Fairfax County Police Chief Search: The Future of Community Policing in Fairfax County
You are cordially invited to a forum on the search for Fairfax County’s new police chief. The event will take place over Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. We’ll be joined by Laurie Robinson, Professor of Criminal Justice at George Mason University and Chair of the 2014 Obama-White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing. We are also welcoming members of the Fairfax County Civilian Review Board, former police officer with a background in police oversight, Hansel Aguilar, as well as James Bierman, with additional speakers TBD. We hope you’ll be able to join us for this community forum where we’ll learn about the search process and discuss what a good candidate might look like. Register here.
Vaccine Distribution to Undocumented Virginians
Virginia is home to 265,000 undocumented residents (New American Economy Research Fund). It is not clear if the public charge rule will prevent them from receiving the Covid-19 vaccination or if health organizations and public entities administering the vaccination will require them to disclose their identity or immigration status when seeking a vaccination. The Virginia Latino Advisory Board (VLAB) has requested that the Northam administration define eligibility criteria, specifically if documentation status will determine who can receive treatment. VLAB has been informed that the determination will come from the Executive, not the OAG (Office of the Attorney General). The State & Local committee seeks support from the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) members in advocating for vaccinations for all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of immigration status, out of interest for the public health and on equity lines.
Action Alert! Ask Governor Northam that a public declaration be made specifically clarifying that undocumented Virginians are eligible for the vaccine. You can contact the Office of the Governor here.
Title III Funding for English Language Learning in our Schools
Title III funding is federal taxpayer funding devoted to ELL (English Language Learner) instruction. It is calculated annually and disbursed to public schools, including FCPS. This calculation is made using a formula based on annual scores of tests taken by ELL students. When test scores indicate a high prevalence of ELL student gaps, funding is matched to ensure public schools have the resources necessary to instruct ELL students, and that funding for other purposes will not be offset. In 2021 ELL students are required, as in years past, to take the four-part test in person. This presents a risk to students who cannot or should not expose themselves to public settings, and we have already seen that school re-enrollment rates from Fall 2020 are lower than 2019. This suggests that students will not or cannot show up to the ELL testing. If this happens, Virginia public schools stand to lose hundreds of thousands of funding dollars.
Action Alert! The State and Local Affairs Committee calls on the Virginia Secretary of Education to work with ELL testing providers to ensure adequate PPE and anti-Covid measures are available at testing sites. You can contact the Secretary of Education here.
Forced Arbitration + Contract Transparency
The committee heard a presentation on forced arbitration clauses in contracts by Mason District member, Julie Strandlie. She will be bringing a resolution to the full committee supporting legislation on transparency in state and local government contracting. The State and Local Affairs Committee voted unanimously to support this effort and urge all members of FCDC to vote in favor of endorsing this fair labor practice. Read the resolution here.
Update from our Housing and Evictions Working Group
Our H&E Working Group has been working with state legislators and the Virginia Poverty Law Center to track legislation and budget amendments in the General Assembly to make sure all Virginians get the housing assistance they need during the pandemic. In particular, we are focused on eliminating a 45-day cliff (Item 4-14 subsection 8.b.3) on rent relief and evictions and hope to see movement on this in the budget passed by the General Assembly.
The State and Local Affairs meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m.
Nora Dell is Chair of The State and Local Affairs Committee of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.
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