One thing people notice about Ilryong Moon, democratic candidate for Braddock District Supervisor in the upcoming special election on MARCH 10, is how soft spoken he is.
Barely registering on my tape deck, he explains a philosophy of public service that leads to a habit of quiet:
You know, there are people who make up their own mind and pretend to listen to people.
I don’t do that. . . .
I listen patiently, patient to listen before I reach a decision.
That is something I would like to continue doing as a member of the Board of Supervisors.
Moon is running against Republican John Cook and independent Carey Campbell to replace Sharon Bulova in the second special election to hit Braddock Distirct since November, after one of the most active firehouse primaries anyone can remember. Republicans are banking on democratic burn out to sneak another one onto the board, in the aftermath of unexpectedly close races in special elections for the 46th HOD, and for Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chair. There's MORE!
Moon recognizes that republicans state-wide are looking to this race for a pick up, and have been actively pumping state money into it in spite of its local character. Nevertheless, if district residents turn out, Moon is confident that his record and the relationships he has cultivated over the years will pull him through.
Moon’s allies include newly elected Board Chair Sharon Bulova, who has come out strong for Moon to replace her in the Braddock district seat. Bulova proclaims that Moon:
“has never let me down . . . .
Ilryong Moon's deep understanding and appreciation for Fairfax County's excellent educational system, his commitment to public safety and environmental protection and his experience serving on the Planning Commission will serve us well in the Braddock District as Ilryong seeks election as Braddock District supervisor to succeed me. I know that he will bring to the job the same kind of commitment, hard work, and communication that voters in Braddock have been able to rely upon.
On March 10, you will be asked to select the person who will best continue the commitment I have provided as your supervisors. I urge you to vote for Ilryong Moon so that I will have the partner I need on the Board of Supervisors and you will have the best person to serve you as your Braddock District Representative.”
As a member of the school board for 10 years, Moon dealt with complicated issues, complex projects, oversaw the interests of over 22,000 full time staff people, and worked on a operating budget of $2.2 billion. He is familiar with tough budget situations, and can back his claim that he “knows how to make the difficult decisions, to solve the problems.”
He will need every bit of this experience as the County works to close a $650 million shortfall this year. But Moon knows how to wield an axe when necessary: when the school budget was cut back, Moon cut administrative costs in the County schools, targeting more resources directly to classroom education. He is focused on making “responsible budget cuts” so that Fairfax can preserve “essential county services” such as education, transportation, and public safety. “Whether we can make people pay higher property taxes, I think not,” Moon says.
Moon describes the traffic situation in Fairfax as “getting worse and worse.” From his experience on the County Planning Commission. he asserts that “Tysons Corner is of concern to entire Northern Virginia area, and states:
The concept behind Tysons Land Use Task Force, I fully support. We need to provide mixed use, so that people can live and work there; denser development over an expanded area. When I was serving on the commission, we dealt with that area all the way out to Dulles Airport, and what kind of development should be there with rail to Dulles. With Tysons, it’s a similar concept: to have denser development immediately around train stations, so that you can live, you can dine, you can shop, you can work, I think that that is going to be helpful.
Moon finds ways of translating these experiences to his home district, noting that he wants to work with affected communities to fix traffic chokepoints, and improve the safety of bus-stops. He points out that:
Braddock District, is I believe, one of the smallest districts with one of the densest populations in Fairfax. In Braddock district, there aren’t a whole lot of vacant tracts of land, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be working on working on transportation, revitalizing some commercial centers, such as University Mall, with all the students, faculty shopping. So even without a lot of open land, there are ways of creating more dense, pedestrian friendly areas.
Moon wants to be sure “to protect the interests of those who are being taken advantage of by others,” and views code enforcement and zoning as “important to maintaining property values and good neighborhoods.” However, “contrary to what John Cook and others are saying it may not be necessary” to increase the cost of code enforcement in order to make sure that these values are protected. Moon expresses support for neighborhood facelifts in some areas now more than 30 years old, and would like to work with neighborhoods on these projects. He would pay particular attention to the condition of foreclosed properties, noting how neighboring properties can affect property values throughout a neighborhood.
Moon notes that about 40% of County residents are minorities, but:
when you look at the political and governmental leaders, that is not representative. Not only would I be the only Board of Supervisors member with School Board experience, I would become the first Asian-American on the Board of Supervisors, and I can bring in those who have traditionally stayed away from governmental affairs, from the political process, to come in join the rest of us, to work together, and I can do that, I believe the time for that has come.
Quietly, Moon ticks off the reasons why he will win next Tuesday’s election:
I have that experience, I have the knowledge, I have the patience, I have the right personality, I work so hard, and would work to continue the good work of Sharon Bulova in the Braddock District.
Those interested in helping him win are encouraged to contact the campaign at (703) 746-8124.