Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letourneau for the [Dulles] District

During the 2006 election season, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing an ad for Maryland Senate candidate Michael Steele, or a rebuttal ("Michael Steele likes puppies, but he LOVES George Bush!"). On Election Day, my friend Martha and I turned up at Briar Woods High School to vote. We knew that a politically active conservative from the Brambletonian would be handing out Republican sample ballots, and Martha decided to have some fun with him. She got a ballot from him, read over it, then looked up at him and asked him why Michael Steele wasn't on the ballot. Without rolling his eyes, he very patiently started to explain that Michael Steele was running in Maryland, not in Virginia, but we laughed and stopped him before he got too far and told him who we were. That was the first time I met Matt Letourneau in person.

Matt announced last night that he is running as the Republican candidate for supervisor in the Dean Dulles District. His district includes most of Loudoun Valley Estates, South Riding, Stone Ridge, the Forests, Belle Terra, and the tiny corner of "suburban" Brambleton (as opposed to us rurals across the street). Until that distant day when Loudoun County Parkway is actually finished, he will have to come all the way over to our Blue Ridge District to get from LVE to South Riding. Hope he fills his tank before he heads out!

I am most certainly not a Republican, and Matt and I disagree on many "big-picture" political issues, but at the local level I think those are less important. He is young, but I can't imagine him behaving as immaturely as I've seen some of the current BOS behave during board meetings. He is a good guy, super-sharp, and he lives his convictions. I believe he would make a great Supervisor, and I wish we still lived in the same district.

I urge you to support his candidacy however you can - money, time, word of mouth, or your vote in November if you live in the Dean Dulles District.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A turd by any other name would smell as, uh, turdly

The rally before the board meeting this evening had about 40 people or so (rough count) - small groups from several different communities (Brambleton, Broadlands, Kirkpatrick Farm, and others). Some of the supervisors tried to dodge us on the way in, but Stevens Miller was there talking to people beforehand.

Longtime Brambleton residents Jason and Becca Cook (owners of the Brambletonian) brought the awesomesauce:

We filed into the boardroom a few minutes before the meeting started, and sat in the back so we could hold up our signs throughout the meeting without blocking anyone's view.

Chairman York started off with giving the other supervisors the opportunity to reconsider the adopted plan, but of course none of the "winners" were interested. Our hopes crushed (for now), the meeting moved on to its main business - naming the districts.

I was surprised when Lori Waters made a motion to rename the Blue Ridge District as "Brambleton Ridge." A stunt, obviously, but I appreciated her point. The motion failed, but Miller voted for it too. Then there was some back-and-forth about naming District 4 "Dean District," for Jennie Dean, a former slave from the area. That motion eventually passed after some discussion from Miller about the political motivation behind the suggestion, which had come from the Democratic candidate for the seat. Miller abstained; Waters opposed.

Then the real comedy started. Waters made a motion to name District 5 "Ashdowne" since it's a chunk of Ashburn and a chunk of Lansdowne (my words, not hers). It passed! Nice joke, just like this entire redistricting process has been so far.

It's not over. There is still a chance to convince one of the five who voted for this travesty to change his or her mind. Keep e-mailing them. There are two more chances for public input: April 4 at 6:30 p.m., and April 18 at 6:30 p.m. - both meetings at the board room in the County Government Center in Leesburg. But don't put your hopes on Buckley or McGimsey. I know Buckley isn't running for re-election, but she could stand to have a little less attitude as she "interacts" with citizens (take the "eye-hate" down a notch... we were just a few people with signs.) And McGimsey may need to tone down the sarcasm if she wants to win "the pink amoeba" this fall.

Oh, and speaking of the shape of the districts... looking at the map, I realized something about our new district. It looks like a cat coming through a cat door.

I know, it's a stretch. But once you see it, you can't unsee it. At least I couldn't. Until I rotated the map:

It's Italy! With a much larger thigh (must be all the HFCS - thanks, ADM). Is it a coincidence that the Brambleton Town Center is getting a second Italian restaurant?? In this version of the map, Brambleton is the bootheel. We will stomp* on our opposition.

*Not in a fascist way, but in a sassy "Misguided Angels"** boots way
**To our new district mates - don't worry, it's not a fetish shop***
***They do sell boots, right? I haven't actually been inside yet

Photoshop fun

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rally on Thursday 3/24

From the Brambleton Community Association:



The County Board of Supervisors has adopted 5 to 4 a redistricting plan that divides Brambleton, where 9,000 residents will be placed in District 8 with Purcellville, Middleburg, Hillsboro, Bluemont and all the rural areas in between. The remaining 1,000 (current and future) residents living around the water towers will be placed in eastern District 4 with Loudoun Valley, South Riding and Stone Ridge. This redistricting plan will divide Brambleton and greatly reduce our community's representation and effectiveness in dealing with our County Government for the next 10 years.

