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FOR FALLS CHURCH CITY COUNCIL

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Why I'm running

I originally moved to Falls Church to be near my family and because I enjoy the city's walkability and access to the W&OD Trail.  But like most, I quickly fell in love with the vibrant and engaged community here. This led to my excitement to get involved in civic life and I was honored to be appointed as a member of the Falls Church Housing Commission.

I am running for Falls Church City Council with an energetic, fresh perspective and as an experienced community advocate. I want to continue to give back to our community and offer my time, energy, and experience to shape Falls Church into an even more vibrant, beautiful and walkable Little City. I am proud to announce the Sierra Club has endorsed my candidacy based on my environmentally sustainable policies.

I am committed to two core principles: transparency and communication. I have prioritized these values in all of my public service positions, both as an FCC Housing Commissioner and when I was one of the youngest elected officials representing Dupont Circle as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. I have carried these principles over from my professional life as an investigative documentary journalist.

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VISION

WALKING & BIKING

Wouldn't it be great to have streets so safe that every child in Falls Church can bike or walk to school on their own? I will strive to create accessible sidewalks (especially for those navigating a double stroller or a wheelchair) and build more protected bike lanes.

 

I believe that the walk in Falls Church should be both beautiful and safe-- this includes tree-lined streets, pocket parks, benches, HAWK signals and crosswalks that are clearly marked and fully visible. I support the work of groups like Bike Falls Church and the Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation.

Let's make streets in Falls Church so delightful that people choose to walk or bike whenever possible-- and when they do so it will free up parking for those who need it!

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HOUSING

While our nation faces an affordable housing crisis, the effects are particularly pronounced here in Falls Church. Many people struggle to pay their rent, are unable to afford to buy a home, and are being forced to move farther away from job opportunities. I support affordable housing programs as well as creating more opportunities for renters, city workers and seniors to stay in the city they love.

 

I am proud of my work on the Falls Church Housing Commission to maintain and expand our affordable dwelling units, to promote the grant- funded Affordable Home Ownership Program, and to encourage a diversity of housing options in Falls Church-- from apartments, to townhouses to cottage style homes.

TRANSPARENCY & COMMUNICATION

I am an advocate for transparency and communication and take pride in my ability to listen and connect people together. I am genuinely interested in getting to the heart of an issue, and optimistic we can oftentimes find compromise.

 

This includes working with the community to ensure opinions and needs are heard and taken into account when it comes to making decisions.

 

I am dedicated to keeping citizens informed and updated on the progress of programs and initiatives so that they can stay engaged in city affairs.

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ENVIRONMENT

When it comes to protecting our environment and reducing our contribution to climate change, we have a big task ahead of us: Can we meet our goals of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 50% compared to 2005 levels?

Yes-- and I'm excited to take action to get us there. It's going to take green building and weatherization guidance and incentives, acquiring electric vehicles for the city, planting trees, and investing in community solar and 100 percent-renewable energy programs.

I look forward to exploring eco-friendly ways to handle our storm water, including stream restoration projects.

I support the work of groups like Falls Church Climate Action Network and the proposals of the Falls Church Environmental Sustainability Council.

LOCAL BUSINESS

Our amazing community businesses are a big part of what makes Falls Church special.

 

Just as I support a diversity of housing types, I also support a diversity of business spaces-- small footprint stores  to encourage first-time business owners to set up shop alongside large new spaces to attract established businesses.

After listening to business owners in Falls Church, I will aim to establish clear guidelines and expectations for tax policy and the permitting process.

I also support the work of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce to connect and promote businesses in our community.

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CITY SERVICES

We have top-notch schools and big-city amenities in our 2.2 square miles. Our future as an independent city depends on maintaining a diversified tax base.

I hope to sustain our excellent quality of life and our small town charm, while also ensuring that we don't price people out of the city due to high taxes.

 

I will be committed to transparent and responsible fiscal management while providing exemplary services that ensure a high quality of life for all of us.

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Let's connect

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Meet Justine

Hi! I grew up in Washington DC, in a neighborhood just about 6 miles away from Falls Church. Ever since I was 10 years old I knew I wanted to live in the DC area: My family was here and I loved the natural beauty of this region.

After working in New York City and traveling for several years as a filmmaker and writer, my partner and I moved to Falls Church for the city's walkability and ease of access to the W&OD trail.

Shortly after moving here I became involved in civic life-- as a member of the Falls Church Housing Commission, as a part of Bike Falls Church, and an organizer the new group Falls Church Forward.
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More fun facts:

  • This is not my first time running for office:  I was elected to represent Dupont Circle as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. For over a year I negotiated between the developers of a multi-million dollar project and neighbors. I loved working with the amazing community there.

 

  • I went to DC public schools for pre-K through 9th grade and the Washington Waldorf School for high school. I graduated from Georgetown University with degrees in Mathematics, Economics and Theater & Performing Arts.

 

  • I found a way to combine my diverse interests in both science and art as a journalist. I was an on-air reporter and host for Yahoo Finance and I created “Discoveries,” a documentary series that explored the unexpected side of technology, finance and science.

 

  • I'm also a trained aerialist, with specialties in silks and trapeze.

Books I'm reading...

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WALKABLE CITY

by Jeff Speck

Excellent book about how we can create walkable spaces and transform car-first spaces in both cities and suburbs.

HAPPY CITY

by Charles Montgomery

Did you know that excellent urban design can help us live a happier, more fulfilling and meaningful lives?

Just started this book...

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