After a career in law, policy and advocacy, I believe I can make the most difference now by serving on the front lines of local government. Now, more than ever, we really have to rely on our local government to protect our rights, invest in our priorities, and provide equal opportunity to all of our residents.
That’s why I’m running.
I’m a long-time resident of Montgomery County. I live in Bethesda, with our changing landscape, our traffic, and our taxes – just like you.
Thirty years ago, my husband Michael and I moved here from Virginia because of the strong schools. We still live in the same house. Our children, Victoria and Sam, went to Wood Acres, Pyle, Takoma Park MS and Whitman. They’re grown now, but I remain committed to making sure our schools keep up with tomorrow’s needs and provide equal opportunity for success to all our county’s children. We have to provide our teachers and our schools with the resources they need to ensure that students graduate ready to thrive in college or a career, including those jobs that require more than high school but less than college.
Montgomery County’s quality of life is inextricably linked with the actions of the federal government – witness the recent tax law that will restrict our ability to deduct state and local taxes – so we need someone who can understand the connections. I have experience at all levels of government. I worked for the federal government as a tax lawyer at the IRS for 17 years, focusing first on municipal bonds and then devoting most of my career to nonprofit organizations. I was an aide to former State Senator Sharon Grosfeld in Annapolis, and I know how important it is to work with our state delegates and senators to make sure that Montgomery County gets its fair share of state resources. And I’ve worked at the Council, as chief of staff to the District 1 councilmember.
I’m also a passionate champion for women and families. I’ve served as Chair of the Board of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington and President of the Montgomery County Commission for Women. As Director of Government Relations for the National Women’s Law Center, I combined my experience in tax and budget policy with advocacy for health care and economic security.
It’s this combination that distinguishes me from others hoping to earn your vote. I have the experience and the skills to deal with the fiscal and budgetary matters that face us now. And, as your councilmember, I will be an effective advocate for you.
You can trust that I will represent residents and not private interests. I am participating in the County’s new public financing system, and I’m the only candidate in the District 1 race who has raised enough money from enough local residents to have qualified for matching public funds. Unlike competitors who can solicit thousands from everyone, I cannot accept more than $150 from an individual, and I cannot accept any contributions from PACs, unions, or corporations.
Montgomery County has a budget of $5.4 billion. Spending that money is the biggest responsibility the Council has. I think of the budget as a moral document, reflecting our values and our priorities as a community, and I believe we have an obligation to do everything we can to ensure a healthy, vibrant economy that supports our residents and those who do business here. It is only with a thriving economy and careful spending that we can solve problems like our overcrowded schools and insufficient transportation infrastructure.
Especially now that Congress will be slashing federal funding for safety net programs, we must find the resources to maintain County services. Economic development, including a diversity of business opportunities, is critical. We can’t continue to depend on federal jobs as the driving force for our economic security. As a member of the board of Montgomery County’s Arts and Humanities Council, I also appreciate the strength of the creative economy. In addition to fostering a sense of community, preserving the richness of our culture, and adding beauty to our lives, the arts add to economic vitality by creating jobs, increasing property values, and providing customers for local businesses.
Four of our nine councilmembers in Montgomery County are term-limited this year. This historic turnover provides an opportunity to influence the future of the County. Join me!