The public safety and health of all our residents is the number one responsibility of any governing body.
"Thank you Councilman Farajollahi for your support of Fire & Rescue".
We have to be both effective and efficient in our handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and managing our way out of this environment. I have said this from the beginning and even before my time on Council, we need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with an "all of the above" type approach. But it isn't just COVID. We need to be sure that when our Police are called, they are fully prepared and ready to respond. When Fire & Rescue are called for an emergency or fire, they must be fully staffed and ready to handle any issue. Both must respond to any dispatch in an efficient and timely matter. So, how can we accomplish this?
We have to support ourselves locally with not just words but action. We can do this by asking our neighbors to shop and buy locally over those big box chain stores or centers. We can reinforce our support by posting that delicious meal, leaving a positive review for any fun activity, or just recommending that exceptional local service to others.
We must also work together within our community locally, our colleagues regionally and our delegation federally to ensure we are get the resources needed to sustain and get out of this pandemic. Federal aid certainly helps, but having the flexibility to use it the way we know best within our own backyards is essential. Washington, as well as Richmond, has pushed much of the details of the COVID-19 response onto the localities, so it is only fair we have the flexibility to address the issues we see on the front lines.
Truthfully, the vaccine distribution plan was fumbled out of the gate but it quickly got under control and working better over time, day after day. The Prince William Health District, and partners, have worked tirelessly to get shots to peoples arms. The logistics alone is immense as well as communicating updated information. This is another example where working across all levels of government is important. We must continue to distribute factual and accurate information about the disease, the vaccines and other helpful efforts. Misinformation and disinformation (intentionally or unintentionally) can be just as dangerous as the disease itself.
Manassas City Police & Fire and Rescue
As you know, our local PD is a phenomenal group of public servicemen and women with the highest values of integrity, respect and professionalism. They are committed to maintain their high set standards which is reflected in their continuous award of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This is the Gold Standard in public safety for policing and something that less than 1% of police departments hold nationally.
There is equal dedication and commitment from our Fire & Rescue staff though they have not reached an equivalent type of safety certification.... yet. I would like to start the road in helping them get there. Our City is growing and we need to guarantee a safe and timely response from our Fire & Rescue. That means having them fully staffed, able to man any piece of equipment and getting our second truck up to 24/7 availability. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and thank the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) for the contributions, rich history and continued service to keeping our community safe and helping reach the goals I have shared.
Inter-Faith Council (IFC)
Did you know there are around 50 houses of worship within our approximately 10 sq. mile City? I doubt you can drive anywhere without at least passing 1, if not 2! When I moved here I tried searching for the City IFC and learned we did not have one. So I decided to begin exploring on how to start one. This has been an ongoing effort that I began as a private City resident and it really kicked into gear when I joined the Department of Social Services (DSS) Advisory Council as Vice Chairman. Our houses of worship do AMAZING work on a daily basis, all across the City and community, that many of us don't even know about. The goal is to bring everyone together to share information, ideas and work together to help individual people and families, regardless of their circumstances. Instead of being siloed we are all becoming more aware of all the efforts happening around us and thus being able to better serve our community. By coming together as an IFC, we leverage resources which we all know are not infinite. We started with 5 members and have grown to 12 within its first year. All are welcomed and we hope this continues to grow. If you are interested in learning more or joining please reach out to me or our DSS.
If you support the vision I have shared, please support me on November 2, 2021.