I like to think of community associations, by whatever name they are termed, as the fundamental building blocks of grass-roots democracy. They are formed to benefit the members, who elect representatives yearly to carry out the purposes for which they were created. These associations, in turn, interact with the most immediate level of local government to raise concerns, voice opinions on issues, and obtain services that will benefit their residents.
In Braddock District, there are over 120 such associations. The Braddock District Council was established to provide a forum for member community associations to coordinate efforts in dealing with common issues and to have a meaningful seat at the table in dealings with the district supervisor’s office. The supervisor’s office, in turn, is the key to dealing with the various County agencies and departments who provide services to residents.
As with any representative body, communications is a key function. As we set out to reconstitute the Braddock District Council as a meaningful body that will effect positive change throughout the district, we will use a full range of communications channels to pass information to you, the members, including the Braddock Beacon, the Walkinshaw Advisory, and our own brand-new, user-friendly website created by volunteer Webmaster, Charlotte Hannagan (King’s Park). This website will be our primary, but not exclusive way, of communicating with you. Vice-chair Sarah Lennon (King’s Park West Civic Association) will lead our strategic communications and outreach efforts via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. I encourage you to use these means as we roll them out in the next few months.
An important part of communication is education. Running a community association requires knowledge of many legal requirements, most pertinently those contained in the Virginia Property Owners’ Act and the related Condominium Act. Issues include common area maintenance, association liability, taxes, insurance, corporate filings, conduct of electronic meetings, and association record-keeping and retention, just to name a few. The Council schedules speakers throughout the year to provide expert advice to association leaders on these topics. Members can also communicate with each other to share best practices in association management.
Finally, we still need to elect a secretary. Please let Sarah Lennon know if you have a nominee.
p.s.—If your association has not yet paid the 2022 dues, please send it in now. Further information is on the website here.