Supporting Progressive Local Candidates Since 2006
Progressive Neighbors was formed in 2006 to help get progressives elected to local office.
Many progressives live in District 20 where we started but few at the time paid attention to
local politics. The State Senator for District 20 in the Maryland Legislature, had been in office for 32 years. But she had lost touch with her constituents in Silver Spring and Takoma Park. She supported the war with Iraq and was too conservative on many issues.
Progressive Neighbors encouraged Jamie Raskin, a professor of Constitutional Law at American University to run against her in the primary. The Washington Post declared his challenge was “impossible” yet through hard work and campaigning door-to-door Raskin defeated her in the primary (The Post later declared his victory was “inevitable.”).
After Raskin served for 10 years in the State Senate, Congressman Chris Van Hollan decided to run for Senate to replace Barbara Mikulski who had retired. Raskin decided to run for Congress. In the primary he was opposed by a multi-millionaire who spent millions on the race and a TV star/Corporate executive who also spent over $2 million. He defeated both and went on to a prominent role in Congress, including in the House impeachment hearings.
Each election cycle since 2006 Progressive Neighbors has vetted candidates and developed a
voters guide to help voters identify the most progressive ones. We have focused primarily on local elections for Montgomery County council, County Executive, and down ballot races where many voters are unfamiliar with the candidates, like school board and judges.
In 2018, we supported Marc Elrich for County Executive in the primary which he won by 87 votes. In 2018 several other groups had been created to work on electing candidates. We partnered that year with Progressive Maryland, Our Revolution and Democratic Socialists of America to develop a joint voters guide with some success.
We believe elections matter and that local elections are where we can have the most impact.
This is one reason Montgomery County is one of the most progressive in the nation and our
local legislators, particularly in District 20 (Silver Spring/Takoma Park), are the most progressive in the State. They are having an impact on many issues from same-sex marriage, the death penalty, criminal justice reform, energy issues, food and nutrition, to worker safety.
We hope you will join our efforts to make a more just and equitable Montgomery county and Maryland.