By RCA President Colin Mills
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!  It’s time once again to gorge ourselves on
turkey, mashed potatoes, and mediocre football games.  It’s time to battle the traffic and cold
weather to gather together with our families and friends.  But most importantly, it’s time to give thanks
for the blessings in our lives.
And as I’ve done
every year since I started as RCA president, I’d like to take this moment to
share with you what I’m thankful for here in Reston.  This is one of the annual traditions that I
enjoy the most. 
It’s easy to read
the headlines and become focused on the problems and threats we face.  Whether it’s the government by crisis in
Washington or divisive issues like the Comprehensive
and the Lake
Anne land swap
here in Reston, it’s easy to find things to be upset about. 
But despite the
often-depressing headlines, we’re also very fortunate.  Reston is a great
place to live, work, and play, and that’s just as true today as it was 50 years
ago when Bob Simon was turning his dream of a New Town into reality.  Whatever
challenges we may face, they pale in comparison to the many benefits and blessings
we enjoy.
Here’s what I’m
thankful for this year:
– As always, I’m
thankful for my colleagues on the Reston Citizens Association
We’ve faced a lot of issues in Reston this year, major issues with implications
for our community’s future.  And RCA has
stayed on top of those issues and remained a strong voice for our
citizens.  That’s a testament to the hard
work and commitment of our Board and committee members.  2014 is shaping up to be another active year in
our community, and I’m glad I can count on my colleagues to keep up their good
and dedicated service next year.  It’s an
honor to work with you.
– I’m thankful that the Silver Line is going to open soon.  As long as I’ve been around, we’ve been
talking about bringing the Metro to Reston. 
At last, it’s going to happen! 
Now when I head downtown to see my beloved Nationals (wait ‘til next
year!) take the field or visit the museums with my family, I won’t have to
drive to West Falls Church or Vienna; I’ll be able to catch the train right
There’s still work to be done on this
front; we must make sure that Toll Road users aren’t picking up too much of the
tab for Phase 2, and we need transportation improvements to ensure that the
Wiehle station doesn’t bring traffic gridlock. 
But these issues can be worked out. 
Getting rail to Reston is a huge and exciting step forward.
– I’m thankful to
the Reston Association and the Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners
for their continued work with RCA on community issues.  Strengthening our alliance has been a major
goal of mine, and I’m happy to say that we’re succeeded.  Our partnership reached a new level last
month, as we submitted joint comments on the Comp Plan and held a community
to let the citizens know what Reston’s future might hold. 
This sort of collaboration is what community
leadership is all about.  I’m thankful
for what we’ve done together so far.  And
I’m even more thankful that our collaboration is just beginning.
– Speaking of RA,
I’m thankful to RA President Ken Knueven and Vice President Andy
 for their
strong and competent leadership.  I’m
also very thankful that Cate Fulkerson
has been chosen as RA’s new CEO.  All
three of them are open, honest, smart, dedicated, community-minded, and very
capable.  They’re also a joy and a
pleasure to work with.
RA has a lot of important issues on its
docket right now, from renovating our aging facilities to accommodating the
influx of new residents that the Silver Line will bring to helping the revitalization
of Lake Anne move forward.  It’s going to
take strong, visionary, and responsive leadership to meet those
challenges.  Fortunately, RA is in good
hands with Ken, Andy, and Cate.  I’m
excited to see what the future holds.
– I’m thankful that Ken
will once again represent us in
.  When Ken takes his seat for the next General
Assembly session, he’ll be #1 in seniority in the House of Delegates.  That’s a tribute to the great job he’s done
representing us for over 30 years.  He
has faithfully represented Reston and our interests throughout his tenure, and
better yet, he shows no signs of slowing down. 
Congratulations on your well-deserved re-election, Ken!
– I’m thankful for Reston’s committed
.  As I’ve talked to political and community
leaders throughout northern Virginia, it’s become clear that Reston has a
reputation for an unusually active citizenry. 
Some folks see us as a pain in the neck because of that, but I’m very
proud of our reputation.  It means that
our citizens are invested in the community, and that they see Reston as a
special place worth protecting.  As long
as we have citizens who care, Reston will remain a great place to live, work,
and play.  Whether we agree on the issues
or not, I’m thankful that you show up and speak up for our community.
– I’m thankful for Ariake
I love sushi, and I love locally owned business, and Ariake provides both.  The fact that they converted an old McDonald’s
into such an attractive and appealing space is a marvel.  I look forward to many more delicious plates
of nigiri.
– On the home
front: I’m thankful for my daughter, Leslie
It seems like she’s growing every day, but she remains as smart, funny, caring,
and clever as ever.  I couldn’t ask for a
more wonderful kid.  I’m thankful to my
for their love and support as always.
And last but
certainly not least, I’m thankful for my wife, Jennifer. She
brings me love, support, advice, and happiness, all in abundance.  We got married this year, and frankly, it’s
the best idea I’ve ever had.  I love you, honey!
Thanks to all of
you who took the time to read this, and who read me regularly and comment on my
posts.  I wish you safe travels, delicious meals, and joyful
reunions.  And as you start to doze on
the couch during the Lions game, I hope you’ll take a moment to give thanks for
all that’s good in your life.  If the
spirit moves you, leave a comment and tell me what you’re thankful for.  I’d love to hear it.
– – – – –

Speaking of giving
thanks, are you thankful for a Restonian who works hard on behalf of our
community?  Then nominate him or her for RCA Citizen of the Year! 
You can download the form here
Nominations are due by December 15th!