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by Judith Hruz
Making sure Montgomery County is a safe, fair and affordable county for its residents and businesses took center stage at a candidates forum – the first in the community during this election season – on Sept. 20 in Sandy Spring.
The Sandy Spring Civic Association and the Ashton Alliance sponsored the event. It is the first of a series of forums planned through spring.
Participants included County Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large), a candidate for county executive; County Councilman Will Jawando (D-At large), who is seeking re-election to his council seat, and Perry Paylor, a Prince George’s County deputy state’s attorney who is a candidate for Montgomery County state’s attorney.
Dr. Daryl Thorne, president of the Sandy Spring civic group, has continually stressed the importance of engaging the community in issues of local importance, including candidates seeking elected office.
The civic association also wants to ensure the candidates understand what issues are important to the community.
“I received a great deal of positive feedback about the event,” Thorne said. “They were impressed with the conversation between the candidates and all noted that they learned a great deal about the issues and candidates through this event. That was the point, so I am thrilled that it met the goal. This is exciting for our community members and, I believe, for the candidates.”
The first forum was held via Zoom with about 10 civic association officers and residents inside Ross Boddy Community Recreation Center with the candidates.
About 60 people attended via Zoom and in person.
“I think there was great energy in the room, especially once we opened up the questioning to the in-person audience,” Thorne said, adding, “I hope that next month’s audience will be just as engaged.”
Upcoming forums will be held Oct. 18 and Nov. 15, and again in February, March, April and May.
Riemer, a County Council member serving his third term, is term-limited and cannot run again for his seat on the council.
He will run against County Executive Marc Elrich in the June 2022 Primary.
He said he is focusing on economic development; housing policies that promote affordability and inclusivity, and support a growing workforce; creative investments in education to accelerate learning in the wake of COVID from pre-K to higher ed; police reform that positions Montgomery County as a model in transparency and racial equity, and finishing the Purple Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway and upgrading MARC into real commuter rail.
Riemer said “we must create more jobs,” and “do a better job of creating housing.”
He said he favors having housing and jobs where transportation and amenities exist, such as the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan.
Riemer said he was pleased with the Sector Plan, which the County Council approved in June.
The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan, which envisions approximately 127 acres around the intersection of Olney-Sandy Spring Road (Route 108) and New Hampshire Avenue (Route 650) as a rural village with a mix of land uses, guides development in the community.
The plan received mixed reaction from the community.
For more, visit https://hansriemer.com.
Jawando, a resident of Ashton, is a first-term member of the County Council.
He said he believes in which he calls the “Montgomery County Promise” – that all residents are entitled to a safe and inclusive community with great schools and a strong economy.
He said, however, “Some never had access to it or for some it’s slipping away.”
He said he has worked for fair and affordable housing, and believes in the importance of “equal justice under the law.”
Jawando has worked with House Leader U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) of California, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) of Ohio, and then-Sen. Barack Obama. During the eight-year Obama Administration, he served as associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, followed by a position as an advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
In 2014, he founded Our Voices Matter-Maryland, a social justice non-profit that works to develop broader civic engagement, grassroots activism and leadership. In 2017, he spearheaded Summer R.I.S.E., a job shadowing program in partnership with Worksource Montgomery, state and county government, and Montgomery County Public Schools.
For more, visit https://willjawando.com.
Paylor, a first-time candidate, has been a licenses attorney sine 1996.
He is a native of Montgomery County and product of the county’s public schools, youth sports and faith community.
He said he is running for the office of state’s attorney because he understands how economic development, environmental changes and poverty impact crime.
“The question for me is not why am I running, but how could I not run,” Paylor said.
He will run against Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy in the Democratic Primary next June.
He said if elected, everyone, including politicians and police, will know what is expected of them in carrying out their duties.
“We’ll all be held to a higher standard,” he said.
Paylor said he also wants to expand diversion opportunities for non-violent offenders, reduce mass incarceration, increasing opportunities for ex-offenders and establish a Conviction and Sentencing Integrity Unit.
For more, visit www.perrypaylor.com.
The information is not intended to be complete coverage of the issues nor an endorsement of any candidate or issue. Elections for county and state offices will be held in 2022. The Primary Election is set for June 28, 2022. The General Election is set for Nov. 8, 2022.
Elections for county and state offices will be held in 2022.
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