Faith, Policy, and the Environment: Interview with Chairman Sharon Bulova
meg, January 27, 2017
Chairman Sharon Bulova is the current chairman of the Fairfax County board of Supervisors. First elected in 2009, Chairman Bulova has served the County of Fairfax for three terms, where she focuses on engaging and informing the community. Since 1966, Chairman Bulova and her husband have made Northern Virginia home, where they have four adult children and seven grandchildren. Chairman Bulova recently made the news with her success of an Private Sector Energy Task Force towards progressing as a leader in energy efficiency.
Chairman Bulova generously agreed to answer our questions concerning faith, policy, and the environment.
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions: Why is environmental policy important to you?
Chairman Bulova: I view environmental policy, in particular smart growth policy, as a means to a more sustainable, energy efficient and transit-oriented community. The right policies can shape the way people travel, redevelop land, design mixed-use communities, and create and preserve green space for air quality and healthy living. I stand by policies that support the “live, work, play” motto where residents have easy transportation access to employment and amenities without having to get behind the wheel of a car. As populations increase and once rural areas become more urban, it is important to adjust policies to help people travel more efficiently and to maintain clean air, water and a healthy tree canopy
FACS: How have people of faith moved the ball forward on environmental work?
CB: Faith communities have joined together to make great progress in environmental stewardship, I think in large part because protecting our planet and caring for creation aligns with the foundations of many faiths
FACS: Please tell us one or two environmental policy initiatives that you are most proud of.
CB: I was honored to chair the Greater Washington 2050 Initiative, a partnership between local elected officials, the Metropolitan Council of Governments, civic leaders, businesses and environmental stakeholders. The initiative’s goal is to promote smart growth development policies throughout the region. Together, we created the Greater Washington 2050 Compact, a policy guidance tool with quantitative goals for air and water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and building construction standards.
FACS: What advice would you give Northern Virginians who want to protect the environment?
CB: I support innovation in technology that helps residents and businesses save money and natural resources. I would advise folks to pursue and utilize technological advances related to renewable energy and sustainability. Try alternative modes of transportation such as biking, walking or taking the bus! Consider supporting or volunteering for the Park Authority to help keep our parks clean and enjoyable all year long. Take your kids on outdoor excursions so they can learn to appreciate the beauty around them and discover how time in nature positively affects our overall health and well-being.
Faith Alliance would like to thank Chairman Bulova for her participation in the interview and her continued commitment to Fairfax County.