Arlington, VA

By: Armed Forces Cycling Classic

May 28, 2020

The Armed Forces Cycling Classic (AFCC), presented by The Boeing Company, will be offering free AFCC Virtual Ride options this year, as the overall event had to cancel due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual rides will be hosted on Strava and Zwift and a free rebroadcast of the 2019 AFCC will be available thanks to our media partner Monumental Sports Network.

“We hope that we can inspire cyclists to get out and either enjoy the great routes that we have to offer in our Strava Club or join us on our Zwift ride.” said Robert Laybourn, President of Arlington Sports and the Founder and Event Director of the Armed Forces Cycling Classic. “We look forward to seeing everyone in person when we return in 2021.”

Armed Forces Cycling Classic will kick off the weekend with a virtual Challenge Ride on their Strava Club. For those in the Washington D.C. area, three routes have been created to enjoy while riding safe and solo. For anyone outside of the D.C. area, we encourage them to ride, and we ask all participants to post photos to the AFCC Strava Club page or Instagram and tag @af_cyclingclassic to show that we are all riding together.

Saturday, May 30th at 11am, Armed Forces Cycling Classic will host a no-drop ZWIFT ride in partnership with Rapha. Athletes Justin and Cory Williams of Legion of Los Angeles will serve as ride leaders for this exclusive virtual event. AFCC and race announcer Brad Sohner will also host an Instagram Live during the event at instagram.com/af_cyclingclassic.

There will be no fees to participate in any of the Virtual Ride options and we do encourage participants to fundraise for our beneficiary, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). All riders who raise $200 or more will receive a limited edition Team TAPS jersey. Interested riders can set up their fundraising page at http://team.taps.org/cyclingclassic.

“Although a little different this year, we are so grateful to the Armed Forces Cycling Classic for hosting this AFCC Virtual Challenge Ride, and continuing this heartfelt partnership during these uncertain times,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder. What’s so amazing about these virtual challenge rides is that cyclists–from novices to experts–can ride with Team TAPS, honoring the memory of a fallen military hero, while also supporting our mission to care for those grieving the death of a military loved one.”

We are also pleased to be able to share a free rebroadcast of the 2019 Clarendon Cup on Monumental Sports Network as well as a newly produced recap show with women’s and men’s winners, Kendall Ryan of Team Tibco-SVB and Eric Young of Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling Team.

For more information and to register for the AFCC Virtual Challenge Rides, visit www.cyclingclassic.org/virtual.

By: Rosslyn BID

May 13, 2020

Today, the Rosslyn BID announced the launch of Rosslyn Ready, a multifaceted program to support and organize businesses in promoting proper safety measures when people are welcomed back into the neighborhood. Rosslyn Ready will provide customized digital resources and access to industry experts to help Rosslyn businesses create individualized strategies for reentry. In just under a week since launch, 90 businesses and restaurants have signed up to be part of the program.

As a part of Rosslyn Ready, businesses can sign up to join the Ready for Reentry program, where they will receive specific guidance in the form of digital resources and a webinar series where they can ask questions of renowned experts, including:

  • Gensler, who will provide resources and information related to space management for businesses of all types, considering social distancing, workplace utilization, and considerations for new ways to think about workplace cultures, behavior, and communications.
  • Streetsense, who will offer restaurant and retail-specific information related to capital management, operational adjustments (e.g., seating spacing, cleaning, delivery/pickup, etc.), and access to messaging and communications for their customers.
  • Hillmann Consulting, Certified Industrial Hygienist, who will advise our businesses on enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of their office space.
  • Bean, Kinney & Korman, who will help navigate the changing world of employment regulation and other legal considerations.

“The Rosslyn BID’s mission is to support and connect our business community, and Rosslyn Ready is a new facet of that mission,” said Mary-Claire Burick, President of The Rosslyn BID. “With this unique program, we’re giving businesses, restaurants, and retailers access to step-by-step guides and in-demand experts who they might not otherwise be able to work with due to monetary or time constraints.”

“Restaurants have been hard hit, so having the right support as we are coming out the other side of this crisis is critical,” said Matthew Carlin, President of Metropolitan Hospitality Group and owner of Salt and Open Road in Rosslyn. “We are relatively new to Rosslyn and the BID has been an invaluable resource for information and support from day one. We’re excited to fully reopen for our guests in the safest possible way, and the Rosslyn Ready program will help us to reach that goal.”

