Fairfax League of Conservation Voters Endorses Penny Gross

Subject: Fairfax League of Conservation Voters Endorses in the Chairman and Board of Supervisors Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2015
Jake Rubenstein, Re-Elect Penny Gross, 412-860-2020
Tania Hossain, Fairfax League of Conservation Voters, FairfaxLCVoters@gmail.com

Fairfax, VA – The Fairfax League of Conservation Voters (FLCV), which works to turn environmental values into local priorities, announces the endorsement of the following candidates in the 2015 Fairfax County Chairman and Board of Supervisors races.

Sharon Bulova for Fairfax County Chairman
John Cook for Braddock District Supervisor
John Foust for Dranesville District Supervisor
Penny Gross for Mason District Supervisor
Cathy Hudgins for Hunter Mill District Supervisor
Dan Storck for Mt. Vernon District Supervisor
Jeff McKay for Lee District Supervisor
Linda Smyth for Providence District Supervisor
John Guevara for Sully District Supervisor

The FLCV endorsement process is a rigorous one and we are confident that our endorsement will foster greater collaboration with our locally elected officials, enhance our ability to continue working in our preferred non-partisan environment, and bring in new perspective to our work as we continue to build relationships with like-minded organizations. The FLCV is appreciative of this year’s endorsement partnership with the Mt. Vernon and Great Falls Chapters of the Virginia Sierra Club and the Friends of Accotink Creek.

The FLCV is an independent political action committee whose mission is to protect, preserve and promote a healthy environment for all citizens of Fairfax County by electing dedicated officials who have demonstrated environmental stewardship. We believe that a conservation ethic is necessary to maintain our quality of life and our economic vitality depends on environmental sustainability. Fairfax has a tradition of environmental excellence, from protecting the Occoquan watershed to preserving Huntley Meadows and our stream valleys. We will support candidates that respect our heritage and preserve our County for future generations. The FLCV works in close alliance with other federal, state and local environmental organizations and its membership reflect citizens who live in all nine magisterial districts of Fairfax County.

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Sierra Club Endorses Penny Gross

Subject: Virginia Sierra Club Endorses Supervisor Penny Gross for Re-Election, Cites “Proven Commitment” to Environment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2015
Jake Rubenstein, Re-Elect Penny Gross, 412-860-2020
Pat Soriano, Virginia Sierra Club, 703-671-3129

Fairfax, VA – The Virginia Sierra Club today announced their endorsement of Penelope A. “Penny” Gross for re-election to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

“Our endorsement decision is based on your proven commitment to the protection of the natural resources of Fairfax County,” Pat Soriano, a Political Chair with the Virginia Sierra Club said in a letter to Supervisor Gross. “We are confident that you will continue to safeguard the quality of our air and water, our lands and our climate.”

In accepting the endorsement, Supervisor Gross said, “I am so proud to again have the support of the Sierra Club of Virginia. Protecting our environment, our lands, and our water have always been a huge priority for me as a member of the Board of Supervisors. I look forward to continuing the great progress we have made together over the next four years.”

In addition to her advocacy for land, air, and water issues as the Board of Supervisors’s Environment Committee Chair, Supervisor Gross has successfully achieved the protection of 200 additional acres of parkland in Mason District and authored the County’s 20 Year Environmental Plan.

U.S. Senator Timothy M. Kaine provided a similarly strong endorsement of the Supervisor’s environmental record, saying earlier this year that, “Penny Gross is a champion on issues that affect our environment and quality of life. Penny has taken a leadership role in mandating that development is done in an ecologically-conscientious way, protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe. Her contributions to our environment have been a great credit not only to Mason District and Fairfax County, but to the entire Commonwealth.”

Penny Gross was first elected to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on November 7, 1995. Supervisor Gross serves as chair of the Board’s Personnel Policy and Reorganization Committee, and the Board’s Environment Committee. She has served as Vice Chairman of the Board since 2009.

Penny Gross Clear Winner in Mason District Primary Race

Falls Church News-Press
June 9, 2015
By Nicholas F. Benton

Facing an aggressive challenge in her bid for a sixth four-year term representing the Mason District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Penelope “Penny” Gross was up for the fight and carried a the winning margin once the polls were closed Tuesday night. With 100 percent reporting, Gross has 56.16 percent of the vote (3,028) to 43.84 for first-time candidate Jessica Swanson.

