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News
The Bull Run Warrior Retreat set to expand its Haymarket campus

Near the base of the Bull Run Mountain, a favorite retreat for wounded warriors is expanding.

A $300,000 donation from the Pen Fed Foundation will allow the charity “Serve Our Willing Warriors” to build a second, cottage-style home on the 37-acre property in Haymarket called the Bull Run Warrior Retreat.

Construction on the new structure will begin next month and should be complete by next summer.

It will sit next to a massive 11,000 square foot, single family home where each week a wounded military serviceman or woman, their families, or friends, come to stay or escape from the doldrums of a life in the recovery wards at Walter Reed or Fort Belvoir hospitals.

The new home will accommodate up to 10 people and is one of three new cottages planned on the property. The charity was founded in 2012 and is now feeling growing pains, and is in desperate need of people to volunteer to care for those suffering from PTSD, and from the loss of limbs.

“This house does not drive itself. I need people to cut grass. I need people to volunteer. I need people to be ambassadors,” said Serve Our Willing Warriors Executive Director Jeffery Sapp.

Serve Our Willing Warriors Executive Director Jeffery Sapp speaks with business and government leaders about the work done by the charity.

Many suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts

The charity invited business owners, and government employees for the tour of the facility on Nov. 2. They got an earful about what the organization does to serve the military members on and their families who come here.

All combat veterans, many suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts. Others have returned home to find their marriages on the edge of ruin and then decided to come to the retreat.

“When they come here that gives them a chance to do normal things,” said Sapp.

Those ordinary things can be something as simple as cooking a meal or eat together as a family. Spend time outdoors on a walking path, or sit together on a leather sectional sofa to watch a movie.

“We can get them on to their lives, and to the lives, they want to live and stop thinking dark thoughts, and we do it in six days,” added Sapp, who credited the retreat for helping to save the marriages of at least eight service members on their spouses.

A view of one of the master bedrooms in the warrior retreat.

A massive retreat 

The warriors check on Friday morning, where they find a freshly clean and sterilized house fit for any family. There’s a large kitchen and dining area upstairs, complete with master bedrooms, and smaller children rooms.

The downstairs has a library, game room, and family room complete with entertainment center and a small kitchen. The warrior’s favorite dessert is waiting for them when they arrive, and an executive chef comes on Sunday nights to prepare a culinary delight for the visiting family.

For weeks leading up to the visit, the charity’s staff work with their soon-to-be guests to find out about their interests, and about what activities they want to do when they arrive. For many, it’s to sit and enjoy peace quietly.

The bathrooms are all handicapped accessible, and the showers large. Outdoors, the large firepit, patio, and deck are all surrounded by woodland views and Bull Run Mountain.

A view of the warrior retreat.

‘It wasn’t as easy as that’

It takes about 20 people to run the warrior retreat, to serve the current guests, and on Thursdays prepare the house for new visitors. There’s a waiting list of about 100 people who wish to someday visit the retreat.

All visitors must be cleared by their doctor to leave Walter Reed or Fort Belvoir to make the trip to Haymarket. This usually means having the right medications prepared, and any necessary medical equipment packed and ready to go with them.

Over the years, the center’s staff had to learn who was eligible to visit the retreat and who wasn’t. As it turns out, federal regulations allow a combat wounded veteran can accept nearly any form of charity, but it’s not the same for those who weren’t injured in war.

“When we started, we had the mentality that “if you build it they will come.” It wasn’t as easy as that,” said Larry Zillox, who sits on the charity’s Board of Directors.

Serve Our Willing Warriors, like any other business or organization, had to put in years to build relationships with the military, and medical providers to convince them of the healing powers of the retreat. Today, those visitors are the greatest advertising for the retreat.

“When they get back to the hospital, they’re telling everyone about us,’ said Sapp.

The charity was founded in 2006 over the course of 40 days when members began visiting wounded warriors in hospitals with the hopes of brightening their days. After 40 days, they kept doing it.

The warrior retreat is valued at nearly $1 million and was purchased by the charity in 2013. More than $1.2 million in donated materials and labor helped to turn the dilapidated, 40-year-old home that today, really is a shining at the base of a mountain.

The patio of the warrior retreat.

