Workforce and Affordable Housing
Every Fairfax County resident—no matter age, ability, income, or race—deserves the opportunity to live somewhere affordable, convenient, and safe. But housing development has not kept pace with job growth in the county. People who work here cannot afford to live here. The county is not sufficiently addressing its affordable and workforce housing crisis.
The Penny for Affordable Housing Fund is not a penny fund, but a “Half-Penny” Fund. The FY20 budget also decreases funding to Elderly Housing Programs by 8.68% from FY19. Our aging residents should be able to age in place. Affordable and workforce housing is a values issue but it is also an economic issue. The county’s current approach to housing is not sustainable for economic growth—businesses need an accessible workforce to do business here.
I’ll set the agenda to increase workforce and affordable housing in the county.
Economic Growth: Climate Change & Innovation with Local Business
Fairfax County has failed to develop a county-wide action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the private sector, which is the source of 97 percent of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions. The county adopted a vision statement on the environment in 2017, with no strategic, county-wide action. In sum, the county’s budget reflects a rhetoric-without-action approach. It is no longer acceptable given the existential threat of climate change.
I will also work to grow our local start-ups, small businesses, and micro-businesses. Attracting businesses from afar is a strategic option for growth that I will supplement with additional innovation hubs which can bring local business ideas and technology to market.
I’ll set the agenda to scale our local businesses and engage in economic growth and green building strategies to address climate change.
Education is the foundation of our thriving, economically vibrant county. But without widely available preschool education, we are setting some children up for failure before they have even begun kindergarten. Students who have not been in preschool arrive at kindergarten with a significant learning disadvantage when compared to children who have attended preschool programs. Our schools then often spend enormous sums and many years struggling to close this achievement gap with limited successes. These educational achievement gaps often track with socioeconomic gaps making this reality much more of a gap in access to a quality eduction, or an “opportunity gap.” This fundamental inequity in access has economic consequences, and the long-term economic benefits of early childhood education are clear.
I’ll set the agenda for universal preschool.