Gross is now looking to face another challenger, running as an independent, in the November general election….

Falls Church News-Press Endorses Penny Gross

EDITORIAL: PENNY GROSS FOR MASON SUPERVISOR

Falls Church News-Press
MAY 27, 2015 7:24 PM

Coming up in less than two weeks is a Democratic primary election day on Tuesday, June 9, and the only contested race in this neighborhood is raging in adjacent Falls Church in the Mason District of Fairfax County, where veteran Mason District Supervisor Penelope A. “Penny” Gross faces a challenge from a political newcomer, Jessica Swanson.

In this election, the News-Press is in passionately support of the re-election of Penny Gross, one of most deft political leaders we’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

Ms. Gross was first elected to this post in 1995, and is now seeking a sixth four-year term. She is also vice chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors.

Very hard working and diligent, Ms. Gross has spearheaded a major effort to revitalize and revamp the entire Seven Corners neighborhood with an ambitious plan that will bring the area onto the front lines of smart development in the region, including with transportation solutions that have been sorely needed for decades.

We are excited by these plans, as they dovetail and will augment efforts at the region’s wider development prospects from Tysons Corner to Skyline. The Seven Corners plan includes solving the bottleneck problem at the complicated intersection that earned the area the name, Seven Corners. The solution proposed is truly inspired and by all measures will actually work.

When large scale developments of this kind are advanced, there are always those who will find reason to oppose them. It’s in the DNA of the political process for this to happen, and the challenge of good governing is to find ways to mitigate the concerns, to listen and to win over most, except for the hardest core among the dissenters. That is the process that goes on with almost every effort at doing something really new.

The vast majority of citizens who will be impacted by the new Seven Corners plan will be positively effected, notwithstanding the inconveniences that always accompany this scale of development. The benefits will far outweigh the negatives for the overwhelming majority.

So in this case, what has arisen is a primary challenge to Ms. Gross from Jessica Swanson, a bright former vice president of the Ravenwood Park homeowners association who is the manager of teaching and learning strategies for the Washington, D.C. public school system. And, is Ms. Gross wins the June 9 primary, as we hope she will, it has already been announced that she will face a challenger on the general election ballot in November.
Mason District residents have been enormously fortunate to have enjoyed Ms. Gross’ leadership for the past 20 years, and the best is yet to come as she will use her considerable clout on the Fairfax Board to bring the county into a seamless concurrence with the big plans for improvement that the Mason District now has before it.

Ms. Gross is a hands-on leader with the interests of her constituents at heart.

The Washington Post Endorses Penny Gross

The Post’s choices for Northern Virginia
By Editorial Board May 22 at 9:32 PM
The Washington Post

Fairfax County

“In Mason District, the incumbent, Penelope A. Gross, seeks a sixth four-year term. She faces nominal opposition from a neighborhood activist, Jessica Swanson. Ms. Swanson has tried to make hay of crowding and traffic in the area, which includes Annandale and Seven Corners, but her attacks on Ms. Gross, who has a record of deep commitment to the community, are unconvincing.”

To read editorial in entirety, click here

U.S. Senator Kaine praises Penny Gross as “Champion” for Environment

United States Senator Tim Kaine commended Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross for her contributions to making Fairfax County a better place to live. The Senator applauded Supervisor Gross’s environmental efforts, which have included adding more than 200 acres of parkland to Mason District and securing funding to address drainage issues that have threatened local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

Senator Kaine, who previously served as Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, said that “Penny Gross is a champion on issues that affect our environment and quality of life. Penny has taken a leadership role in mandating that development is done in an ecologically-conscientious way, protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe. Her contributions to our environment have been a great credit not only to Mason District and Fairfax County, but to the entire Commonwealth.”

SEIU VIRGINIA 512 ENDORSES SUPERVISOR PENNY GROSS

SUBJECT: SEIU VIRGINIA 512 ENDORSES SUPERVISOR PENNY GROSS, PRAISES HER RECORD OF FIGHTING FOR WORKING FAMILIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2015
Jess Oxley, SEIU Virginia 512, 812-345-4130
Jake Rubenstein, Re-Elect Penny Gross, 412-860-2020

Fairfax, VA – The hard working men and women of SEIU Virginia 512 are proud to announce our endorsement of Supervisor Penny Gross in her re-election campaign in the June 9 Democratic primary.

