McLean Opinion

McLean Opinion


Hunger Action Month

Why Is Food Insecurity Still An Issue?


No Miracle in Virginia Student Test Scores

There was more than a week delay in announcing Virginia student test scores this year. Last week we learned why.

How One Data Center Will Change Fairfax County … For the Worse

A rezoning to accommodate the tallest data center in Fairfax County is up for a vote by the Planning Commissioners at a Public Hearing, Sept. 20, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at 12000 Government Center Parkway (application RZ 2022-SU-00019/SE 2022-SU-00038). It will be adjacent to a resource protection area and a tributary to our drinking water, within earshot of a residential community, and of a size that is completely out of character for the area and threatens airport navigation. If approved, it will set a dangerous precedent.

Budgets Set Policy Directions

“I predict [the conference committee compromise] will be accepted as the best compromise that can be reached at this time.”

Affordable Housing-Talk Not Action in Fairfax, Reston

The shortage of affordable housing in Fairfax County and Reston rarely gets the analytical attention that the Connection’s edition of August 16-22 delivered in Mercia Hobson’s “3rd Wealthiest County in U.S. Fails to Provide Affordable Housing.” The article is based on conversations with several knowledgeable staff members of one excellent Reston’s charitable organization, Cornerstones, people serving the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless.

Labor Day is So Much More

Every year on Labor Day it is important to pause to reflect on the monumental contributions of laborers that have shaped the prosperity of Virginia and our nation as a whole.

The First To Blink

The Virginia General Assembly adjourned sine die back in June of this year when the work of the legislature was complete with one notable exception: a mid-point revision of the biennium budget on which the House, Senate, and Governor could not agree had gone to a conference committee that could not agree on its final form.

Reinventing American Democracy

The 250th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States is fast approaching. We can celebrate being the oldest constitutional democracy in the world. Our form of government, however, is under undue stresses that cause many to worry as to whether we can show the same resiliency of the past going forward in the next century.

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Successful County Crisis Intervention Program to Expand

The County’s Co-Responders Program has successfully redesigned how we best serve our residents experiencing a mental health crisis, while best equipping staff to assist those in need.

Achieving Fair Pay and Dignity for Workers with Disabilities

Until July 1, 2023, many workers with disabilities across the Commonwealth would wake up in the morning and head to work, only to receive lower pay than their coworkers and counterparts in the community, despite performing the same job. This reality was due to the subminimum wage law provision 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), colloquially known as 14(c).

Politicizing Education

As a former teacher/education program administrator for 30 years I am aware of the many wonderful, effective, and dedicated teachers there are, including two of my children and one of my grandchildren and his wife. The current effort to politicize education for personal gain saddens me.

Inalienable Rights

Virginian Thomas Jefferson was a young man when he penned the words expressed among political philosophers of the time that there were natural rights “endowed by their creator” that all persons possess. His phrase in the Declaration of Independence that preceded that assertion, “all men are created equal,” gained the most notice and debate even until today.

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Burden of Housing on Family Budgets


Retiring But Not Quitting

The most common question I get these days is “how does it feel to be retired?”

NVMS Conflict Resolution Center

We in the Mount Vernon area are incredibly lucky to have so many excellent local nonprofits dedicated to improving lives in our community. Today, I will highlight the work of the Northern Virginia Mediation Services (NVMS) Conflict Resolution Center, an organization for which I recently joined the Advisory Council.