Education • Economic Development • Housing
Providing a first class education to our children is the responsibility of our entire community. My wife Emily and I are raising our children here in the City of Fairfax and my oldest is a first grader at Daniels Run Elementary School.
In order to drive community and City wide economic success for the future we must continue providing high quality public schools. This includes adopting a preschool-for-all program serving every four-year-old so they are primed to succeed when they take their very first steps into Kindergarten. The City of Fairfax should be a regional and statewide leader in providing education to its youngest residents.
As Mayor, I will collaboratively work over my first term with the City Council , School Board , our educators and the community to research and fund a preschool-for-all program for four year-olds. An investment in our kids future will be hard work and will take time to come to fruition.
Benefits for our kids
Evidence shows that children who are provided a high quality preschool program benefit for many years into their elementary education. Our children will be prepared socially, academically and emotionally to enter elementary school. Not only does early education benefit the children themselves, but its effects are felt on parents and society at large.
Cost of Preschool
For families, the cost of sending their kids to a high quality preschool can be cost prohibitive. In fact, Washington D.C. and Virginia have some of the highest costs for preschool in the entire country. Head Start and some state funding allow some of our kids to attend preschool who otherwise could not afford it. However, these funding sources fall short.
According to the Brookings Institute, many middle-income parents are spending hefty percentages of their paychecks on preschool — between 9 and 12 percent for families earning between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. Some families cannot afford to send their children to a quality preschool AT ALL. As a City we can provide a high quality program for all four year olds that will help address the issues our families face.
Benefits to working families
Many households in the City have all adults out of the house each day working. High quality reliable preschool can make our working families more productive and less stressed.
The City of Fairfax experienced a lost decade in the creation of vibrant commercial centers. During the major economic expansion of the northern Virginia region in the last 10 years, the City of Fairfax has seen little commercial growth. The future of the City depends on adequate commercial growth so that the tax burden does not disproportionately fall on our residents.
Some of the City’s commercial centers along Route 50 have high vacancy rates and business turnover. We must work hard to create an environment where we can attract and retain business over the long term.
As Mayor, I will work with collaboratively with the City Council , City Manager, City Economic Development Authority, and City Director of Economic Development to create a vibrant, walkable and welcoming sense of place in our economic and cultural hubs. That includes our historic downtown, as well as other large activity centers.
The key to our future success is in partnering with the right developers, planners and designers, as well as local universities and businesses, to create a regional place with a mix of residents, business types and open space. We must be smart and demand more from our development partners and those willing to invest in the City.
The cost of living in the Washington D.C. region is some of the highest in the United States. We must continue to maintain City policies that promote the addition of housing options for the aging, lower income residents, and residents who want to downsize from their single family homes but remain in our amazing City community.
The City of Fairfax has a diverse population with many needs. After many years, the City is now primed to pass an affordable housing ordinance that will require some new housing developments to provide a percentage of units at a price affordable to lower income residents. We should ensure that all of our fellow neighbors, business owners and school families can continue to live and thrive together.