“Supervisor Gross has a long track record of fighting for working families in Mason District,” SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder said. “During this year’s budget debate, she advocated effectively to save mental health services and programs that help children at risk of abuse and neglect. Furthermore, Supervisor Gross led the fight to ensure the dedicated employees who provide quality public services receive a living wage and are able to focus on serving the families of Mason District.”

“Now more than ever, during these difficult budget years, we need Supervisor Gross’s experience and seniority to keep fighting for a better life for all working families,” Broder said.

Speaking about the endorsement, Supervisor Gross said: “I am honored to have the support of the hard working men and women of SEIU Virginia 512. I am consistently amazed by the high level of quality service our county employees provide for Fairfax day in and day out. I am thankful for their endorsement and their commitment to join us in the field as we work together to earn the Democratic nomination on June 9th.”

SEIU Virginia 512 members are Fairfax County general employees and deputy sheriffs, Loudoun County general employees and home care providers across the Commonwealth. Here in Fairfax County, we serve the public through our roles as librarians, mental health professionals, parks staff, nurses, engineers, fire marshals and more. Alongside allies and community leaders, we advocate to ensure the county makes smart investments in our local neighborhoods and families.

SEIU Virginia 512 has an effective track record in making the difference for endorsed candidates in competitive elections, from Chairman Sharon Bulova’s 2009 special election victory to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s successful 2013 campaign. Members will be knocking doors and making phone calls on behalf of Supervisor Gross’s campaign.

For more information on SEIU Virginia 512 members’ efforts to deliver quality services to Virginia families, while advocating for quality jobs for all, visit www.seiuva512.org

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Governor McAuliffe endorses Supervisor Penny Gross

SUBJECT: Governor Terry McAuliffe endorses Supervisor Penny Gross for Re-Election
For Immediate Release
March 14, 2015
Contact: Jake Rubenstein, 412-860-2020

Governor Terry McAuliffe today endorsed Penelope A. “Penny” Gross for re-election as Mason District Supervisor, citing her results-oriented, pragmatic, common-sense approach to governing.

Supervisor Gross is seeking the Democratic nomination for a sixth term as Mason District’s representative to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The primary election will be held on June 9, 2015.

“I am proud to endorse Penny Gross for re-election as Fairfax County’s Mason District Supervisor. She shares my belief in a pragmatic, common-sense approach to governing – and she gets results, ” Governor McAuliffe said. “Penny’s leadership is what we need on the local level as we continue to diversify and strengthen Virginia’s economy.”

Upon learning of the Governor’s endorsement, Supervisor Gross said, “I am humbled to have the support of Governor Terry McAuliffe. I, like many Virginians, am consistently inspired by the Governor’s unmatched work ethic and unwavering focus on achieving positive results for the Commonwealth. It is truly an honor to have the support of such an outstanding leader.”

Governor McAuliffe joins a long list of elected officials across Fairfax County and the Commonwealth who who have endorsed Supervisor Gross for re-election:

Honorable Ralph S. Northam, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Honorable Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia
Honorable Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly, US House of Representatives
Honorable Donald S. Beyer, Jr., US House of Representatives
Honorable Sharon S. Bulova, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Honorable Richard L. Saslaw, Virginia State Senate Minority Leader
Honorable David W. Marsden, Virginia State Senate
Honorable Vivian E. Watts, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Kaye Kory, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Alfonso H. Lopez, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Marcus B. Simon, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Stacey A. Kincaid, Fairfax County Sheriff
Honorable Sandy Evans, Mason District School Board Member
Honorable Adam P. Ebbin, Virginia State Senate
Honorable Mark D. Sickles. Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable David L. Bulova, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Eileen Filler-Corn, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Mark L. Keam, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Kathleen J. Murphy, Virginia House of Delegates
Honorable Katherine K. Hanley, former Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia
George Burke, Chairman, 11th Congressional District Democratic Committee Suchada (Sue) Langley, Chairman, Fairfax County Democratic Committee
Rachel Rifkind, Chairman, Mason District Democratic Committee
Honorable George Lamb, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
Justin E. Fairfax, former Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia

Penny Gross was first elected to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on November 7, 1995. Supervisor Gross serves as chair of the Board’s Personnel Policy and Reorganization Committee, and the Board’s Environment Committee. She has served as Vice Chairman of the Board since 2009.

