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From the Chair (June 2024)

As the second year of the “rebooted” Braddock District Council draws to a close, I’d like to review some of the highlight of the 2023-2024 Council operating year:

 

  • BDC membership reached 36 associations, a 50% increase over our first year back

  • We hosted a “Town Hall” session with Supervisor Walkinshaw (September, 2023) and a Legislative Update  (April, 2024) attended by five elected representatives of our Northern Virginia General Assembly delegation

  • We hosted three informative presentations: Comprehensive Plan/Zoning Ordinances/Code Compliance (January, 2024); Fairfax County Climate Policy and Energy Programs (March, 2024); and how community associations can deal with invasive plants (June, 2024)

  • The Council’s Senior Outreach, headed up by Vice-chair Marie Norman, continued to expand. Of note, new Braddock District Aging in Place (AIP) Program coordinator, Paul Hartwell, arranged several meeting (in-person/virtual/hybrid) covering topics of interest to the district’s senior population.  Marie is working with associations that have expressed interest in creating their own Senior Outreach programs

  • AIP founder and long-time coordinator, Bruce Wallachy, was recognized by Supervisor Walkinshaw at the “Best of Braddock’ Awards program.

  • The Council supported the supervisor’s annual “Best of Braddock” awards event and suggested a new category, “Civic Engagement,” which was presented for the first time

  • The Council discussed and took initial action on two important topics affecting community associations: the Corporate Transparency Act and Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan amendments for data center and other large-scale commercial developments immediately adjacent to neighborhoods

  • The Council began the process of amending its Bylaws, first adopted in 2006. A draft revision was sent to members for review at the June meeting to get initial feedback to inform further study over the summer with the goal of adopting the new Bylaws in September, 2024

  • We posted a document, “Association Best Practices,” on our website to provide a guide to BDC members in creating stronger governance and increasing community involvement

  • BDC Webmaster, Charlotte Hannagan, graduated from the Braddock District Neighborhood College program

 

Looking ahead, the summer ‘break’ is nearly upon us. This means that the supervisor’s ever-popular “Braddock Nights” and “Arts in the Park” programs will be kicking off shortly. As part of the Council’s support to supervisor initiatives, I ask members to put out the word about these programs in your newsletters and solicit volunteers. These programs require a lot of support and the supervisor’s staff cannot do it alone. Here are some pertinent facts:

 

  • The “Braddock Nights” concert series will occur on Friday nights at Royal Lake and Lake Accotink (7:30-8:30 pm); dates are Friday, July 5, 12, 19, & 26, and Friday, August 2, 9, & 16 for both Royal Lake and Lake Accotink. Volunteers are asked to serve from 6:45 p.m.—8:30 p.m.

  • “Arts in the Park” (for children) takes place at Wakefield Park on Saturday mornings (10-10:45 am). The dates are Saturday, June 15, 24, 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27, and August 3, 10, and 17 at Wakefield Park. Volunteers are asked to serve from 9:30 a.m.—11 a.m. Saturday. Anyone interested in supporting these popular programs  should contact Irma Mejia-Lewis right away at  irma.mejia-lewis@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-425-9300 to provide availability and a shirt size for the free volunteer t-shirt!

 

The final meeting of the current operating year will be held on 19 June at 7 p.m. in Braddock Hall. Please circle this date on your calendar since this is the meeting where election of officers will take place. We have a full agenda (posted elsewhere on our website and disseminated via Facebook/Nextdoor/email). It is important to have a quorum, so I encourage all members to attend.

 

Treasurer Barbara Smith is now sending out invoices for next year’s dues. For associations that have already paid next year’s dues, thank you. For those who have not, please pay your dues by 1 July if possible. This will help Barbara to develop the 2024-2025 budget which will be presented to the membership at the September meeting.

 

In closing, I would like to thank all the member associations for helping to make this year a very successful one in terms of building the Braddock District Council into a more effective organization in carrying out its mission of serving the interests of member associations and supporting the supervisor’s initiatives. I look forward to seeing all of you at the June meeting and working with you in the upcoming year. 

 

Happy Summer!

 

Bob Cosgriff

Chair, BDC

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