News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Meanwhile, in the Anti-Reston: Town Elections Show Shocking Diversity of Opinions (About Diversity)

Tuesday's Herndon Town Council elections aren't about such silly concepts as "hope" and "change." They're about preserving unfettered access to Super Big Gulps at the Elden Street 7-11.

Ky Truong looked out the window of the Herndon Shell station he manages at what he calls "a lot of problems": clusters of immigrant day laborers, who he says have been trampling his flower beds and bothering customers since September, when the town shuttered its controversial day-laborer hiring center. Truong wants it reopened.

But on the eve of Tuesday's municipal elections, the chance of that happening looks close to nil. Asked at a recent political forum if they would consider reopening the site if Fairfax County provided funding, 12 of 13 candidates for Town Council said no. The other said "absolutely not."
Yes, two years after the day labor center first started getting the attention of right-wing talk radio, ultimately prompting a vast uprising of irate 7-11 patrons that shuttered it, thereby solving the nation's immigration problems forever and giving some deep thinkers a place to hang their hats, people are still thinking about little else in our accepting neighbor to the west.
But day labor remains a divisive force that could influence the election. Council members who opposed the center boast of fulfilled promises and have raised doubts about challengers' pledges not to reopen it. Challengers talk of "reuniting" the town. Letters to local newspapers and online postings are consumed with the topic. If anything, some observers say, the issue has receded only because three years of debate has drawn deep, indelible battle lines.
All of the sudden, obsessing about indoor tennis courts doesn't seem so stupid after all.

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