News
A 1-2 punch for Haymarket: Water and gas lines ruptured

HAYMARKET — It all started about 10 p.m. Sunday with a ruptured water main.

“It looked like a geyser,” said Haymarket Police Chief Kevin Lands.

The water main break shut off water to homes and businesses at the center of town, at the intersection of Washington and Jefferson streets in Haymarket.

A crew from the Prince William Service Authority arrived about 11 p.m. Sunday to start repairs, according to Lands.

But then, as water crews were making repairs they struck a gas line.

“It’s started whistling, and everybody took off running,” said Lands. “It whistled like that for about five hours.”

Crews from Columbia Gas were called into fix the new leak, and they were able to shut off the leaking gas line about 7:30 a.m. Monday, said Lands.

Now crews are working to repair both the water and gas lines. A total of 134 homes and businesses are affected by the utility line breaks.

Lands told us that every structure south of the intersection of Jefferson Street and Washington Street is without water and natural gas.

It’s been a messy morning in Haymarket.

Town Police Chief Kevin Lanes told us a crew from the Prince Willia Service Authority was working to fix a water line when it accidentally struck a gas main. Businesses along Washington Street, between the intersection of Jefferson Street and Route 15 are also without service.

The gas company is now going house to house, and business to business to shut off the gas meters at the affected properties. Afterward, they can go and complete the gas line repairs.

Afterward, the representatives from the gas company must go back to the affected homes and businesses to re-light the pilot lights at the affected properties.

The repair process could last into the afternoon, and the affected intersection will be closed all day long.

“It could be three or four o’clock before all this is fixed,” said Lands.

Updated

The water and gas main line repair is complete. 

 

News
Once focus of AMBER Alert, girl, 16 missing again

The teenage girl at the center of an AMBER Alert just three weeks ago is missing again.

Police tell us Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz left her home in the 14600 block of Endsley Turn in Dale City at 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Sinahi is believed to be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered,” police stated in an email.

The statement did not detail why Aguilar-Cruz left the house.

On October 15, Virginia State Police issued an alert notifying state residents to be on the lookout for Aguilar-Cruz, noting that she was in “extreme danger” after she was allegedly abducted at a house party on Danville Road in Dale City.

The girl and her alleged abductor were found later that day by police sitting on a bench at Birchdale Park in Dale City. Both provided false names to police when questioned.

Officers returned the girl to her home and charged 21-year-old Roberta Antoni Merando-Segovia with abduction and gang participation.

Police say he kidnapped Aguilar-Cruz at the party on Danville Road, and say he is a member of the MS-13 street gang.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017

Police tell us Aguilar-Cruz was located in the region unharmed. 

November is American Diabetes Management Month

November is American Diabetes Management month and with more than 30 million people living with diabetes in the United States, it’s no wonder. The American Diabetes Association estimates at least seven million of those people, don’t even realize they’re living the disease. Health organizations, and those working within the field, say the disease has reached epidemic portions. It’s something the Sentara Diabetes Management Program team sees every day.

“The numbers are increasing, both type 1 and 2 are on the rise,” says Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Robyn Johanson, “It is a chronic, lifelong illness that really requires the person to learn the skills to self-manage their diabetes. And with that, they need a lot of ongoing support and the necessary tools to do that successfully.” Diabetes can be confusing to understand. When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin.  Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allows you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work.

“Diabetes is a problem with your body using the sugar we need for energy, so someone with type 1 diabetes is unable to get that sugar out of their blood. People with type 2, have a bit more difficulty doing so, because of a hormone called insulin. So type 1 needs to take insulin, because their body doesn’t make any. Whereas type 2 diabetes, they tend to have trouble using that insulin. So clinically, it’s a lifelong management of controlling medicine, physical activity, healthy eating and monitoring blood sugar, as well,” explains Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Abbie Chesterson.

For more than 30 years, the team at the Sentara Diabetes Management Program has been helping patients understand and learn to live with their disease. “Our patients come to us through physician referrals. We are a group of nurses, dietitians and community health workers who follow a standard set of blood sugar targets for AmericanDiabetes Educators,” explains Team Coordinator Genevieve Thompson. (more…)


Join the fight to stop county supervisors from approving the Kline Project

Residents of Prince William County,

Please join the fight to stop the Prince William County Board of Supervisors from approving another development that will add 392 housing units, an estimated 15,000+ daily trips, and 255 children to already overcrowded classrooms.