RALLY: Homeowners from Brambleton and homeowners from Kirkpatrick Farms, Broadlands, South Riding, and other HOAs will rally at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24th, outside the Loudoun County Government Center (1 Harrison Street, S.E., Leesburg) in an effort to persuade the Board of Supervisors to reconsider the redistricting plan they adopted and to substitute the HOA Plan 4 (which would keep Brambleton and other communities united.)

We need as many Brambleton residents as possible to join us there. The rally should be about 1/2 hour, no speeches by any of you are expected or required - just bring yourself and any homemade signs. We will have some signs available that say People, Not Politics; For the People, By the People; Please don't split my community!!!; Similar Communities, Similar Districts; Communities First!!!

Let's see if we can have success as we team up with other large Loudoun HOAs. Please send an email to rick.stone@brambleton.org if you plan on attending.

Hope to see you there. Thank you.

Tom Gurganous (Neighbor and BCA Director) and Rick Stone (Neighbor and BCA General Manager)


Background to Rally: Loudoun County is currently redrawing its legislative districts due to the dramatic increase in our County's population demonstrated by the new census numbers. Thus, the County needs to be redistricted to conform to the 2010 census results in time for the 2011 County elections. Earlier, your HOA Board unanimously endorsed the proposed, bi-partisan HOA Plan for County redistricting (a plan developed and supported by the County's largest HOAs) that would have kept all of Brambleton in a single county district (like we are currently) with other suburban communities (like we are currently.)

But on Tuesday, March 15th, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors rejected the HOA Plan by a 5 to 4 vote (with Supervisor York (D, Chairman, At Large), Supervisor Stevens Miller (D, Dulles District-our current Supervisor). Supervisor Lori Waters (R), and Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R) supporting the HOA Plan.)

The plan adopted by 5 members of the Board of Supervisors splits Brambleton, where 9,000 residents will be placed in District 8 with Purcellville, Middleburg, Hillsboro, Bluemont and all the rural areas in between. The remaining 1,000 (current and future) residents living around the water towers will be placed in eastern District 4 with Loudoun Valley, South Riding and Stone Ridge.

Opportunity to Correct Redistricting Plan: The Board of Supervisors will vote on Thursday, March 24th to reconsider the adopted redistricting plan. We need only one vote (or more) to switch to have the Board adopt the HOA Plan which will maintain a united Brambleton community.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our new district....doesn't look like us

After reading on a couple of political blogs about how the gerrymandering of Loudoun went down at the last board meeting (and elsewhere?), I started wondering about the demographics of our new district. Sure, we all know it's predominantly "rural," particularly compared with our acres and acres of townhouses and tiny SFH lots, but what about the people?

Here's how Brambleton looks as of the 2010 Census: (numbers rounded)

58% White
30% Asian
7% Black
7% Hispanic
5% multi-racial

Here's how the new District 8 (Blue Ridge, or whatever) will look:

80% White
11% Asian
6% Black
6% Hispanic
3% multi-racial

(note: this is based on what I can tell is included after the amendments; I didn't include Hamilton because I'm not sure if it is in or out, but I don't think it's going to swing it much differently)

And, just for kicks, here's how our district would have looked under the HOA-4 Plan (again, these are super-rough numbers because I don't have race/ethnic numbers for the precinct splits used in this plan):

61% White
28% Asian
6% Black
6% Hispanic
4% multi-racial

Are Asians disenfranchised under the adopted plan? Thoughts?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

The Irish prince and princess of Brambleton hope you have a lucky day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


From the comments over at Too Conservative:

Blast email going viral in Brambleton right now discussing an effort to organize to defeat Burton. Quite the behind the scenes deal he crafted today with the Loudoun Democrats, who some are saying promised not to run an opponent against him.

C'mon...who's gonna send me that e-mail?? I'm totally out of the political loop. I was sitting here all alone at my laptop, plugging Burton's election history numbers into a spreadsheet.

Be careful what you wish for...

So, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors just approved the Miller 5 Plan for redistricting. Good news...all of Brambleton (except the Overlook neighborhood) is together in one district. Bad news... that district is a western district which includes Middleburg, Round Hill, and Purcellville.

More after I have some time to think about this.