“Employee experience and well-being are a primary focus at POLITICO, and we know that returning to work will look different, with social distancing and increasingly stringent protocols,” said Traci Schweikert, Chief Talent Officer for Politico. “We’re glad to have this expert knowledge as we navigate the possibilities surrounding our reentry so we can make sure our employees can focus on their jobs and know that their health and well-being come first.”

The Rosslyn BID has launched several programs to assist small businesses and restaurants since Virginia’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order was passed in mid-March. The #RosslynRewards program and Rosslyn restaurant directory benefit both restaurants and consumers by encouraging residents to frequent Rosslyn restaurants to earn gift cards to those establishments. The Rosslyn BID also contributed $100,000 to Arlington County’s Small Business GRANT Program, which will be reserved for Rosslyn companies. Rosslyn small businesses in need of funding can apply for assistance through Arlington County’s website, with the application period closing at midnight on May 17.

For the last several years, Northern Virginia has taken dozens of promising tech start-ups to the Collision conference, granting them access to programming, investors, mentors and networking opportunities. This year, the Collision organizers have moved everything online, so instead of traveling to the conference in Toronto this year, eighteen lucky start-ups from Northern Virginia will get an all-access pass to the Collision from Home tech conference. 

Founders and C-Suite executives from companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix and more are already confirmed to speak. In addition, it is expected that over 1,000 angels, VCs and LPs will be joining the conference from home. 

Each Start-up will get: 

  • 3 All-Access Event Tickets 
  • Access to Mentor Hours, Investor Meetings, Start-up Workshops and Event Networking App 
  • Opportunity to apply for PITCH 
  • 200 hours of conference content 
  • Inclusion in the Start-up Search Profile & Featured Start-up Page on the Event Website 
  • Dedicated Start-up Success Manager 

Criteria for applying: 

  • Start-up must be less than 5 years old 
  • Cannot have raised more than US$3 million in funding 
  • At the time of application, the startup must at a minimum be launched and live with their own working website 
  • Start-up must have a logo available in .eps format 
  • Start-up must have their own unique software product or solutions, or they must be working on their own connected hardware devices 
  • Consultancies, agencies, developers, marketing/advertising agencies, public companies will not be accepted 
  • Start-up already registered for the Event is not eligible to participate as part of a delegate package 

If you meet the above criteria, please apply with the economic development organization that represents the city/county where your business operates. 

Questions can be sent to Marie Spittell ([email protected]

Questions can be sent to Alex Taylor ([email protected]

Questions can be sent to Deborah Roder ([email protected]

Applications close Friday, May 22.

By: Cristina For Arlington

May 8, 2020

The Arlington Education Association Political Action Committee (AEA-PAC) recently announced its endorsement of Cristina Diaz-Torres, a teacher and education policy specialist, in the Arlington Public School Board Democratic Caucus, stating that teachers believe “Cristina’s hands-on experience as a teacher and an education policy specialist, combined with her deep commitment to equity and transparency, is just what we need now to help steer APS through the present crisis.”

The school board caucus was previously scheduled to take place, in-person, on May 7th & 9th. However, when Virginia instituted its recent stay-at-home order, the local Democratic party that manages the process adopted a vote-by-mail alternative.

Diaz-Torres is one of five candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement for two open seats. However, the AEA-PAC declined to endorse other candidates at this point in the process. They said, “Cristina impressed the interview committee with her inspired and energized commitment to schools, and her ability to listen closely to our concerns and respond with honesty and thoughtfulness.”

Cristina Diaz-Torres began her career as a part-time preschool teacher at a Head Start program before later teaching pre-algebra, geometry, and AP Statistics in an English Learning-dense school district. She said, “early on, I understood how teacher quality impacts student success. Students with access to high-quality educators have better outcomes than other students. This is why I support and advocate for rigorous, teacher-driven, job-embedded professional development.”

Diaz-Torres, now an education policy specialist, works with school districts, state education agencies, and education organizations that seek to use data to improve student outcomes and education efficiency. She advocates for an Interest-Based Bargaining, stating: “it’s a process that asks teachers and administrators to work together in the best interests of students, teachers, and the community.” The AEA-PAC agrees, saying the organization believes that “Diaz-Torres’s vision of a collaborative framework for education governance aligns well with AEA’s commitment to gaining our official seat at the table through collective bargaining.”

