Fairfax County’s Redistricting Advisory Committee on March 1 will recommend whether any of the county’s nine magisterial districts should be renamed, but will not propose any new names, officials said Jan. 31.
The committee will make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, which ultimately will decide if and how any names are changed, as well as determine the public process for choosing new names.
The districts in question serve both to the Board of Supervisors and School Board.
Beginning in mid-January, the Redistricting Advisory Committee started reviewing the districts’ names with a focus on “social and racial equity,” as tasked by county supervisors.
The committee’s criteria to determine if districts’ names warrant evaluation and discussion include whether they are geographically confusing or not representative of the district; historically significant or no longer reflective of life in the county; offensive; or associated with the Confederacy, segregation, Jim Crow, racism, discrimination or slave ownership.
The committee at its Jan. 18 meeting decided to examine further the names of Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon, Springfield and Sully districts.
Some of those names were established in 1870; others were picked later in the 20th century, according to research by the Fairfax County Public Library’s Virginia Room.
Mason District was named in honor of George Mason, author of the Bill of Rights. Sully and Mount Vernon districts were named after plantations there. Lee was named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose name already has been stripped from a high school in Springfield and renamed after the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Springfield District was named after its community.
County officials say the committee wants input from residents, civic groups, businesses and others.
The public may e-mail comments to the committee at email@example.com or through an online form at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/redistricting/provide-input.
Local residents also can share their thoughts during any of the committee’s virtual meetings. For more information and the meeting schedule, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/redistricting/redistricting-advisory-committee-meetings.