School Board At-Large
Progressive Neighbors hosted Zoom interviews with both candidates for the At-Large seat on the Board of Education this fall. Both are excellent candidates and bring many strengths to the ticket. They were clearly the strongest candidates on the primary ballot at which time we endorsed both of them.
Now that they are running against each other, we have decided to endorse Sunil Dasgupta for the November election. We believe Sunil is more committed to racial and economic justice in the school system from reducing segregation and redistributing resources to where the need is greatest. He also has a better plan for reopening focused on the students that need in-person learning the most and would be most affected by virtual instruction.
Progressive Neighbors recommends a vote for Sunil Dasgupta for Board of
Education At-Large on the November ballot.
View the interviews below:
County Circuit Judge
Progressive Neighbors endorses Marilyn Pierre for Circuit Judge.
Circuit Court Judges are appointed by the Governor to fill vacancies but then must run for election during the next cycle for a 15 year term. These judges are “vetted” by the Bar Associations and the Governor’s Trial Court Commission, but the system tends to be conservative and does not support progressive candidates focused on reforming the system. This process is opaque and needs to be overhauled.
This year a challenger, Marylin Pierre, has beat the odds and made it through the primary (coming in third of 6 candidates on the Democratic ballot). You get up to four votes on your ballot, but we recommend you only vote for Marylin (bullet voting) which will increase her chances of getting elected.
Marylin Pierre emigrated from Haiti at a young age, graduated from Howard University Law School and has been practicing law for 28 years. Her practice includes family law, criminal law, juvenile law and probate. She was also a Lieutenant in the Army Reserves and a legal redress attorney for the Montgomery County NAACP. She has been chair of the Montgomery County
Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and has been honored with numerous awards including being named three times as one of the “top 100 Women” in Maryland. We need her grassroots experience and empathy on the courts to help create a more racially and economically just system
Montgomery County Ballot Questions
VOTE FOR A, NOT B:
Question A would set the property tax rate at the overall annual rate of
inflation. It uses a broader range of price increases than the current limit.
Approving this question will enable the County to provide essential services
that will be needed during the pandemic with a fair tax rate. No property
taxes could be raised without 100% Council approval.
Progressive Neighbors supports a “YES” vote on Question A.
Question B freezes property taxes at the dollar amount collected last year,
with limited exceptions. It eliminates the Council’s ability to change future
property taxes even if the population and development continues to grow in
the County. This change would force the County to borrow money in order to
provide critical goods and services that future growth will demand.
Progressive Neighbors strongly urges you to vote “NO” on Question B.
Vote for C NOT D
Currently the Montgomery County Council has 9 members, 5 District members and 4
At-Large members. Residents vote for 1 District member and 4 At-large members.
Question C would add two additional District members and expand the Council to 11 (7 District and 4 At-Large). Voters would still be able to vote for 5 County Council
VOTE YES ON QUESTION C
Some residents feel that they are under-represented on
the Council. Adding 2 districts and district members could add diversity:
New districts would need to be drawn. It is not clear how this would be carried
Each district council member would represent 143,000 people instead of
There would still be 4 At-Large members so each resident gets to vote for 5
VOTE NO ON QUESTION D
Question D would eliminate all At-Large members and re-district the county into 9
separate Districts. Voters would be able to vote for only one member of the Council for their own district. This is a divisive proposal. Eliminating At-Large
members on the County Council is a terrible idea for two reasons:
It eliminates the elected officials who campaign and take into consideration the
county as a whole instead of fighting for smaller district matters.
It gives voters less power to choose the council members, only being allowed to
vote for 1 person instead of 5 people as is the case now.
State Ballot Questions
Yes on 1, No on 2
The Governor of Maryland has unparalleled power over the state budget. The Governor’s budget cannot be increased or shifted around by the legislature. Question 1, if approved, would shift some of that power to the State Legislature and allow them to enact their priorities if they disagree with the Governor.
Progressive Neighbors strongly recommends a vote FOR Question 1.
Question 2 would expand sports and event betting in Maryland including online gambling. Progressive Neighbors opposes this question because gambling is a regressive tax that falls mostly on the poor and we don’t believe assurances that the money will go “primarily” to education. There are better ways to raise revenue, through progressive taxes on the wealthy.
Progressive Neighbors strongly recommends a vote AGAINST Question 2.
Progressive Neighbors endorses Jaime Raskin for reelection to Congress for Maryland’s 8th congressional district.
Progressive Neighbors endorses Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 presidential race.