If all politics is local, I am certainly blessed to be in a good place

National politics is going through some trying times. We have a President that is redefining the role in ways many find disgraceful, including allegedly doing illegal shenanigans. We have a Congress that can’t seem to get its stuff together… No wonder so many people say ‘to heck withall of this’ and walk away from following, trying to understand, or influence National politics. Hecks, almost 1/2 of America does not even vote!

Still, National politics is critical. We must #RESIST and cause systemic change for the better.  AND – not but – the fact is that much of our daily life is also impacted by local politics. It is at the local level that we get responsive elected officials to fill pot-holes, care for the homeless, navigate the complexities of growth, transportation, and infrastructure. structure property taxes, oversee public schools, public safety, and much more.

If you are not engaged with your local public officials, you are missing a lot. These areregular folks, our friends and neighbors, everyday people. They are accessible, they shop the same stores we shop, they visit the same bars, and their dogs are as unruly as ours. Yet these are folks that are committed to civic service. They open up their lives to the public. They compromise their own personal anonymity and have to be ‘on’ 24/7.  These folks are the truly the local s/heroes of our times. Our hats off to them!

I am blessed to live in an area where given my appointed role with County government, the neighborhood in which I live, and my personal interest in local Party politics I’ve gottento know many of these local elected officials. Having worked in over 100 cities throughout the United Stated fermenting local private/public partnerships I can truly say that the team of local elected officials we have in Silver Spring (Maryland) rivals any elected officials team in the Country.

We just ‘ended of an era’ with the 12 years of leadership by Ike Leggett, an amazing County Executive. He not only weathered the storm of the Great Recession responsibly, maintaining both the safety net and a Triple A bond rating, but also made Montgomery County the most welcoming County in the U.S.A. His work in the County was augmented by nine Councilmembers of impeccable integrity, commitment,and heartfelt concern for the community.

And now we begin a new journey with County Executive Elrich, a man truly of the people; a school teacher and avid advocate for the 99%. We also have four new and five returning councilmembers. This includes a Latina and Latino, the first openly gay Councilmember, an African American, and a son of an African immigrant.

This local team is augmented by a Congressman who also happens to be a Constitutional scholar (Jamie Raskin), two amazing Senators (Van Hollen and Cardin), a fighter of an Attorney General (Frosh), and a team of diverse State Delegates that make us all proud. (Plus a School Board with Guatemalan friend Karal Silverstre, newly elected to the Board.)

These folks certainly do not agree on everything. Indeed, they have difficult disagreements on many issues. Yet, their core values are aligned – and it shows when they battle for major policy issues to continue on what we call our “Montgomery Way.”

If all politics islocal, I am certainly blessed to be in a good place!

For the record,here are some of the recent speeches – and statements – given by some of these elected officials. Words matter. And these are beautiful, inspiring, sincere words that give us pride – and challenge us for the journey ahead.

County ExecutiveElrich Vision Statement

County ExecutiveElrich Inauguration Speech

Council PresidentNancy Navarro’s Remarks at ther Installation as President

(Past) CouncilPresident Hans Reimer Remarks at the Inauguration