The campaigns for the 2018 General Election are now in full–and earnest–swing! I know that each of you have gotten mail from candidates and have checked websites to make informed decisions about for whom you will cast your ballot. However, if you are still undecided and would like more information, I offer my recommendations again below, with some rationale on those I thought you might find helpful. I have put the Board of Education recommendations first because those are the ones I get asked about most often and to recognize that these are very important races at the bottom of the ballot.
I do not make political endorsements lightly. I understand completely the impact that these individuals have on the daily lives of all of us. I look for individuals who not only have vision, but the knowledge, skills and experience to make informed decisions on my behalf. And I look for those that share my deeply rooted Democratic value that the role of government is to serve ALL the people, not simply manage bureaucracies. With those criteria in mind, I offer you the following recommendations for your consideration.
Board of Education:
If you were not one of the early ones and you are still uncertain about the Board of Education races, please consider my recommendations. Remember that while the School Board has designated district representation, ALL voters vote for each seat on the Board.
Pat O’Neill and Judy Docca have been serving us well over the years. Both have the experiences and institutional knowledge upon which to build innovation. We will need that as the County deals with the upcoming recommendations of the Kirwan Commission. Pat has served the students and staff of MCPS well as a Board member for over 20 years. She has a proven record as someone who is forward-thinking and is thoughtful in her approach to challenges. She should continue on the Board.
District 1: Judy Docca www.mymcmedia.org/judy-docca-2
District 3: Patricia O’Neill www.patoneill.org
Two newcomers, Karla Silvestre and Brenda Wolff, offer new experiences and insights in how to take the school system into the future. Both have been activists in our communities working to provide opportunities for all. Their energy and commitment will complement our experienced Board Members as we face the ongoing challenges of achieving a school system that works for every student. Karla has a rich background of educational experience in the county and now works as a liaison between the County and Montgomery College. She will bring a much-needed perspective to our Board with those connections. I am convinced of her commitment to serve and make a difference for students and their families and her belief that MCPS staff members are the system’s greatest resources in moving our system forward.
Governor: Ben Jealous BenJealous.com–Ben has put forth plans to address issues of education, health care, drug costs, all of which include diverse voices in making decisions, which I appreciate
Ben Jealous is a life long progressive leader. A civil rights leader, a community organizer, and a former President & CEO of the NAACP, he is dedicated to all Maryland Families. I am pleased that he is supported by labor unions because of his commitment working families, fair labor practices and living wages. He understands the important role that public education plays to level the playing field and provide opportunities for all; that is why my colleagues in the Maryland State Education Association support him so strongly. He not only says he is committed to affordable health care, he has actual plans for how to manage health care and drug costs long term that are the beginnings of real legislative policy. BenJealous.com.
Attorney General: Brian Frosh brianfrosh.com–Brian has served us well, with vigilance, working against the negative consequences to Marylanders as the result of Federal changes
U.S. Senator: Ben Cardin www.cardin.senate.gov –Ben has been an effective advocate and champion for affordable health care, the environment, and small businesses
Representatives in Congress:
District 3: John Sarbanes www.johnsarbanes.com–is a tireless advocate on increasing the influence of the people in government decision-making and reducing that of big corporations and special interests and strong record of constituent service
District 6: David Trone www.davidtrone.com–in this open seat, David would bring business experience that includes the value and respect for employees to the discussion about improving our economy
District 8: Jamie Raskin jamieraskin.com–in just two years in Congress, Jamie has risen on the national stage in his fight for civil rights and an effective democracy governed by reason, sensibility and ethics
District 19 Legislative Team: Ben Kramer for Senate, Charlotte Crutchfield and Vaughn Steward for Delegate
It goes without saying that I am strongly supporting Ben Kramer for State Senate, and Charlotte Crutchfield and Vaughn Stewart for our district team in Annapolis. We have already begun to work together to discuss how we can best serve and represent you as state policies are created. www.benkramer.org www.voteforcharlotte.com, www.vaughnformaryland.com.
Montgomery County Executive: Marc Elrich www.marcelrich.org—
Marc has a proven record of working for our democratic values on the Council. He has been a champion—even a crusader– for increasing the minimum wage, earned sick leave, affordable housing and reasonable approaches to resolving landlord-tenant disputes, maintaining strong public schools, just to name a few. Marc is committed to fiscal responsibility and has pledged to do a thorough analysis of current spending to identify potential realignments of funds to better meet resident needs. I would characterize him as pro-community, in which business is an integral and responsible partner in that community. He is asking for developers to come to the table and own their part of building the support structures for effective community growth. In the end, I think that is what will serve us all best.
County Council at Large:
Gabe Albornoz gabeforcouncil.com
Evan Glass www.evanglass.com
Will Jawando willjawando.com
Hans Reimer hansriemer.com
State’s Attorney: John McCarthy www.johnmccarthy.us
Sheriff: Darren Popkin darrenpopkinforsheriff.com
Question 1–I recommend — “For” would provide guaranteed supplemental funding for public schools from the casino revenues; this was intended to be the result of the Constitutional amendment in 2008, but in recent years, the practice has not been followed
Question 2–I recommend — “For” would allow for voter registration on Election Day in the same way we have it now for Early Voting.
I do not have recommendations for the County Questions, but here is a brief explanation of each:
Question A would removed the Democratic and Republican Central Committees out of the process to recommend people to appoint to the County Council Redistricting Commission and sets the parameters for the individuals that should be appointed
Question B would change the number of votes needed to pass a property tax increase from “9” to “unanimous”. This is needed in the event there is a vacancy on the Council
Question C would allow Council members to have multiple “non-merit” (at-will) aides instead of one confidential merit (contractual) assistant
For a sample ballot including a more detailed explanation of the questions, visit the League of Women Voters’ of Maryland Voter’s Guide or theMontgomery County Board of Elections Official Voter Guide and Sample Ballot.
Please use your voice in this election and cast your ballot. The results of these elections will determine what policies are moved and passed for the next 4 years in Maryland. In the Congressional Races, we have the chance to provide at least one check on a Federal government that is currently creating chaos for most states and certainly for Maryland.
For more information call 240-777-VOTE, visit www.777vote.org, the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at elections.maryland.gov, or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you very much for your consideration of these recommendations. Please do not hesitate to call me if you would like to know more about any of these candidates.