It’s been my honor to serve on the Takoma Park City Council for the last five years, and I’m delighted to announce I’m running for reelection this fall. Working closely with residents and business owners in Ward One has given me a deep appreciation for the unique characteristics of our community. As I look forward to continuing those collaborations, I’m asking the people of Old Town, PEN, North Takoma and Hodges Heights for their support and vote.
I’m running in this year’s all mail-in election because I hope to continue the overall approach I’ve followed on the Council: viewing government as a positive force for change, being accessible to constituents, encouraging respect for opposing views, and seeking common ground on tough issues to help our community move forward in a productive way.
Some of the major initiatives on which I’ve pushed for progress include: our racial equity policy; responding to the health, housing and economic challenges of COVID-19; the broad climate change framework approved earlier this year; the tree policy resolution and Tree Ordinance amendments adopted in July; and working to manage development in a reasonable way to keep Takoma Park diverse, affordable, and a great place to live.
There’s much more to do in all those areas, and I look forward to playing an active role in that work. Plus, while our Police Department has made a number of positive strides, we have to take on the crucial task of reimagining policing as part of the larger fight against systemic racism.
Of course Council work isn’t just ambitious legislation or big projects. I spend much of my time responding to requests for help on problems like unsafe intersections, snow removal, tree permits, utility work, trash pick-up, car break-ins, and, yes, even potholes. Whether solutions lie within the jurisdiction of Takoma Park or another level of government, it’s important for me as a local elected official to do what I can to help address these concerns.
As a Councilmember I’m also a conduit for information. It’s a top priority for me to provide detailed write-ups on Council actions and City events through local email lists and my blog. I also emphasize resident engagement -- one-on-one or in groups -- in person, by phone or email, and increasingly via Zoom and similar methods. In addition, I make a major effort to let residents know in advance how I plan to vote and the factors that led me to those decisions.
When my family and I moved to Takoma Park, I was surprised to received generous welcome gifts on our porch. I’m embarrassed to say it almost seemed odd to me at first. But then I realized we’d moved into a true neighborhood. Since then, and especially in my time on the Council, I’ve often pondered what it means to be a neighbor. At the most basic level it’s a person who lives nearby, but I think the term also signifies someone with whom there’s a connection.
That’s what made our welcome to the City so special -- it was a step toward developing connections. And they’ve deepened and widened over the years. Beyond all the specific issues outlined above, that will remain a central focus of my City Council work: preserving and strengthening the connections that tie our wonderful city together.
I’ll be announcing details on a more formal campaign kick-off in September, along with other events later in the fall. I hope you will sign up and join the campaign. Again, I’d be pleased to have your vote in this year’s election. Please feel free to be in touch with questions about my candidacy.