Letters to the Editor: March 7 – 13, 2019
How Much Community With F.C. Sacrifice?
Sometimes a quick skim of a local paper says a lot about a town’s values. Articles in the Feb 21-27 issue of the News-Press (“FC Demographic Bombshell: Households with Kids Down,” “FC School Board Adopts Noonan Plan; City Income to Beat Outlook,” and the editorial “An Un-Boring Falls Church”) all carry the not-so-subtle hint that families with children should live elsewhere.
Kids are expensive, and that’s not what the City wants to spend more money on apparently. Rather, everyone can “relax” that new real estate taxes on mixed-use condo developments won’t be eaten up by growth in the school aged population “for which the City must provide educational and other services.” How dreary. Kids are part of “old, sleepy” Falls Church; the editor salivates at the thought of “young, smart, energetic…and well-enough-off interesting folks” who will make the town “veritably alive and kicking with opportunity.” Predictably the Little City is “lagging in racial and ethnic diversity,” as more non-Hispanic whites pour into the unique, hip market with its micro housing units. And what about the 21 percent growth in Falls Church residences where people live alone? Singles can always add non-human occupants, known as pets, which don’t need to be educated. At least the editor owns up that town policies have “resulted in the unique decline in households with children.”
How much community will you sacrifice for opportunity, Falls Church?
LGBTQ Space at State Theatre is Step In Right Direction
I was reading the article about the new LGBTQ space opening up at the State Theatre and I think that it is a great way to show the progression the Falls Church community is making.
As a society, what our priorities are is what we focus on. Prioritizing the safety and comfortability of all those in society is a great thing to focus on when it comes to the LGBTQ community specifically. It allows for participation and more community involvement, and further emphasizes the value our community places on inclusion and making everyone feel welcome. The LGBTQ community is a group that many places want to keep in the shadows and is a taboo topic to discuss, but with Falls Church opening up a place for this specific community to be seen in the light is a step in the right direction.
Exploring Reactions To ‘Virginia Way’ Commentary
The recent guest editorial by Yasmine Taeb got some impassioned reactions, as well as impassioned reactions to them. Maybe it’s best to stop and look at what was actually said? Taeb’s initial editorial basically branded Virginia as a longstanding home for racism, essentially calling for discarding any leader not embracing the New Virginia Way.
Surprisingly, some longtime Virginians found her attacks on their home state to be offensive, even if they could have been stated better. Valerie Arnakis’ response that Taeb has no roots here was unfair — how long must someone live in a place before being allowed to want to run for office? While James Cunningham does a good job of pointing out that Taeb’s basically calling for trashing our current system, he applies the unfortunate term of “carpetbagger.” I can’t tell when Taeb moved to Virginia, but the fact that she’s been involved in Virginia politics since 2014 suggest that she’s lived here for at least four years and is not a carpetbagger.
The responses to these letters also raised valid points — Joyce Migdall did a good job of pointing out Taeb’s accomplishments, while Monique Alcala simply took an even more accusatory tone than Taeb’s initial post. Ironically, part of Alcala’s argument was made by citing support from Don “Better to back a bigot than have a Republican in office” Beyer. And sadly, both simply dismissed the disagreement with Taeb’s views as xenophobia and calling for censorship.
While I disagree with Taeb’s vision for Virginia, her work ethic and commitment to Virginia’s future are not an issue. Likewise, interpreting her remarks as disdain for the commonwealth and disagreement with that vision is not some form of bigotry that needs to be silenced.
Maybe a better path forward would be for Virginia Democrats and journalists to put as much constant pressure on the racism of our Governor and Attorney General and the #MeToo problems of our Lt. Governor as if they were Republicans.
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