunter Mill precincts. Most of these changes are minor, for example, Westbriar, Fox Mill, North Point, Sunrise Valley, and Flint Hill have been split into two new districts (e.g., Westbriar 1 and 2). These newly divided precincts will continue to vote at the same polling locations as before.

Voters in South Lakes, Glade, and Colvin, however, may be voting at a new location. The Attorney General has until early May to issue a certificate of ‘no objection’ to the new precincts. Once that is done, the Office of Elections will notify affected voters.  Watch your mail if you live in one of these precincts.

For more information, visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/fairfax-county-proposes-changes-its-voting-precincts-due-redistricting?

Remembering January 6

January 6, 2021 is a day that is burned in the memory of every democracy-loving American. The images of that day are burned into our memories, and we will never forget that even after a violent mob sought to overthrow the Constitutional order, most Republicans came back into the chamber and voted against certifying the legitimate results of a free and fair election.

Before the 2021 election here in Virginia, Republicans were already setting the stage to claim fraud if they lost. When they won, not a single one of them raised questions about “election integrity” or “voter fraud.” In the meantime, Republicans in Fairfax County are trying to recall every Democratic elected official they can using campaigns of lies and deception. It is clear that allegations of voter fraud have never been in good faith, but are part of a war on democracy, the end goal of which is the complete de-legitimization of Democratic voters. Some have even written that “voter fraud” effectively just means “Democrats voting.”

If the promise of the United States of America means anything, it means the right to vote. We cannot forget that the Republican Party is now actively against democracy unless they are winning, and party leaders will call their supporters to violence to overturn elections they lose. That means it is left to us, the aptly named Democratic party, to promote democracy and the right to vote.

As we remember the horrible events of this day last year, we must recommit ourselves to the activism that led us to expand voting rights here in Virginia, and do everything in our power to preserve those hard-fought gains.

Check out FCDC Chair Bryan Graham’s statement on January 6 for more reflections on remembering this day.

First Hunter Mill Meeting of 2022 on Wednesday, January 12

Meeting Graphic

Happy New Year, Hunter Mill Democrats! Thank you for joining the party for the 2022–2023 biennium. We’re glad to have you with us, and we have a lot of work to do. We will get started with the first meeting of the biennium on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 starting at 7:30pm. As you are no doubt aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, so the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom (register here). We look forward to seeing everyone for the new biennium.

Also, don’t miss the Fairfax County Democrats reorganization meeting the night before ours on Tuesday, January 11. There, voting members will be able to vote for County Officers and other important priorities for FCDC.

Early Voting Has Begun!

You can help Democrats get out the vote by voting early and removing your door from the ones volunteers must knock before election day.

Where and When to Vote:

North County Governmental Center, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr, Reston

From now – October 30th
Monday – Friday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturdays, October 23rd and October 30th: 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, October 24th: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax

From now – October 30th
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Saturdays, October 23rd and October 30th: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday, October 24th: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

The Coordinated Campaign needs help NOW to get out the Democratic vote by knocking doors and calling voters.

To sign up to canvass, use one of these links:
Reston / Herndon: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/410404/
Reston: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/409498/
Vienna: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/410428/

Join the DPVA Northern Virginia phone bank by using this link: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/403445/

Hunter Mill Democrats need help to staff the Democratic visibility tables at the North County Governmental Center Early Voting site and at the polls on Election Day. If interested, please contact hmdprecinctoperations@gmail.com

National Affairs Health Care Forum October 7

Oh, Say Can You See USPHC*?
* Universal Single Payer Health Care

A National Healthcare Forum
Hosted by the FCDC National Affairs Committee
Cosponsored by Democratic Committees from Across Virginia
October 7, 7-9pm

Please use this link to register.

The distinguished panel of experts will describe a realistic continuum of steps, a roadmap, that they each believe is the best route to move the United States from where we are now to a destination of universal health care coverage, through single-payer Medicare-for-All or other avenues.

Forum Speakers:

  • Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8), H.R.1976 cosponsor;
  • Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-3), H.R.1976 cosponsor;
  • Donald Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Lecturer in Health Care Policy, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School;
  • Robert Pollin, Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts Amherst;
  • Susan Rogers, President of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP);
  • Judy Feder, Georgetown Professor of Public Policy; and
  • Melinda St. Louis, Director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All Campaign

Demonstrating to voters before the upcoming election that the Democratic Party is the party that cares about their healthcare, at a statewide, October 7, 7-9pm virtual Healthcare Forum hosted by the FCDC National Affairs committee and cosponsored by Democratic Committees across Virginia, Congressmen Don Beyer and Bobby Scott with a panel of experts will deliberate the best route to move the United States from where we are now to a destination of universal health care coverage.

You are invited to join this critically important discussion.

Get Tickets for the May 2 Lasagna Dinner!

Hunter Mill Democrats 45th Annual Lasagna Dinner
May 2, 2021 – 6:00 pm
This will be a virtual event

Historically, the Hunter Mill Democrats Annual Lasagna Dinner has been the primary source of revenue for HMDDC. Unfortunately, the event was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although things are improving, we have decided we cannot proceed with a safe and successful in-person event again this year. Instead, we will be holding our first—and hopefully last—virtual Lasagna Dinner on Sunday evening, May 2, 2021.

