What office are you running for? County Council
Political party: Democrat
Where you live: Wheaton
Date of birth: Oct. 28, 1980
Current occupation and employer:
Natali is a business owner of a policy and communications firm with contracts at the national and regional level. Her team manages multi-million dollar contracts to design, build and run public engagement campaigns throughout the country on a variety of issues, including increasing access to early childhood education for all families, housing justice, reproductive rights, and access to health care for all.
In 2014, Natali ran for state delegate in District 18, yet ended up appointed to the Montgomery County Planning Board that same year. From 2014 to 2021, Natali was a member of the Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. During her tenure, she became vice chair of the Planning Board.
Why are you running for this office?
Montgomery County is evolving through demographic shifts, economic realities and technological changes; we need a proven leader to move us forward. I am the only candidate with local government experience, managing and voting on annual budgets worth millions of dollars while making decisions on transportation infrastructure, land use, and maintenance of parks, trails and athletic fields. I’m known to be a trusted and experienced leader who gets things done and who always works in collaboration.
What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?
This pandemic has been brutal on our families, particularly low-income families. Children can’t learn if they don’t have a home, food on the table, or access to the internet. That’s why we urgently need a comprehensive housing and economic development strategy that brings good-paying jobs to our county. Furthermore, I strongly believe that Montgomery County’s economic development goals must involve our school system. Education – from early childhood education to college, including vocational schools – is key for the county’s economic development and job growth. We must bring good paying jobs, particularly green jobs, so every family has the opportunity to succeed.
What is one major issue that has been handled poorly and what would you have done differently?
Pedestrian and cyclist safety has been handled poorly. People are literally getting killed just because they are crossing the streets or riding their bike. As a Planning Board commissioner, I have a strong voting record on these vital issues as well as a strong record on engaging community members of all backgrounds to advocate for upgrades in our transportation infrastructure. On the council, I will work hard to get the funds needed – particularly from the federal government – to redesign our streets so they are safe for everyone to walk, bike, roll and drive.
What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?
I bring local government experience and a strong background on economic opportunities for all. Until recently, I was the vice chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, the agency that oversees our park system, real estate development and transportation infrastructure. My long-standing voting record reveals my strong commitment to creating vibrant, sustainable, and healthy communities for all. In my tenure, I was a key player in many strategic planning objectives including the Montgomery County Growth and Infrastructure Policy, Veirs Mills Corridor Master Plan, the Aspen Hill Vision Zero study, Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan, Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan, and the Bicycle Master Plan.