The Kline Project at the corner of Prince William Parkway and Liberia will be another retail strip with a huge storage unit facility, gas station, and drive-thru; increasing school overcrowding, urban sprawl, and traffic congestion.

Please visit citizensallianceofprincewilliam.org, sign the petition change.org/p/12113980 and help spread the word through Facebook.com/CitizensAlliancePW to your neighbors and social media contacts.

Attend the Planning Commission Public Hearing, 15 November, 7 p.m., Board Chambers, James J. McCoart Administration Building, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Va., 22192

It’s time for citizens to remind the County Supervisors we are their priority. Children and families first!

News
Masked men rob Coverstone 7-Eleven

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery – On November 3 at 2:11AM, officers responded to the 7-11 located at 10740 Coverstone Dr in Manassas (20109) to investigate an alarm activation. The investigation revealed two masked men entered the business and approached the counter. One of the men jumped over the counter and grabbed multiple packs of cigarettes while the other suspect located an employee in one of the isles. During the encounter, the second suspect brandished a handgun toward the employee and forced him back to the register to obtain money. The suspects took cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing on foot. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the men who were not located.  

Suspect Descriptions:

Black male, between 20 & 25 years of age, 5’5”, 140lbs with brown eyes

Last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, black Jordan shoes with silver trim, white socks and a black mask

Black male, between 20 & 25 years of age, 5’10”, 170lbs

Last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants, white Converse shoes and a clown mask

News
‘North Woodbridge’ has two things going for it: Route 1 widening, and Rivergate

When it comes to the old and dilapidated part of town, IDI is playing the long game.

The inside-the-beltway developer known for its properties in Washington and Arlington is about to begin renting apartments at its new Rivergate complex on the Occoquan River in Woodbridge.

The new building is the first of two and will have 402 “first class” rental units with amenities like multi-level garages so residents won’t’ have to use an elevator to get from their car to their living room.

There;s a rooftop terrace, and there’s a great view of the Occoquan from just about anywhere in the building. It’s the only waterfront apartment complex between Woodbridge and Alexandria.

“It’s the kind of community that’s being built in Arlington, and it’s about now bringing that level of luxury to Prince William County,” said IDI Managing Director Carlos Cecchi.

IDI plans to start renting units in mid-December between $1,650 and $2,800 per month. Cecchi expects to rent out 18 to 20 units per month.

And once they’re all rented, the company will be allowed to begin construction of a neighboring building on the 14-acre site on Marina Way, across the Occoquan Harbour Marina: a new condominium building with 318 units. The aim to attract residents who want to purchase riverfront views, and have access to multiple nearby transit amenities like Virginia Railway Express, commuter bus service on the Interstate 95 E-ZPass Express Lanes, and, possibly someday, a commuter ferry.

But the area surrounding Rivergate is far from luxurious. There’s a concrete plant on the neighboring plot of land, and the nearby shopping centers are described as “brown spots” that were once home to retailers like K-Mart, Ames, and now defunct discount retailers Ames and Zayre.

But there are changes afoot in this part of town affectionately referred to by local politicians as “North Woodbridge.”

Route 1 — the area’s second-busiest corridor next to I-95 — is being widened to six lanes. The $168 million project is slated to be completed in Fall 2019, and Cecchi says it will pave the way for more development now that land developers who had been on the fence before the road widening project began.

“The right-of-way acquisition process affected other landowners who had questions about what they could do with the sites,” said Cecchi. “But now the widening is underway, it really sets the stage with for the owners of other [properties] to come forward with other redevelopment plans.”

Overall, Rivergate has been a long time coming. IDI first acquired the site in 2005 before the Great Recession.

The company had planned to build two 10-story highrises with more than 550 units in each.

The company scaled back its plans to build five-story buildings and won approval from the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to build in October 2014.

News
Woman, 37, arrested for attempted malicious wounding with a vehicle

From Prince William County police:

Attempted Malicious Wounding – On October 31 at 8:54 p.m., officers responded to the Willowbrook community pool located at 1375 Walnut St in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate an assault.

