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Where you live: Bethesda
Date of birth: Jan. 9, 1986
Current occupation and employer:
Montgomery County Council member, District 1
Formerly Senior Policy Adviser, Maryland Comptroller & Interim Executive Director, College Savings Plans of Maryland (529)
Montgomery County Council member, District 1, 2018-present
Why are you running for this office?
I’m running for re-election to continue making a difference and delivering results for a more sustainable, competitive, and inclusive community. Together, we’ve made significant progress to make Montgomery County more attractive, accessible, and affordable: sponsoring legislation to address our affordable housing and climate crises; boosting our global leadership in biohealth innovation; and strengthening our ethics laws and fiscal oversight requirements. We also improved the way we budget and fixed the county’s broken property tax system.
What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?
The housing crisis threatens our ability to build the inclusive community we value and to grow the economy needed to sustain our quality of life. We’ve tackled this head-on: co-authoring a revolving $100 million Housing Production Fund to create 6,000 affordable units over 20 years; growing the Housing Initiative Fund to $100 million to fund preservation and production of affordable housing; providing more certainty to nonprofit housing providers; incentivizing housing near transit including Metro stations; and leading the effort to eliminate the destructive housing moratorium countywide. We need more housing at all levels and must continue this historic progress.
What is one criticism you have received while in office and what is your response?
I’ve been criticized at times for being too focused on economic growth. But I won’t apologize for championing local employers who support countless families in our community. To maintain our high quality of life and protect vulnerable residents, we must grow a thriving private sector economy that supports new jobs and sustains higher wages. We are in an increasingly competitive environment regionally and nationally, and businesses have choices for where to locate. If we want entrepreneurs to invest in Montgomery County, we have to show them that we appreciate and we support them – as customers and as a county government.
What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?
Serving on the council during the worst public health crisis in a century has provided the greatest on-the-job training imaginable. Given my prior background scrutinizing billions of dollars in public investments, overseeing large government agencies, and in fiscal, economic, regulatory and tax policy, I felt ready to serve four years ago. But no background could have prepared me like helping to lead our community’s response to Covid-19, protecting vulnerable residents, building successful partnerships, and providing relief to local businesses. I’m better prepared than ever before to seize on lessons learned and build a stronger, more inclusive, more resilient Montgomery County.