Please join Congresswoman Jennifer WextonCongressman Gerry Connolly; our special guest, Congressman Joe Neguse; and other speakers for this year’s virtual event. In addition to a great lineup of speakers, boxed lasagna dinners will be available.

Your participation in this event helps position us to support Democrats throughout the Commonwealth after the primaries.

Can we count on you?

Click here for online registration and payment.

Prefer to pay by check? Click here for Payment Form.

Registration confirmed upon receipt of your online registration or receipt of a mailed Payment Form.

Zoom links will be sent out just prior to the event.

Click here for menu.

Candidate Petition Signing Event!

DATE: Saturday, January 30

TIME: ​​Noon – 2:00pm

LOCATION:​ North County Health Services parking lot
1850 Cameron Glen, Reston,
Across from the North County Governmental Center (police station)

The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee (HMDDC) recognizes the difficulty Democratic campaigns may be having collecting petition signatures in the pandemic environment.  We want to help.

On Saturday, January 30, HMDDC will be staging a multi-campaign, drive-up event to facilitate signature gathering. All statewide campaigns have been invited to participate. House campaigns for announced candidates serving the Hunter Mill District have also been invited to participate. Confirmed campaigns include:

Governor 

  • Justin Fairfax
  • Jennifer Carroll Foy
  • Terry McAuliffe
  • Jennifer McClellan

Lieutenant Governor

  • ​​Hala Ayala
  • Elizabeth Guzman
  • Mark H. Levine
  • Andria McClellan
  • Sean Perryman
  • Sam Rasoul
  • Xavier Warren

Attorney General

  • Mark Herring
  • Jay Jones

House of Delegates

  • ​​Jennifer Adeli
  • Ibraheem Samirah

We are very aware of pandemic restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Therefore, we are going to set up three areas well-spaced apart where campaigns can be staged to collect signatures from people arriving in their vehicles.

Participants must arrive by car, must stay in their car, and are required to be masked. No walk-ups.

Participants wishing to sign a petition for a House of Delegates candidate must live in that District. You should know in which House District you reside, or at least the candidate’s name.

Participants wishing to sign a petition for a statewide candidate do not have to live the Hunter Mill District. To expedite the process, you should know in which Congressional District you reside.

Participants can sign petitions for more than one candidate in a race!

No registration is required.

Hunter Mill 2021 Virtual Straw Poll Results

On January 7, 2021, the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee held the first-in-the-Commonwealth straw poll for statewide candidates.

HMDDC had three primary goals for this event: 1) raise money for the committee, 2) present statewide candidates to HMDDC members and volunteers, and 3) get an early look at how the candidates lined up against each other. By most accounts, we achieved all three goals.

The event was open to all, and the individual campaigns were encouraged to bring supporters to participate. Participation did require pre-registration and the purchase of a “ticket.” Over 250 tickets were sold, which exceeded the Committee’s expectations, as did the total amount raised ($6,100+), which included contributions in excess of the ticket price.

It is important to note that this straw poll was not a scientific poll of the candidates’ support across the Commonwealth. Roughly 60% of the ticket purchasers were from Northern Virginia. Fewer than 20% of purchasers were HMDDC members. Participants skewed heavy to the campaigns that recruited them to attend. And voting was done using the Zoom Webinar polling feature which may not be as secure as in-person paper ballots.

In the end, attendees came away excited at the prospects for 2021 in Virginia. Democrats have a strong field of competitive candidates in every statewide race.

Below are the results.

Governor

Three of the announced gubernatorial candidates spoke to attendees. Justin Fairfax and Terry McAuliffe did not attend.

  • Jennifer Caroll Foy: 36%
  • Jennifer McClellan: 36%
  • Lee Carter: 14%
  • Terry McAuliffe: 11%
  • Justin Fairfax: 2%
  • None of the above/No preference: 2%
Lieutenant Governor

Only one of the announced Lt. Governor candidates (Paul Goldman) did not attend the event. Due to technical and timing issues, Elizabeth Guzman did not have the chance to speak until after the poll had been conducted. In an effort to achieve a more equitable result, another poll was taken after Del. Guzman spoke. In the interest of transparency, the results of both polls are shown below. While the need for two polls came about by accident, seeing both numbers may provide some interesting insight. Notably, both polls reflected consistent number 1, 2, and 3, rankings.

First Poll (Before Del. Guzman spoke)

  • Sam Rasoul: 46%
  • Sean Perryman: 24%
  • Elizabeth Guzman: 8%
  • Mark Levine: 7%
  • Hala Ayala: 5%
  • Andria McClellan: 5%
  • Xavier Warren: 3%
  • None of the above/No preference: 2%
  • Paul Goldman: 0%

Second Poll (After Del. Guzman spoke)

  • Sam Rasoul: 45%
  • Sean Perryman: 22%
  • Elizabeth Guzman: 17%
  • Hala Ayala: 6%
  • Andria McClellan: 4%
  • Mark Levine: 3%
  • None of the above/No preference: 1%
  • Xavier Warren: 0%
  • Paul Goldman: 0%
Attorney General

Both announced Attorney General candidates spoke to attendees.

  • Mark Herring: 64%
  • Jay Jones: 30%
  • None of the above/No preference: 6%