The investigation revealed the victim, a 26-year-old man, and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused slapped the victim in the face then got into her vehicle and attempted to run the victim over. The parties eventually separated and the police were contacted. Minor injuries were reported by the victim.

(more…)

News
Breakfast Links: We had the cleanest air in recent memory this summer

Here’s a look at what’s making news this morning around the region… 

Despite a couple of spikes in Northern Virginia, this past summer’s air was among the healthiest in memory across the commonwealth. [Insidenova.com].

The rate of babies born prematurely in Virginia has reached its highest point in seven years, but researchers say the reason remains a mystery. [Free Lance-Star]

The water tower that looms 78 feet above Prince William Parkway near Potomac Mills mall is undercover, at least for now. [Prince William Times]

 

News
Spend the holidays in the City of Manassas

During the holidays, the Historic Downtown of the City of Manassas becomes an iconic winter wonderland full of charm and excitement. As visitors wander down Center Street, the buildings are outlined in twinkling lights, shop windows are filled with homemade Gingerbread houses and one can smell the season in the air.

This holiday season; spend some time in Downtown Manassas. December 1 at 5:15 p.m., Santa Lights Manassas. Santa will arrive by VRE train to light the City. There will be hayrides, ice-skating, holiday performances and fun for the whole family.

December 2 brings the 72 nd Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. More than 100 floats, dancers, marching bands and assorted characters will travel along Center Street, heralding in the season.

Visitors are invited to take in the holiday charm with free horse-drawn carriage rides on Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Shopping and dining in the Historic Downtown is sure to bring on the holiday cheer, especially with the new Secret Santa registry available in downtown stores. And, if there’s someone on the list who is hard to buy for, why not get them a ManassasOpoly game.

For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, visit visitmanassas.org. Hope to see you around the City of Manassas.

 


A final, permanent resting place for Prince William’s unclaimed dead

There’s little information about their lives, but in death, five Prince William County residents were treated to a heroes’ funeral with an honor guard salute, two women singing hymns, two chaplains sharing prayers and even the Prince William County Sheriff taking time to speak.

It’s part of the county’s annual memorial service for the unclaimed. Thursday morning at Woodbine Cemetery in Manassas, a small group gathered.

A Memorial Service for Prince William County’s Unclaimed Citizens is a project that started last year. The program provides a final, permanent resting place for Prince William’s unclaimed dead. But, organizers say that term may be misleading. These are Prince William County residents who may not have been able to afford a funeral, outlived family members or were possibly homeless. Even though there are a number of possible, different scenarios, the county wanted to help provide, what Sheriff Glendell Hill calls, “a noble burial.”

This year, five people were laid to rest at Woodbine Cemetery: Willie Mae Miller, Edwin LyneConnor, Edwin Fay Gray, Robert E. Gross and Earl Miller. Sheriff Hill says during the course of investigating Earl Miller’s death, they found the ashes of his mother, Willie Mae Miller. Thursday’s service ensured the two were buried together.

Less than two dozen people gathered for the service. Among those, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s chaplain and decedent affair coordinator, Cindy Hardy. “I wanted to go and honor the lives that we may have worked with when they were alive,” she shares. In her role as chaplain, she often helps people through tough times. Thursday was no different when she was seated next to a friend of one of the deceased, “He was able to have a proper goodbye. He said he felt connected and glad that he was able to have these final moments with him and say a proper goodbye.” (more…)

News
‘My goal is to sponsor legislation that builds on the successes of the last several years, with a laser focus on job creation, economic development, transportation, education, and military veterans’

Delegate Rich Anderson has represented the 51st House District (Prince William County) in the Virginia General Assembly since 2010. He is a retired 30-year Air Force colonel who now co-chairs the joint House-Senate Military and Veterans Caucus, the central clearinghouse for bills that affect veterans.

Two years ago, Andeson ran unopposed. In 2013, Anderson won re-election by seven points with 53% of the vote.

This year marks the first time Anderson’s Democratic opponent, Hala Ayala, is not only a female but the local chapter presdient of the National Organization of Women.

This election season, we’re asked candidates who wish to reach our readers a “why you should vote for me” email by Oct. 27, 2017. 

