Op-Ed: Your RA Vote Makes a Difference

Ellen Graves/Credit: RA This is an Op-Ed by Reston Association President Ellen Graves. It does not represent the opinion of Reston Now.

Reston Association offers an inspiring array of ways to get involved in the community. From volunteering to serve on a committee to helping beautify natural areas through working with Habitat Heroes, Reston residents have always answered the call to donate their time and efforts for good causes.

Sometimes, however, it’s the little things that count the most in the quest to make Reston the best it can be. Voting in the RA Board of Directors’ election is perhaps the single most significant way members can make a difference in the community without having to dedicate hours of their time.

The voting period for the board election opened March 7 and runs through April 4. Voters can vote online or through the mail. Two of this year’s three races are uncontested, but making your voice heard through voting is nonetheless important in the election process.

Voting sends a message to the board that residents are involved and care about the future of Reston. Voting has been a right and responsibility of Restonians for decades. It has literally shaped the evolution of Reston and has made it one of the best communities to live, work and play.

The role of elected board members is well defined. The RA board is responsible to the membership for seeing that the overall organizational goals of the association are accomplished. A board member’s job is to set policy in all matters — finance and budget, personnel and compensation policies, and planning and program strategies.

As board president for the past year, I have had the privilege to work directly with RA staff, various committee members, community leaders and residents. All share in the goal of making Reston a sustainable, progressive and inclusive place to do business in or to call home. I have a profound appreciation for my board colleagues and for members who take the time to get involved in the process by attending meetings, and most importantly, voting in the annual RA election.

If you haven’t voted yet, I urge you to consider taking a few minutes to cast a ballot. The information on the RA website can help familiarize yourself with the candidates and guide you through the voting process.

Increasing voter participation not only helps make the election results official by reaching a quorum in each race, but it also conveys to the current and future boards a message of member engagement. It is the objective of the RA board to be responsive to members, but we cannot do that without your involvement in the annual election.


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