Local Commentary

The Little City Weed

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The Falls Church City Azure Army is likely to be re-deployed next month as part of redistricting to protect the eastern political flank of Virginia State Senator Janet Howell (D – Va 32nd).

 

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The Falls Church City Azure Army is likely to be re-deployed next month as part of redistricting to protect the eastern political flank of Virginia State Senator Janet Howell (D – Va 32nd). For Falls Church Democrats, this would mean the indolent days of re-electing a popular Democrat in the friendly Arlington-based 31st Virginia Senate are over. Falls Church would be put into an older, more conservative, more volatile, Fairfax County-based district which stretches from Tysons Corner, through McLean and Great Falls, and out to Reston. No disrespect to Senator Howell, but the possibility the most progressive community in Virginia might be represented by a Republican in the Virginia Senate just went way up.

Democratic Virginia Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw is reportedly floating the plan which would put all of Falls Church City in the 32nd District. The redistricting plan will officially be unveiled next month in Richmond. See Washington Post Blog. March 8, 2011, “Field Shapes Up For Race to Replace Whipple.”  A story confirmed by Weed Sources. The money quote is from Mary Margaret Whipple, who urges patience, but acknowledges the Democratic strategy in redistricting in Northern Virginia is to “…to make some of our very Democratic districts somewhat less Democratic …”

Looking at you Falls Church City.

Falls Church City has been in the middle of redistricting political battles before. Republican George Allen used to chuckle and shake his head while musing about the conundrum of how to suppress voter turnout in our stubbornly blue city. Oh, I am sure it was all done in good old boy fun … like when he used to put dear heads in the rural mailboxes of African Americans. Hee ha … I think you made a tear come to my eye.

Then there was Republican Falls Church City Council Member David Snyder, hiding in a gray suit among the “nonpartisan independent” council members endorsed by the CBC organization, who thought he had cracked the code during the last redistricting cycle when he worked actively with Republican Party officials to redistrict Falls Church City so he could run as the Republican nominee against Jim Scott rather than Bob Hull. A spectacularly failed “traitor from within” political strategy which I keep bringing up because I know it ticks off my good friend David … just more good times between old friends in Real Virginia.

The redistricting plans for Virginia Senate and House will be announced next month. The plans are subject to review by the Department of Justice. Falls Church City is likely to be significantly impacted by the redistricting effort.  Republicans have a political interest in stretching out the district, perhaps even dividing it with two House delegates, and pulling the city out of the warm political embrace of Arlington into the harder reality of Fairfax County. Democrats apparently have an interest in bolstering more conservative regions with reliably blue shock troop voters from Falls Church.

The challenge for Falls Church Democrats, then, will be to transition to a more Fairfax-based electorate.

 


Michael Gardner is a quixotic citizen and founder of the Blueweeds community blog.

 

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