May 7th was the last day for Arlington Democrats to request a mail-in ballot. Ballots must be received by the Arlington Democratic Party no later than May 30th to be counted. Caucus outcomes will be announced in early June.

By: Terron Sims II

May 4, 2020

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Cory Booker have announced their official endorsements for Arlington Virginia School Board candidate Terron Sims II.

Terron Sims II is a military veteran and former County Board candidate who played an instrumental role in Senator Tim Kaine, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Congressman Don Beyer, and Governor Ralph Northam’s campaigns, where he assisted in standing up their VMF apparatus, served as an official surrogate, edited policy, organized events, and raised funds.

Senator Tim Kaine made the following statement:”I am proud to endorse Terron Sims for Arlington School Board. After serving five years in the Army, Terron returned home to Northern Virginia and since then, he has dedicated so much of his time and energy towards helping his community —  particularly young people. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I count on Terron’s help every year in recommending talented Virginia students to attend our military service academies. As Vice Chair of the DNC’s Veteran and Military Families Council, he has been a consistent advocate for veterans in Virginia, and as an activist, he continues to push for greater equity in education for all children. I have no doubt that Arlington students and parents will benefit from Terron’s experience. I encourage all Arlingtonians to support him in the upcoming election — you can request a mail-in ballot at arlingtondemocrats.org/vote/ ballot.”

Senator Cory Booker recorded a video proclaiming his support of the army veteran and long-standing activist of Arlington County.  Click HERE to watch the full video!

“I am honored to have earned the support of Senators Kaine and Booker, leaders who understand the importance of a quality education system,” says Sims. “Their endorsements will help increase the campaign’s visibility and the platform on which I stand – the future betterment of our youth starts in school.”

In wake of public-health concerns, the Arlington Democratic Committee is encouraging all registered voters to use vote-by-mail ballots.  Voters have until May 7, 2020 to request their ballots and are faced with a May 30th deadline to turn them in.

Sixty-five Arlington nonprofits have received a total of nearly $800,000 in emergency response support from the Arlington Community Foundation COVID-19 Prompt Response Fund. On Giving Tuesday Now and throughout the week of May 4, the Community Foundation hopes Arlington residents and businesses will help replenish the fund to meet continuing urgent, crisis-related needs.

Giving Tuesday Now is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. This is in addition to the regularly scheduled Giving Tuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year. The Community Foundation is asking that everyone in the Arlington community who has a little extra to give provide support to this fund or any other nonprofit that is helping those in crisis.

“The community’s support for our neighbors who are in crisis has been extraordinary, but the need is accelerating as the health crisis and its economic fallout continue,” said Jennifer Owens, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Our response funds are almost depleted, leaving many of the Arlington groups on the front lines of the COVID crisis in urgent need of support.”

The Community Foundation is working hard to determine the best way to help the people who need support the most in our community as funds dwindle. As the crisis evolves, Owens anticipates that the support will shift from direct emergency relief to recovery support. Since the onset of the COVID outbreak in Arlington, Community Foundation staff, board members, and representatives from both the County and other local funders have met daily to assess grant requests from nonprofit organizations on the front lines with clients, patients, and residents impacted by the health crisis and its economic fallout. This includes organizations focused on emergency food needs, housing, health needs for the uninsured or underinsured, and support for hourly workers displaced from their wage-earning positions.

To make a gift to Arlington Community Foundation’s Prompt Response Fund or see a list of the nonprofits supported to date, visit www.arlcf.org

Transportation Security Administration employees at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) have established a free food and toiletries pantry to assist employees in the airport community who have been laid off or seen their work hours and paychecks reduced due to the significant decrease in travelers as a result of the pandemic.

“It’s a one-stop shop for airport employees who are in need,” said Shanita Wylie, a TSA program analyst who assisted the TSA’s employee morale group at DCA coordinate the opening of the pantry. “Just over a year ago federal employees were furloughed and were provided so much support by the entire airport community and now we are here continuing the trend of support and showing them our appreciation.”

