Immediately following Fairfax County Executive Ed Long’s budget proposal to the Board of Supervisors, a grassroots coalition of local families, small business owners, county employees, teachers and firefighters called on the Board of Supervisors to work with the public to pass a budget which “Invests in Fairfax.”
“It is unacceptable that in the wealthiest county in the nation, the county executive would balance the budget by cutting mental health funding, cutting programs for people with disabilities and breaking promises to our frontline professionals,” said David Broder, of Invest in Fairfax.
Invest in Fairfax is a grassroots coalition of local parents, small business owners, firefighters and public safety officials, faith leaders, teachers, county employees and community leaders. The coalition advocates for public investment in the community, and greater public engagement on the county budget.
“As a small business owner, I know we need to invest in our community. That’s why I support our kids, our teachers, our mental health providers and more,” said John Wood, owner of the 29 Diner. “This budget, however, fails our community. So, now we need the Board of Supervisors to step up and support our educators, our firefighters, and our county employees as they serve the community, including small businesses.”
“Fairfax County has historically made the needs of people with disabilities a priority, in part by funding our FCPS graduates with disabilities who needed assistance with employment supports,” said Rikki Epstein, Executive Director of the Arc of Northern Virginia. “We urge Fairfax County to continue supporting our FCPS graduates with intellectual and developmental disabilities this year. To allow them to graduate ‘to the couch’ without employment supports would be a travesty for them, their parents, their schools, and our community as a whole.”
I love what I do, helping our community,” said Monique Hampton, Fairfax County employee and member of FCGEU-SEIU. “However, the county executive broke the Board’s promise to fund our pay plan. This will make our high turnover rate even higher, and will make it even harder to serve the public. It also makes it harder for me to afford to send my daughter to college.”
“We need to build on the progress made last year, when the Board of Supervisors listened to the community, recognized the need to properly fund our schools and county services, and took appropriate action,” said Kevin Hickerson, President of the Fairfax Education Association. “We must push forward for the good of our students and our community.”
Coalition members will be studying the budget in greater detail as it becomes available, in advance of meetings with Supervisors in the coming days and weeks.
Community members will mobilize to influence the budget process moving forward, including attending and speaking out on February 28 as the Board of Supervisors authorizes the proposed real estate tax rate; through March as the Board holds budget committee meetings and town halls; and at the public budget hearings April 4 – 6.
Contact: David Broder, 571-432-0209, David.Broder@seiuva.org