“Supervisor Gross has amassed a formidable campaign….”

Mason District’s Penny Gross Gets Primary Challenge for Re-Election
Falls Church News-Press

By Nicholas F. Benton
April 1, 2015

For the first time since she was first elected in 1995 to her post as the Mason District’s representative on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Penelope A. “Penny” Gross is facing a Democratic primary challenge this spring. A much younger community activist, Jessica Swanson, has filed to oppose Gross in what will be a June 9 primary election, and with the passing of the filing deadline last week, it has been established that she will be standing alone to challenge Gross.

Gross, whose Mason District butts up to the City of Falls Church on its southeastern side, has always been keen to challenges from a Republican opponent in her five previous campaigns for election to the powerful job. Although she won the open seat for the first time by a margin of only 327 votes, she’s held the seat by margins of almost two to one every time since.

She is known for her pragmatic, results-oriented style and claims a long list of achievements improving with infrastructure, parkland and school construction gains the lives of the 116,000 residents of her district in the last 20 years. “I have done an awful lot to clean up and revitalize” the Mason District, she said in a recent interview with the News-Press.

“Campaigning can be fun, but governance is hard, involving a lot of serious issues. Experience matters when you have to weigh all sides and make tough decisions,” she said, contrasting herself to Swanson, although she insists she is “taking the challenge seriously.”

Well she should, observers point out, because her current primary race bears a certain spooky similarity to another primary challenge that occurred just six years ago in 2009, when State Del. Bob Hull, an entrenched Democratic veteran in the 38th State Delegate district – a district that is a very near overlay of the boundaries of the Mason District – was caught off guard when then Fairfax County School Board member Kaye Kory challenged him in a primary and Kory won.

By the time Hull fully caught onto what was happening, he was behind the eight-ball and lost the primary. Ironically, just as in Gross’ situation now, there was no way a Republican could unseat him, and he was not expecting a challenge from his left flank, so to speak.

By contrast this time, however, Supervisor Gross has amassed a formidable campaign, including compiling lists of about 50 members of the Mason District Democratic Committee and 25 regional Democratic elected officials who are on the record endorsing her reelection. They are all listed on her website.

“I am very competitive and I don’t like to lose,” she said, talking about her primary challenge. “I will work as hard as I have to.”

But with her strongest suit being her effective governance, she said, “I have always been a work horse, not a show horse.”

To readers of the News-Press, Gross is a fixture, penning a weekly “A Penny for Your Thoughts” column every week since she first took on the opportunity in the summer of 1997.

Gross accepted the offer of a weekly column as the News-Press was beginning to expand its distribution into Fairfax County, especially the areas that consider themselves part of the greater Falls Church postal district.

Unlike many elected officials with columns in local media, however, Gross has taken great pride in writing every one of her columns herself. She has also complied with the News-Press’ wishes to make her columns informational and only minimally politically partisan.

As a result, the columns have added up to become an historical chronicle of the developments in the Mason District that she’s played a major role in determining.

Her job is effectively as a mayor of a city of 116,000, as the way Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors works, the wider body generally defers to the local supervisors for important developments in each respective district. But Gross’ leadership on the county board is reflected in the board’s selection of her as its vice-chairman.

The Mason District “has done well” with absorbing the growing diversity in its population, including the aging of seniors and the welcoming of racial and ethnic minorities, especially Korean Americans. Her success lies in her determination that “one size does not fit all,” but a lot of attention to special circumstances needs to be given.

Among the achievements she touts is the renovation and reopening last month of the Woodrow Wilson Library, and the opening last fall of the first new elementary school in 40 years, the Bailey’s Upper Elementary for the Arts and Sciences, built to an urban-vertical design. In all, Gross has overseen the construction of three new schools and the renovation of all three public libraries in her district, along with a new fire station and an addition of 200 acres of parkland, with new walkways and sidewalks installed across the district and bus shelters and a bus hub at Seven Corners.
Overall, she’s said, the Mason District has shifted from a suburban area to “a dynamic and cosmopolitan community” with “growth in ethnic, social and economic diversity.”