“The Pantry,” as it is known, is stocked with food and toiletries. Individuals are asked to bring their own shopping bag to the office where The Pantry is located. The Pantry doorway has a table where individuals approach. They are provided with a shopping list of goods available and they can mark it with which items they would like. Then an off-duty TSA employee will take the list and fill the shopping bag with items on the “shopper’s” list. Items include cereal, evaporated milk, soup, pasta, pasta sauce, Ramen noodles, canned meats, macaroni and cheese, toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, feminine products, diapers, deodorant and many additional items.

Some “shoppers” are exchanging items for which they have a surplus at home. “One woman had several cans of carrots that her children did not like, so she dropped them off here and we were able to give her some rice that she wanted. It worked like a swap,” Wylie explained.

TSA officers are donating cash, products and gift cards to keep the pantry stocked. “We’re paying it forward for those who helped us when we were not receiving paychecks,” Wylie said. The difference, however, is that TSA employees eventually were paid for the time they worked. The airport contractors and airline employees who have been laid off or had their work hours reduced will not be paid.

Kavita Harvin has been a TSA officer for 19 months and volunteers to work at The Pantry for two hours before her security shift begins. She has donated items such as beans, rice, canned goods, bottled water and hygiene products. During her shifts she has seen a continual flow of individuals who come pick up what they need and she noted that one-can meals and dried beans are popular food items.

“We have a lot of food here, but the paper towels, toilet paper and toiletries are what is often hard to find in stores,” said TSA officer Briana Battle. So when her family recently went shopping, she picked up extra paper towels and Tide laundry pods to contribute to The Pantry. “I was a new employee during the government shutdown and saw first-hand how the airport community helped TSA officers” who were not receiving their paychecks during the furlough, which is why she has volunteered her time to staff The Pantry and donate goods.

During the government shutdown, “my husband was the only one who was bringing in a paycheck for our family of four,” recalls Tara Simmons, a 12-year TSA veteran. “This is a good opportunity for me to show my gratitude for when my family was impacted by what was happening.” She observed that the most popular items at The Pantry include deodorant, toilet paper and diapers more so than food items. “Airport workers are essential and they can’t get to the stores right away when they restock shelves” and she sees TSA as being able to help fill that void.

 

The Food Pantry opened on Friday, April 24 and is open weekdays for a few hours each day. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority provides the space for the pantry in Terminal A across the hall from TSA’s Lost and Found Office.

By: Marymount University

May 1, 2020

Marymount University faculty member William Allen, an award-winning fashion designer, is using his creative talents and those of his students to help boost the amount of crucial PPE available at the Arlington Free Clinic.

On Monday afternoon, Allen will deliver about 120 protective “fashion masks” that can be used by patients, volunteers, staff and visitors. Created by students in Marymount’s Fashion Design and Merchandising program as well as Allen himself, these masks are made of breathable cotton and are washable and reversible, and contain a nonwoven polypropylene filter inside.

After intensive research, Allen says the masks are about as protective as surgical masks, which have an 89 percent protective barrier against bacteria and small particles.

Due to health and safety concerns, media members cannot enter the Free Clinic. However, media are welcome to film/photograph outside of the Free Clinic where the delivery will take place.

The Arlington Free Clinic provides free, high-quality health care to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults through the generosity of donors and volunteers.

By: The Dream Project

April 30, 2020

The Dream Project, a nonprofit organization offering educational assistance to immigrants in Northern Virginia through scholarships and mentoring, has established an emergency relief fund to help immigrant students and families who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immigrants — especially those who are undocumented, have DACA or TPS statuses, or are asylum seekers — work in fields that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 job losses. Due to their immigration status, many students the Dream Project works with have been unable to file for unemployment, receive emergency relief checks, utilize paid sick leave, or continue working remotely, leaving them financially vulnerable.

“Because the school closed all of the libraries on campus, I can’t work, which was my primary form of income for my rent and food. My mother can’t help because she works as a barber and won’t be able to return to work until June,” Henry, a Dream Project scholarship recipient said.

That is why the Dream Project established an emergency fund to provide financial assistance to Dream Project scholars and their families, in hope that the assistance will allow immigrant students to continue to focus on their education, rather than financial worries.

Since it was established on March 30, the relief fund has raised more than $60,000 for immigrants in the Northern Virginia community, and as of April 22 has approved 63 requests totaling $38,000.

