The North East Vienna Citizens Association (NEVCA) was able to host another Meet the Candidates Forum on May 5, 2021 for residents of the Town of Vienna, Virginia.
NEVCA has hosted many of these candidate forums over the last twenty years primarily at the Vienna Community Center or Vienna Volunteer Fire Station. These have also been a way for residents to meet candidates for Mayor when there is a contested election.
The 2019 candidate forum was held upstairs at VVFD in the “Flame Room” and hosted about 125 residents who were able to submit questions to the five candidates.
NEVCA has followed a format similar to meetings held by the League of Women Voters where candidates are asked a question and then each have a timed minute to respond, with one candidate allowed an additional rebuttal minute. Overall, the goal is to be conversational and not confrontational.
The Vienna Town Council has always been a non-partisan body with limitations on campaign spending, so public forums like NEVCA’s have been essential. Another group, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association also held a lunchtime meeting that allow the candidates to discuss issues.
The COVID-19 Health Emergency hit in March 2020 just as NEVCA was planning the forum.
Vienna was holding elections for a new Mayor and for Town Council so we at NEVCA understood it was important to conduct a forum. Originally, the plan was to hold a forum using Town Hall and a limited staff, but Governor Ralph Northam issued a state-wide order prohibiting such gatherings of unrelated people.
The only option was to hold virtual forums using the Zoom platform and then add the video to the Town of Vienna’s YouTube channel. Vice President Doug Francis was able to juggle many roles and get these forums completed with only minor technical difficulties. The Town also had these playing on the Town’s Fios Cable Access Channel prior to the election.
NEVCA Meet the Candidate Forum
NEVCA’s role in Vienna Virginia
NEVCA was established in 1995 by residents in Vienna, VA who were concerned with traffic issues around town.
In the years since, NEVCA has helped establish Northside Park, the design and rebuilding of Beulah Road, the two flashing RRFB crosswalk signals on Beulah, sidewalk completions, stream clean up projects, get Fairfax County grant money for The Town’s Community Garden along the W&OD Trail, promoted CHO Food Drives, made replacement tree donations to the Town, published a newsletter twice a year, and much more.
It is time for NEW residents in North East Vienna to join NEVCA and replace active board and committee members who have produced the newsletter twice a year and contribute to our voice in Town Hall in Vienna. Our side of town looks great because neighbors before you cared, participated and joined NEVCA.
The members of the Town Council listen when the president of NEVCA speaks at a Council meeting, and you can be a contributor to our group too. Start by reading our recent newsletter, NEVCA Notes to get a better understanding of all NEVCA does for the community. There are 25 years worth of newsletters to read there too at nevca.org.
If you have time to volunteer and want to give back more to your Vienna community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org right now.