As for Swanson, she says “it’s time for new leadership” in the district. She says on her website, “Despite Fairfax County’s strong reputation, Mason District has missed out on opportunities to fully support our schools and manage development in a thoughtful, user-friendly and environmentally conscious way…many in the Mason District have told me they feel they don’t have a supervisor who listens and responds to their feedback. It’s not about the number of town halls our supervisor holds, it’s about taking input and developing a better approach.”

She is the Mason District appointee to the Fairfax County School Board’s Human Relations Advisory Committee and serves on the county Democrats’ Education Committee. From 2010-2014, she was the vice-president of the Ravenswood Park Civic Association.

Mason Democrats show Penny Gross overwhelming support

SUBJECT: Supervisor Penny Gross endorsed by over 50 Mason District Democratic Committee members
For Immediate Release
March 19, 2015
Contact: Jake Rubenstein, 412-860-2020

Supervisor Penelope A. “Penny” Gross announced today that she has received endorsements from over 50 members of the Mason District Democratic Committee (MDDC). The MDDC endorsers come from 21 different precincts of Mason District and all of Mason District’s state legislative districts. The MDDC is one of nine magisterial district committees that comprise the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. Supervisor Gross is seeking the Democratic nomination for her sixth term as Mason District Supervisor. The primary election will be held June 9, 2015.

“It is very gratifying to be supported by so many friends, neighbors, and fellow Mason Democrats,” Supervisor Gross said of the endorsements. “These are the volunteers, canvassers, phone bankers, and precinct captains that have worked to elect Democrats year after year. I am humbled not only by their support, but their offers to volunteer and work on my campaign. It is an honor to have each and every one of them on my team.”

The following are the Mason District Democratic Committee members who have endorsed Supervisor Gross:

  • Daniel Aminoff, Bren Mar
  • Judith and Paul Anderson, Camelot
  • Rafael Arancibia, Masonville
  • Bettie Baca, Saint Albans
  • Sean Barnett, Hummer
  • Esther Belenker, Edsall
  • Nazir Bhagat, Belvedere
  • Cynthia Bhatnagar, Walnut Hill
  • Jeanne and Robert Brockway, Columbia
  • Mike Burke-Kirby, Walnut Hill
  • George and Sharon Burke, Barcroft
  • John and Sue Clark, Masonville
  • Miriam Coffman, Hummer
  • George Cook, Lincolnia
  • Mark Deal, Columbia
  • Toa Do, Bristow
  • Jim and Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, Bren Mar
  • Ayman Eldarwish, Bailey’s
  • Justin Fairfax, Camelot
  • Judith Fogel, Hummer
  • Marcia Green, Skyline
  • Nancy D. Hall, Brook Hill
  • Rick Healy, Camelot
  • Sue Hoffman, Parklawn
  • Barbara Hyde, Weyanoke
  • Carlton Iddings, Hummer
  • Ron Kendall, Lincolnia
  • Dave Lawhead, Ridgelea
  • Carol Leftwich, Lincolnia
  • Brian and Laurie Lindberg, Saint Albans
  • Pamela McCoach, Skyline
  • Denise Meister, Westlawn
  • Fran Millhouser, Barcoft
  • Penny Pickett, Ridgelea
  • Jan Reitman, Poe
  • Rachel Rifkind, Columbia
  • Alex Rodriguez, Saint Albans
  • Nelly Samaniego, Belvedere
  • Eleanor Saslaw, Edsall
  • Ronaele Schrager, Holmes
  • Elizabeth Shortt, Masonville
  • Ann Sigafoos, Sleepy Hollow
  • Manuel Uriarte, Bren Mar
  • Bruce Waxman, Ridgelea
  • Glen White, Columbia
  • Judy and Jerry White, Edsall
  • Norma Jean Young, Masonville

Supervisor Gross has been endorsed for the Democratic nomination by Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph S. Northam, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova, United States Congressmen Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly and Donald S. Beyer, Virginia Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, Senators David W. Marsden and Adam P. Ebbin, as well as Mason District’s entire delegation to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Penny Gross was first elected to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on November 7, 1995. She has served as the Board’s Vice Chairman since 2009.