The Martha Pennino Papers document Pennino’s community activism and political career in Northern Virginia.
The collection, featuring photographs, working papers, newspaper clips, and memorabilia, shows why Martha was affectionately known as “Mother Martha.” Â She devoted much of her adult life to the betterment of Fairfax Country by serving on the Fairfax Country Board of Supervisors for over 20 years. She championed funding for education, transportation, and business development.Â She was particularly involved in the growth and development of Fairfax County’s planned community, Reston, Virginia.
A woman pioneer in Northern Virginia politics,Â Martha was first elected to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in November 1967, representing what was then the Centreville District. She served as vice chairman for a total of 17 years.Â Â At times she was the only woman serving on the board.
Martha passed away in 2004 but leaves a long and distinguished legacy in Fairfax County.