Making Democracy Work

A Voice for Citizens and Force for Change in the United States

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church is a nonpartisan organization that serves the citizens of Falls Church City by encouraging informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties. Any use of the League of Women Voters name in campaign advertising or literature has not been authorized by the League.


Candidates running for the Falls Church School Board will tackle questions at an October 15 forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Falls Church, the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) and both the George Mason High School and Elementary PTSAs. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the GMHS Auditorium, 7124 Leesburg Pike. Eight candidates are vying for three seats on the School Board. Voters will fill those seats, along with three seats on the Falls Church City Council, when they go to the polls on Tuesday November 3. A complete guide to all the candidates whose names will appear on the ballot, and other important information about the election, is available through, a website hosted by the League of Women Voters. "We hope that this event will provide the citizens of Falls Church with the chance to get to know the School Board candidates and to hear their views on the important issues that are facing our city schools," said Ellen Salsbury, president of the Falls Church League, and Keith Thurston, president of VPIS. "All residents should be concerned about the city schools, whether or not they actually have school-age children." The deadline to register to vote in the November election is 5 p.m. Tuesday October 13. In-person absentee voting is available through Saturday October 31. Requests for absentee ballots by mail can be made through 5 p.m. Tuesday October 27.


League of Women Voters Hosts October 18 Forum on City Spending The League of Women Voters of Falls Church will host a Local Issues Forum, "Where Does Your Tax Dollar Go?", on Sunday October 18 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Falls Church Community Center. Participants will include Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields, Vice Mayor David Snyder and City Council Member Marybeth Connelly, who also serves as community outreach director for the Falls Church City Public Schools. The forum will explore state and federal government spending mandates, spending to promote residents' health and welfare, spending related to previously approved capital improvement projects, and the discretionary portion of the city budget. Panelists will explore how tradeoffs are made among competing priorities, and respond to questions from the audience. For more information on the Falls Church League and its activities go to

League of Women Voters Guide Available at

(Falls Church, VA) The League of Women Voters of Virginia and Falls Church have joined forces to provide a non-partisan online voters' guide for the November 3 general election. The guide, which can be accessed at, enables voters to obtain information about the candidates for Virginia Senate, Virginia House of Delegates, Clerk of Court, Commonwealth Attorney, Falls Church City Council and Falls Church School Board. Voters accessing the web tool are asked to type in their street name, city, state and zip code. After pressing "Enter" a menu of options is available including "Get personalized information on candidates and issues." By clicking on "Show My Races," the online resource/tool presents the candidates for each office that the voter will find on his ballot. Voters can choose to review each race individually or click on "All My Races." The positions of any two candidates can be compared at one time. In cases where there are more than two candidates running--as is the case, for instance, with the Falls Church City Council and School Board--a voter can compare the statements provided by two candidates and then click "Change Candidates" to compare the positions of two more. The tool also provides a link through which voters can confirm that they are properly registered to vote. Voter registration for the November election closes on October 13. Registered voters can still obtain absentee ballots or arrange to vote absentee in person. In-person absentee voting ends October 31 at 5 p.m. More information on the Falls Church League of Women Voters is available at: The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy thorough education and advocacy. Membership is open to men and women of all ages. With 800 affiliates across the county, the League is one of the nation's most trusted organizations

The Schools of the Future

Everyone is a Stakeholder Falls Church is planning for a new or renovated George Mason High School and an addition to Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build academic and community schools for the next generation. Your input is essential in determining the community priorities for the Schools of the Future in Falls Church. Everyone is invited to attend a Community Forum on Saturday, October 17. A panel of visionary school designers, including architects and green building experts, will discuss trends and best practices in school design. Community members will have an opportunity to weigh on on their priorities and preferences for the elements that should be part of our new/renovated school buildings. If you cannot attend the October 17 event, there is will be an opportunity for you to provide input via survey. The session will be recorded and available to view afterwards. The Schools of the Future Everyone is a Stakeholder Panelists (confirmed as of 9/28) Josh Lasky, Sustainability Educator, Center for Green Schools, US Green Building Council Doug Gehley, VMDO Architects (part of the team that designed the new Discover Elementary in Arlington) Bruce Beddow, EMx Energy Management (innovative energy solutions including Net-Zero) Invited Attendees All community member: teachers, students, parents, business community, elected officials, parents of pre-preschoolers - Everyone is a stakeholder when you are building a new community school. Saturday, October 17, 9:00 am - noon, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School Register to attend here.


The Arlington League, along with the Falls Church League and the Northern Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, recently sponsored a forum on the economic and health consequences of not expanding Medicaid coverage in Virginia. The video from the panel is available here.

Currently, tens of thousands of low-income Virginia residents do not earn enough to afford health insurance and are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. We hope this program will help inform advocates and policymakers in the continued push to close the coverage gap.

Many thanks to this session's panelists for their enlightening comments on this topic: Massey Whorley, Senior Policy Analyst, The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis in Virginia; Dr. Jennifer Lee, Deputy Secretary, Virginia Department of Health and Human Services; Sheila Ryan, Director of Clinical Services, Arlington Free Clinic; Joe Vidulich, Vice President, Government Relations, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce; and Mary Margaret Whipple, Regional Director for Community and Member Outreach, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.