(Fairfax County, VA) — In response to the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition’s inquiries regarding the Fairfax County proposed taxpayer-funded legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants, the Board of Supervisors Chair, Democrat Sharon Bulova, replied today the program was “due to the dynamic state of federal immigration policy”. Mike Ginsberg, a member of the SUVGOP Steering Committee relayed this is an unacceptable rationale for the use of county taxpayer funds and sets a dangerous precedent for use of county taxes.
“By establishing a fund to support individuals that have entered the United States illegally in civil deportation hearings, the Democrat-controlled Board in Fairfax County is establishing a precedent for county taxpayers to cover legal expenses in response to additional civil cases,” commented Ginsberg. “As a taxpayer, I cannot understand why the county is choosing to prioritize the legal expenses of some residents of Fairfax County over others. Chairwoman Bulova’s explanation, that the recipients of this assistance are contributing members of our community, is insufficient. There are many contributing members of our community who do not stand to receive taxpayer-funded legal defense in civil cases. What is the limiting principle? Why are some residents receiving this legal defense but not others?”
“Suburban taxpayers who have been hit with ever-increasing property taxes and whose schools still rely upon trailers to accommodate the full student population should not now have this legal defense fund piled onto their backs also,” Ginsberg continued. “If the County Board sets this precedent, there is nothing stopping it from funding other residents’ civil defenses, with unaffordable consequences for the suburban families whose taxes fund schools and county government.”
At a recent Fairfax County budget markup, Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield) made a motion to amend the FY2019 Third Quarter Review and remove the funds allocated for the program. The Democrat-controlled Board of Supervisors rejected the motion on a 7 to 3 vote.
As Supervisor Herrity stated, “Unfortunately, the Board let special interest groups dictate their decision. This vote not only breaks [the Board of Supervisors] procedural norms, but also raise questions about the Board’s priorities considering we [Fairfax County taxpayers] don’t provide legal services for civil cases to our low-income, tax paying legal residents, especially veterans facing civil eviction hearings.”
Chairwoman Bulova stated in her response that she was aware that the County was not legally bound to provide such services. She wrote “Legal representation for people in civil proceedings is not a right, but in this instance, I believe that the pilot program [for undocumented immigrants] deserves a chance to be evaluated.”
The Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition (SUVGOP.com) is asking for voters across Fairfax County to contact their local Supervisor and ask the Board to remove this budget funding or alternatively, put the funding approval for the legal defense fund on the ballot for a countywide referendum.
Email from Chairman Bulova is below.
From: Chairman <Chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Date: Mon, May 6, 2019 at 3:49 PM
Subject: RE: Separate Vote Requested on $200,000 for Illegal Defense Fund
Thank you for your message regarding the proposed budget consideration item funding legal representation for individuals facing deportation proceedings. The funds, if approved, would provide legal rights education, training, and legal representation for individuals subject to these types of civil proceedings. This money would be used by an existing non-profit organization to develop a pilot program, not given directly to individuals in need of legal aid. At the end of the pilot program, this project would be competing among other county priorities through the Consolidated Community Funding Pool (CCFP) program. The program was suggested due to the dynamic state of federal immigration policy.
The men and women who will benefit from the services offered by the pilot program are contributing members of our community. The funding is meant to ensure that people have a chance to defend themselves, to make their case, for being in this county legally through the established legal processes. County staff is working on specific parameters for the pilot program and these parameters would then be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Deportations can harm our community and separate families with devastating consequences.
Legal representation for people in civil proceedings is not a right, but in this instance, I believe that the pilot program deserves a chance to be evaluated. Thank you for taking the time to write.
SUVGOP's concern over the Fairfax County Public Schools decision to display and award a student's artwork depicting anti-Semitic sterotypes without explanation of the background (see below and here) received both local and national news coverage plus carried internationally via the Associated Press..
We voiced our concern to the FCPS Board and Superintendent Dr Brabrand, about the art display and just as significant, the unacceptable response from the student's teacher to a Rabbi that rightly expressed his concern. As you will read, the teacher blames President Trump and not the adults monitoring the art show for failure to fully explain the student's intention behind the artwork. We were gratified that FCPS and Dr. Brabrand responded and acted quickly. You can find their statement here.
Also our friendly Democrats at Blue Virginia
Note: The Washington Post Editorial Board recently wrote an editorial defending the anti-Semitic artwork the Fairfax County schools displayed and attacking SUVGOP for raising the issue. We'll wear the editorial as a badge of honor. The Post editorial, titled "A high schooler's controversial artwork should have been celebrated, not censured," is available online (click here).
Opening paragrpah of our response to the Washington Post Editorial Board:
"We wish we could say we were surprised that the Washington Post editorial dated April 12, 2019 and titled “A high schooler’s controversial artwork should have been celebrated, not censured” is filled with material omissions and misleading commentary. But we cannot."
You can find SUVGOP's full response to the WaPo Editorial here.
(ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA) – The Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition (SUVGOP) PAC expressed its deep concern today over the Fairfax County Public Schools’ decision to display and give an award to a student artwork that draws on classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.