Anderson sent us this email: 

Over the course of our combined 51 years of military service, my wife Ruth and I wore the Air Force uniform and worked in partnership during our two lifetimes of service. After retiring from military service, we chose to continue our partnership, but this time in public service—she as the Occoquan District Supervisor on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and me as the 51st House District Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly.

Service is the lifetime thread that ties Ruth and I to one other—and to the community, we love to serve. With that commitment to our fellow citizens, I am again a candidate for reelection in Virginia’s 51st House District.

As a native and life-long Virginian, I graduated from Virginia Tech and have been a resident of Prince William County for almost two decades. First elected in 2009, I have served in the General Assembly for eight years (four terms) and have accumulated the required seniority that permits me to pass consequential legislation on behalf of our community and Commonwealth. This year, I had one of the highest success rates in the House in passing legislation that focused on job creation, economic development, transportation, education, public safety, and military veterans. (more…)

News
Police seek information on two suspects in attempted robbery

From Prince William County police:

Attempted Strong-Armed Robbery – On October 30 at 8:35 p.m., officers responded to the 15700 block of Silent Tree Pl in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a robbery. The investigation revealed the victim, a 43-year-old man, was delivering a pizza to a home in the above area.

The residents of the home informed the victim they did not place the order. When the victim returned to his vehicle, he was approached by two unknown men who then attempted to rob him. During the encounter, the men implied they were armed and demanded the victim’s property. No weapon was seen. When the victim refused to comply, the suspects fled on foot. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the two suspects who were not located. (more…)

News
A ticket bought in Woodbridge wins $10 million prize for Maryland man

From Virginia Lottery News:

“I just screamed in my car with all the windows up!”

That’s how Woody Simmons said he reacted to discovering he’d won the $10 million top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Extreme Millions game.

It happened in the parking lot of Optimax Service Center, 13505 Minnieville Road in Woodbridge. Mr. Simmons, who works for the Postal Service, said he often shops there. He happened to see a sign about the new Scratcher game while he was in the store.

“I thought, ‘Well, let me take a chance,’” the Hyattsville, Maryland, man said. (more…)

News
Suspect in Haymarket armed robbery arrested

From Prince William County police:

Armed Robbery *ARREST – On November 1, the suspect, identified as Kenneth Lewis HARRIS, who was wanted in connection to an armed robbery incident which occurred in the area of Mountain Rd and Loudoun Dr in Haymarket on October 30, turned himself into authorities at the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center without incident.

Arrested on November 1:

Kenneth Lewis HARRIS, 48, of the 100 block of Clubhouse Dr in Leesburg (more…)

News
Breakfast Links: Republicans inject cash into Marhsall-Roem race

Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) has received a late-stage infusion of cash from Virginia Republican leaders, which one expert said suggests the state party is worried about losing the seat he has held for nearly 26 years. [Washington Post]

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, made a surprise visit to a Manassas favorite Sunday morning after dropping off their son for a flight at Manassas Regional Airport. [Prince William Times]

As a historic Alexandria church starts the long process of relocating a pair of plaques honoring two of its legendary parishioners — George Washington and Robert E. Lee — Corey Stewart is raising a ruckus about what he dubs the latest instance of “rampant political correctness. [Insidenova.com]

 

 


FREE class at Manassas Park Community Center offers money-saving tips, saving strategies

When you hear the term financial planning, you probably roll your eyes and think to yourself that only rich people need to worry about financial planning. While it is true that certain financial planning topics certainly are for the rich (think Estate Tax), when you really think about it, don’t we all need to manage our money.

Because it is, after all, our money.

So, how can the average person work out a system to manage his or her money? Here at the Manassas Park Community Center, we offer FREE financial classes taught by financial professionals from the Virginia Cooperative Extension. These experts offer practical advice to area residents of all professional and economic levels to learn strategies to manage their money and to make their money work for them!

The Virginia Cooperative Extension is the cooperation of local, state, and federal governments in partnership with tens of thousands of citizens to help strengthen families and to help protect the environment. Based on research conducted at Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, these partnerships help everyday citizens in many areas of their lives, including financial planning and gardening.

