David’s proposal for OVER:
“I am currently one of the three co-chairs of the MVCCA – an association of community associations (including condo associations & homeowner associations). We are the voice of the citizens/residents in the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County, Virginia. To a large degree, our local elected officials heed our position on development & legislative issues. We face continuous pressures by the development community to pursue growth to “improve” the District. Many of the members of the District wish to push back but come up short when trying to convince the County staff and elected officials that growth is always better. The development community focuses on “developing” the precious little land that is still (almost) natural – taking the approach that undeveloped land is wasted land. On the short term, we need tools to help change the argument in our favor and preventing open space from becoming “developed”. Longer term we seek to reverse the mantra that “growth” is better than steady state. And that development can only occur when the design has a lower impact – reduction of energy consumption, more human compatible, reduced environmental impacts like storm water control, and a better choice of materials.
Additionally, this area of Fairfax County is right outside Washington DC. It is populated by a generally educated and wealthy people. However, they don’t fully understand the principal of “Everything is connected to everything, everything’s got to go somewhere” and, as such, they are relatively disassociated from the impacts on the world of their lifestyle. I believe that publications such as Over can help make that association.
I would anticipate that a copy of Over would be made available to the Committee chairs of the MVCCA Planning & Zoning Committee, the Environment & Recreation Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Initially, Over would serve to educate the Committee members, subsequently it could be used as a tool to help defend the Committee’s smart development’ or ‘no development’ position. I would also like to pass a copy to our next elected District Supervisor.
I realize that the impacts I am dealing with are not directly connected to overall population counts, rather we (MVCCA) are trying to minimize the impacts of the existing population on our slice of the world. However, since Americans consume some much more per capita than nearly anyone else in the word, maybe we can start a trend. After all, “everything is connect to everything”.”
There are many ways to participate! Together, we can raise awareness and bring about change.