The student artwork, titled “Jewish People,” features a man with a hooked nose and a bag of money, along with the caption “No Jew in the world understands the importance of money.”
When a concerned member of the local Jewish community contacted the teacher for an explanation, the teacher responded: “[The student] is pointing out how racism and ugliness is now NORMALIZED by our current president who intends to divide our nation for his own personal gain. Instead of jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst, take a breath. Instead of vilifying me and a 17 year old student, look at your president who is in ‘your own back yard’.”
“There is no place in Fairfax County schools for this type of anti-Semitic drawing,” said Michael Ginsberg, a member of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition. “Worse, the teacher involved allowed her obvious dislike of President Trump to justify anti-Semitic imagery. Artistic expression is one thing, but justifying inappropriate, anti-Semitic speech by blaming someone else is not a lesson Fairfax County schools should be teaching their students.”
Student Art Work Titled: "Jewish People / No Jew in the world understands the importance of money."
(ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA) – The Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition ( SUVGOP ) PAC announced today that it wholeheartedly supports Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner ’s launch of the Suburban Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and calls for national support among Republican Congressional and Party leadership.
“As we experienced last November in Virginia and in suburbs across the country, Republicans must refocus their efforts to win back the suburban voter” stated Michael Ginsberg, a member of the SUVGOP Steering Committee, “That's why we are so enthusiastic about the new Suburban Caucus led by Congresswoman Wagner. In 2018, in Virginia alone we lost three suburban seats [Representatives Comstock, Brat and Taylor] and if the Party does not listen to suburban families and focus on their issues of concern, Republican representation in the suburbs will continue to decline.”
Congresswoman Wagner today announced the formation of a Suburban Caucus for the 116th Congress that will focus on a legislative agenda designed to improve the quality of life for suburban families. Wagner stated in her press release that "Issues such as paid parental leave, rising childcare costs, educational opportunities, transportation needs, and accessible and affordable healthcare are examples of challenges we [the Suburban Caucus] will tackle this Congress."
SUVGOP recently released a report “Winning Back Suburbia: Proposals for Virginia Republicans”which outlined eleven initial recommendations for the Party to succeed in the suburbs, based on the PAC’s intensive studies in 2018.
“SUVGOP identified several issues Virginia's suburban residents named as their top concerns, including commuter transportation (traffic and tolls), ever increasing taxes, affordable housing and education,” relayed Ginsberg. He added that Fairfax County’s property taxes in Northern Virginia, have increased 26% in the past five years making housing less affordable for suburban families and forcing retirees to re-locate out of the county.
“SUVGOP appeals to Republican House Members to join Congresswoman Wagner in building a strong Suburban Caucus focused on a legislative agenda addressing suburban issues," Ginsberg said. "SUVGOP will also increase its efforts to elect more Republican women to public office."
Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), Chair of the Congressional Suburban Caucus
(Fairfax County, VA)—The Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition (SUVGOP) today released its report “Winning Back Suburbia: Proposals for Virginia Republicans”. The report recommends that Republicans adopt a “Go Local” strategy in the Virginia suburbs and makes 11 initial recommendations to the Party for winning in the suburbs, based on SUVGOP’s intensive studies in 2018.
SUVGOP, a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to connecting with suburban voters in Northern Virginia, detailed specific recommendations that include: investing heavily in detailed surveys of the electorates in Northern Virginia, metro Richmond and Tidewater; focusing on two to three key issues that are important to suburban voters and that will attract crossover independents and moderate voters; a five-to-ten year candidate recruitment plan; and innovations that offer working families and young voters the ability to increase their participation in the political process.
“As suburban Republicans, we have been concerned about the long-term trend away from the Republican Party in our local communities,” said Mike Ginsberg, one of the SUVGOP’s founders. “We formed SUVGOP to try to identify the GOP’s issues in the suburbs and how we might improve the political environment for our party.”
This report describes the eight months of surveys, canvasses and social media campaigns the PAC performed during the 2018 election cycle. Northern Virginia voters expressed their greatest concerns about growth, transportation and rising property taxes. Increasing toll rates, expansion along the Metro Silver Line corridor and the 26 percent increase in Fairfax County property taxes over the last five years are at the forefront of voters’ minds.
“As an example, Democrats have controlled Fairfax County for over twenty years,” Ginsberg said. “During that time, property taxes have gone up, traffic has gotten worse, tolls have exploded, and housing costs have skyrocketed. SUVGOP’s report outlines how the party and its candidates should address these local issues to win elections next year in the NoVA suburbs. For SUVGOP, the issues are local. In 2019, it’s not about the White House—it’s about your house.”
SUVGOP will release our "Winning Back Suburbia" report on Wednesday, December 12th. If you would like a copy, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the link below for a hi-resolution electronic copy of the report.
Please also consider a contribution to SUVGOP so we may Go Local and support the recommendations in our report. Note that 100% of all contributions are invested in Republican outreach efforts in the suburbs. Link to our Donation Page.