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Welcome

My name is Billy Bates, and I’m running to bring real progress to my hometown while maintaining our sense of community. My family has deep roots in Fairfax City and I've lived here all my life, so the prospect of seeing our city reach its full potential as a community holds a special place in my heart. I've grown up in Fairfax City schools, camp programs, and parks, and I know first hand the benefit of maintaining and improving on these resources for future generations. I've also seen Fairfax residents struggling to make ends meet and realize the importance of ensuring no one is left behind as we look toward the future. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my campaign for Fairfax City Council. Together, we can make Fairfax City an even more equitable and inviting place to call home.

About Billy

Billy is a lifelong Fairfax City resident and is a graduate of Fairfax High School. In his senior year, Billy served on the city’s Environmental Sustainability Committee as the high school liaison.

Billy has served as a volunteer leader with the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign and the 2020 Virginia coordinated campaign. Billy has interned with OneVirginia2021, the campaign and district office of state Delegate Alfonso Lopez, and the campaign of Congressman Gerry Connolly. He is also involved with Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth.

 

Billy is currently studying at George Mason University, where he is majoring in physics and is involved with the local chapter of Best Buddies International. He lives in the Maple Hill neighborhood near Old Town Fairfax.

Platform

My Pledge

I have not and will not ever accept donations from development contractors, attorneys working on land use issues or proposals, or firms and attorneys the city might contract with for services.

Traffic & Development

  • Prioritize environmentally conscientious development of new trails and sidewalks to facilitate walking and biking as alternatives to driving

  • Support restoration and repositioning of buildings over 50 years old with cultural significance to the city instead of demolition and redevelopment

  • Oppose any new development that encroaches on Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas or floodplains without sufficient mitigation efforts

  • Prioritize development projects that include significant affordable housing and oppose all developments that would lead to a net decrease in affordable or low-rent housing

  • Negotiate with developers to preserve green space and natural environments as well as use sustainable building practices especially that lead to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification as much as possible

  • Work closely with Fairfax County in planning redevelopment of the five activity centers which are all located adjacent to city/county lines to create dynamic, cohesive urban centers made up of diverse residential, hotel, retail, and office uses that transcend city/county lines

  • Prioritize projects that will lead to denser, more sustainable, and more walkable development, increase green space, or improve traffic through improvement of intersections and development of street grids that eliminate bottlenecks as well as projects that contribute significantly to the tax base to help keep residential property taxes low

Economy & Affordability

  • Work with city staff to support studying options for a progressive real estate tax structure based on income of owner or value of property

  • Continue free CUE bus service for the foreseeable future beyond the current multi-year pilot program

  • Engage in active outreach to encourage the relocation of businesses to the city

  • Support incubation initiatives for small businesses, especially firms owned by women and minorities

  • Work with city staff to support studying cost and options for universal preschool and childcare

Health & Safety

  • Ban guns on public streets, roads, alleys, sidewalks, and other public rights-of-way and any in any other place that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit

  • Upgrade a violation of the ban on guns in city parks and buildings from a class 4 misdemeanor (punishable by a fine of up to $250) to a class 1 misdemeanor (punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2500, or both) as originally proposed (consistent with the penalty in Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria, and Falls Church)

  • COVID-19 vaccine and booster mandate for all city employees unless qualified for an exemption

  • Permit clinics, including woman’s health clinics, by right in all commercial and industrial zones by reclassifying them as medical offices which they were classified as before 2013

  • Develop roadmap with city staff toward comprehensive plan goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035 and all electric buses

  • “Walk facing traffic” signs along roads especially for students

  • “Use audible signal when passing pedestrians” signs for bikes

Community

  • Develop a collective bargaining agreement for city employees​

  • Work with Fairfax County to gain the right for city residents to vote for at least at-large members of the Fairfax County School Board

  • Ensure municipal elections remain on the same day as the presidential and midterm elections every even-numbered year to maximize turnout, civic engagement, and the efficacy of our local democracy

  • Law enforcement civilian review panel with powers to make binding disciplinary decisions, review internal investigations, review and make recommendations on the department budget, and investigate complaints from citizens, incidents involving police or civilian employees of the department, and department policies and practices

  • Support a policy banning city staff from inquiring about immigration status

  • Support a policy requiring city employees to make their best effort refer to residents and each other by preferred pronouns and provide informational material on doing so for residents

  • Preserve sense of community by prioritizing developments that contribute to a diverse range of housing options so that residents can remain in the city throughout all stages of life

  • Support more community gardens and composting piles

  • Support improvement projects for school roofs to save money over the long term, as well as other school infrastructure improvements