“Thank you to all our supporters and allies who have donated to the DREAM Project Emergency Relief Fund. These are very hard times for our immigrant community and I appreciate all the support that we’ve received thus far. I know we can always count on our DREAM Project family to help us, to support us, to hold us up, and to protect us. Thank you again for helping my family and I. We don’t have enough words to thank you,” one relief fund recipient said.

The Dream Project Executive Director Lizzette Arias is encouraging additional donors to ensure the relief fund can continue to meet its demand.

“Now more than ever undocumented students are struggling to make ends meet. We need donors and advocates to ensure Dreamers can succeed in life. I urge everyone to look for ways to help this vulnerable population,” she said.

Donations to the Dream Project’s emergency relief fund can be made here: dreamproject-va.org/donate/

By: Ballston BID

April 27, 2020

The Ballston BID is collaborating with local organizations to coordinate free accommodations at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston for essential healthcare workers in the community. Chesapeake Hospitality, which manages the Ballston-based Holiday Inn on North Fairfax, is donating a complimentary block of 50 rooms per day inclusive of cleaning services to provide a safe, comfortable and close-by ‘home base’ to frontline medical staff, their families, and those most vulnerable within the community. First to benefit are Capital Caring Health and Sunrise Senior Living with discussions continuing for MedStar Health and Inova to receive rooms for their medical staff as well.

The Ballston BID and Chesapeake Hospitality recognize that many essential workers in Ballston’s medical community live in cities that are oftentimes over an hour’s drive from Arlington. The Holiday Inn room block was created to lessen the commuting burden and offer a local respite, which allows those working who might be exposed at home to the coronavirus to stay at a safe distance to continue their invaluable work.

“We greatly appreciate our ‘Hospitality heroes’ for supporting our front line caregivers at this time. We are fortunate to serve such a generous community,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, Capital Caring Health’s President and CEO.

Additionally, Chesapeake Hospitality and the BID are also working closely with nonprofit programs Arlington Free Clinic, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Arlington County Department of Human Services-Housing Bureau, to provide comfortable, clean rooms to individuals in need of housing.

“We are in daily awe of the selfless work that our medical community and other essential workers are doing to battle this pandemic. We hope the Holiday Inn accommodations alleviate some of the day-to-day stressors of working a long and dangerous shift,” said Catherine Roper, Chief Marketing Officer of the Ballston BID. “Keeping our communities safe and healthy is of our utmost concern and we will continue to brainstorm programs to keep people safe and healthy both mentally and physically, ” added Tina Leone, Chief Executive Officer of the Ballston BID.

FLARE, an electric shuttle service, has partnered with the Ballston Business Improvement District to collect and deliver food donations for the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) every Friday beginning on April 24, 2020. FLARE is encouraging residents in Arlington to drop off food donations at several locations throughout Ballston starting today.

“We are excited to partner with the Ballston BID to expand our food collection efforts to benefit AFAC. There is an overwhelming need right now for people in our community to receive food donations, and we strongly encourage those who can donate food to find one of our donation boxes in Ballston. We’ll take donations the rest of the way to AFAC,” said FLARE CEO Andres Delgado.

“This partnership could not have come at a better time,” said Catherine Roper, Chief Marketing Officer, Ballston BID. “We are thrilled to work alongside FLARE in providing much-needed resources to AFAC. We have several programs in the works to help our community and it is inspiring to see how so many Ballstonians have stepped up to help those in need as well as the doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers on the front lines of this crisis.”

Food collection boxes can be found at the following Arlington locations: South Block (4150 Wilson Blvd., #172); The Rixey (1008 N. Glebe Rd.); Holiday Inn Arlington (4610 Fairfax Dr.); Altavista Condominium (900 N. Stafford St.) and at the Ballston-MU Metro Station (4230 Fairfax Dr.).

AFAC requests food donations of canned goods, preferably.

FLARE, in partnership with the Crystal City Civic Association and Crystal City Business Improvement District, is also currently collecting and transporting food donations for the Arlington Food Assistance Center in 10 apartment buildings in Crystal City.

FLARE recently worked with the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization to deliver lunch for Virginia Hospital Center staff.

In March, FLARE partnered with the Aurora Heights Civic Association, and delivered over 800 lbs. of food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center.

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