Concepts of financial planning can be complex, so the financial planning experts from the Virginia Cooperative Extension suggest starting small and taking baby steps toward your goal. A good way to begin to manage your money is to create a budget for yourself. You can find several apps online to help you, or you can do it the old-fashioned way. Get a blank sheet of paper. Write the word budget across the top of that blank sheet of paper. During the course of a week, write everything, yes EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE you spend money: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, breakfast at the deli, gas, tolls, parking fees, lunch, rent, car payments, insurance payments, the list is endless! (more…)

News
13 things to do this Halloween to prepare winter’s horror

Some winters in the Washington area can be scary, and some of them downright horrifying.

Remember 2010? Snomageddon? Our region was buried underneath as much as 32 inches of snow. There even was more in some places.

So, while last year’s winter season didn’t come close to that nightmare, anything can happen this year.

The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is urging homeowners to take these 13 steps this Halloween week to prepare for the winter season that lurking just around the corner.

1. Batts in the Belfry

The U.S. Department of Energy says insulating is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy bills 10-50 percent. Insulate the attic floor with R60 fiberglass batts, loose-fill, rigid-foam, or spray-foam insulation. Install an insulated cover over pull-down stairs. Do not cover or block soffit vents, wires, motors or recessed lights. Consult an expert to determine the best insulation for the home’s construction.

2. Caulk Cracks

Caulk masonry cracks in walls and between the house and concrete foundation. Seal openings around plumbing pipes, ducts, vents, chimneys, and anything that goes through floors, walls, ceilings, and roof with caulk or insulating spray foam. (more…)

News
Driver flown to hosptial after crash at Hoadly and Websters

DALE CITY — A helicopter has been called after a car crash in the area of Hoadly Road and Websters Way.

The crash was reported just before 3:30 p.m.

Initial reports indicate an adult male is being flown to a local hospital following the crash. The trauma patient is reported to be semi-conscious, according to initial information.

Police tell us the patient is being flown as a precaution.

The helicopter was called to land at Penn Elementary School at 12980 Queen Chapel Road.

News
2,262 pounds of prescription medications collected in drug “Take-Back”

From Prince William County police:

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . A total of 2,262.2 pounds of expired or unused prescription medications was collected in greater Prince William County on Saturday, October 28th. The event was sponsored by the Crime Prevention Unit of the Prince William County Police Department, the City of Manassas Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center, Sentara Lake Ridge, and Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center.

 

  • Manassas City Police and sponsors collected 1,432 pounds of expired or unused
    prescription medications at the Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William
    Medical Center collection location in the city of Manassas.
  • Prince William County Police and sponsors collected a total of 830.2 pounds of expired
    or unused prescription medications:
  •  471.1 pounds at the Sentara Lake Ridge collection location in Woodbridge, and
  • 359.1 pounds at the Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical
    Center collection location in Haymarket. (more…)

News
‘To move Prince William forward, we need a change in leadership’

Hala Ayala has long been a familiar face for Democrats in Prince William County.

She’s the president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women, and she’s attended standing-room-only meetings of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to protest Chairman At-large Corey Stewart’s position on pursuing immigrants in the U.S. who entered illegally. 

This General Election on Nov. 7 marks the first time she’s been a candidate. and she has her sights set to unseat long-serving Delegate Rich Anderson of District 51, which encompasses nearly all of Prince William. 

This election season, we’re asked candidates who wish to reach our readers a “why you should vote for me” email by Oct. 27, 2017. 

Ayala sent us this email: 

I am running for the 51st District of the Virginia House of Delegates. I am a lifelong Virginian and have lived in Prince William County for over 35 years. I’m a cybersecurity specialist by trade, formerly with the Department of Homeland Security. But I pride myself in being an advocate for working families in my community and in the Commonwealth. I have organized on such issues at the local and state level, including protecting women’s choice, speaking out on the need for affordable access to healthcare and equal pay for equal work. I was the founder and president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women and am a member of the Governor’s Council on Women.

I want to serve my community and make sure that we are represented when decisions are made in our state government, something that I don’t see with our current representation in the House of Delegates. Every session, we see bad votes that jeopardize our ability to access healthcare and family planning services, while legislators resist practical measures like Medicaid Expansion, which would provide access to crucial health services to families across our state. (more…)

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