Origami, Poem Signify Big Change in Fairfax

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Not all records in the archives are on yellowed paper or centuries old.

Correspondence found in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Records gives unique insight into the recent history of Virginia’s most populous county, which now has one of the highest household median incomes in the country.

New York City native Audrey Moore came to Fairfax County in 1954 when the county still retained much of its original rural character.  The young, apolitical wife and mother became concerned about what she saw as unchecked development in the county with little thought about future consequences for residents’ quality of life.

Moore decided to take on the county and spoke out on what were politically unpopular issues at the time. She ran for and won a seat on the board of supervisors in 1971.  For many years Moore was an isolated and often ridiculed figure on the board, the lone voice opposing runaway growth, warning about future transportation nightmares, and advocating for more parks and open spaces.  Her election in 1987 as chairperson of the Board of Supervisors marked the beginning of a remarkable planned-growth revolution in Fairfax County.

This enthusiastic letter to Moore by supporter and first-time campaign worker Anne Shotwell contains a poem and, charmingly, an origami crane. Both reside in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Records series, under subseries Correspondence–Audrey Moore, Chairperson,1988-1991. The series contains approximately 135 cubic feet of records and is available to the public.

– Dale Dulaney, Local Records Archival Assistant, Contributed by Mary Dean Carter, Archival Assistant

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