Braddock District Supervisor Announces "Community Dialog" on Gang-Related Activity and Revitalization Issues


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Jan. 30, 2004

Braddock District Supervisor Announces "Community Dialog" on Gang-Related Activity and Revitalization Issues

Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova has announced a five-part "Community Dialog" to discuss an increase in gang-related activity and revitalization issues in the Heritage Drive corridor of Annandale. The kick-off meeting for the dialog will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 5 p.m. in the cafeteria of Braddock Elementary School, 7835 Heritage Drive, Annandale.

Dialog meetings are also scheduled for March 10, April 14, May 12 and June 9. The first three meetings will focus on gang-related activities and will include presentations on enforcement, prevention and intervention programs at the federal, state and local levels. Speakers and panelists will include Paul McNulty, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, and representatives of Barrios Unidos, The Partnership for Youth and the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The fourth session will feature presentations on what aging neighborhoods and commercial areas can do to ensure that they remain vital, safe and desirable. The final session, on June 9, will be a community discussion of the problems and potential solutions. All meetings will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Braddock Elementary School. As part of the dialog, the U.S. Department of Justice will be facilitating a weekend community engagement with stakeholders in the Annandale area.

"The need for this Community Dialog is clear," Bulova said. She pointed out that, since its inception in July, a special regional task force on gang activity has arrested more than 100 people, including 36 felony arrests. She said that a state task force on gang activity has been formed and has already made initial recommendations, calling for more severe sentences for gang activities and suggesting that anti-gang lessons be taught in the schools as early as kindergarten. Addressing the increasing emergence of gang activity is a major priority of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly.

"If you are thinking that the Annandale/Heritage Drive corridor is not your community," Bulova cautioned, "remember that increases in crime and gang activity can accelerate rather quickly. It happens in newer as well as older neighborhoods." Braddock District School Board member Tessie Wilson, a co-sponsor of the dialog, said that it is important for parents and community members to understand the gang culture, the signs of gang involvement and presence, and what people can do to protect their children and neighborhoods.

Both Bulova and Wilson are encouraging members of the limited English proficiency community to attend. Interpreters will be available at the meeting.

For additional information on the Community Dialog, please contact Colin A. Campbell in the Braddock District Office at 703-425-9300, TTY 703-978-7973 or colin.campbell@fairfaxcounty.gov.

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS.

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