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I’m honored to seek your support for a third term on the Town Council. During this past term, I served as the town’s Vice Mayor and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to lead on multiple critical town-related issues.
These efforts included advocating for our elections last year to be conducted by mail-in ballot to ensure safety for all of our residents; helping to protect our environment and reduce noise pollution by ensuring that we transition away from gas powered leaf blowers; and advocating for our town’s interests in maintaining the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel into Bethesda and having effective development at the Farm Women’s Market.
Yet as was the case for us all, this past year was the curve ball of curve ball years. Most of us have been at home, living through a pandemic that was worse than our worst nightmares. And now, thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And just as we emerge from the pandemic, we are on the cusp of significant change to the town’s development.
This is why, as an experienced Council Member, I’m asking for your support on Election Day to help ensure that our town effectively navigates these upcoming challenges. In my view, there are three core challenges facing our community: recovering from the pandemic, the National 4-H Conference Center property sale, and racial justice and social equity.
First, the impact of the coronavirus has been felt by all the town’s residents. In my household, we have three daughters who attend the Montgomery County Public Schools, two working parents, a retired grandparent, and a cute little dog who loved all the attention! It was a stressful year, but thankfully, we made it through and are now in the process of recovering. If this past year has taught us anything, local government and getting to know one’s community matters more than ever. We as a town have a responsibility to take care of all our residents in this period of recovery, and that is my highest priority.
Second, our town is on the cusp of major land use transformation, as the 12.2 acre 4-H Center property is about to be sold. That property is located completely within the town’s boundaries and makes up nearly 4% of the town’s land. Its sale has generated national interest and will become a major regional issue as well. As a Town Council, we are exploring our options on this sale and will continue to do so. My pledge to you is that as a Council Member, I will work to ensure that the town’s residents’ interests are both very well represented at the table and have a major impact on the future contours of the property.
Lastly, this past year has witnessed a long overdue national discussion on critical social issues that have too often been pushed to the side. We have responded in the town by bringing these issues, particularly those focused on racial injustice, into the local discussion by forming a Racial Justice Special Committee; both Council Member Irene Lane and I are the Town Council’s Co-Liaisons to it. As both our town and region continue to evolve, become more inclusive, and deal with the very real issues of systemic racial injustice that the national conversation has prompted, I vow to continue to provide strong support to our town’s efforts to get this right.
In closing, our town has weathered the storm of the past year and we now have much on our plate looking forward. We are in a strong position, with a cash reserve of more than $10 million and another $2.5 million in federal COVID-related aid about to be provided. I hope that you will support me once again for Town Council, so that as a community, we together will handle the challenges in front of us, just as we have this past year.