Democratic Candidate | Montgomery County Executive

Ensure Quality Public Schools.

I’m a proud graduate of Montgomery County Public Schools and the proud father of two current MCPS students. Education funding has been a priority for me since the very first days of my legislative career and it must be our County’s number one priority as well. Class sizes are booming and school construction hasn’t kept up. We need to do more to bring down the costs of construction so we can invest and focus on our teachers and classroom learning. Together, we can ensure that all students in the county have access to a great education that prepares them for the 21st century economy.

Cure Overcrowding by Opening Closed Structures. County-owned buildings sit empty while our children’s classrooms are overcrowded. As County Executive, I will work with MCPS to open buildings that can be used to educate our children.

Support our Educators. Support our Children. As the product of MCPS, I know the school environment must not only provide academic enrichment but also social and emotional support. As County Executive, I want to ensure that we provide educators everything they need so that they can focus on educating the next generation. Affordable housing and competitive pay are necessary to attract the talent needed to alleviate the burdens on our current teachers.

Grow Our Talent. Skilled tech workers are the key to attracting modern firms and strengthening existing businesses. I will implement partnerships with local leaders in secondary and higher education to improve academic outcomes and vocational training. Through partnerships with Montgomery College and USG, we can bring more cutting edge technology to enhance our output of skilled tech workers I will also develop incentives for businesses who provide funding to furthering their employees’ education.

Improve Planning and Smart Transportation.

Our commute times continue to grow, costing us time and money. Our current Council Members have failed to improve our traffic problems. We need to invest in Metro and transit, improve infrastructure, support housing near workplaces and telework, and deploy technology that makes our existing roadways more efficient. Together, we can get our residents moving again.

Implement Vehicle-To-Infrastructure Smart Technology. As County Executive, I will implement Smart Technology, such as systems that allow signals to alert drivers that a red light will change soon to lessen lags and move more cars through each green light cycle. These improvements will significantly improve traffic flow, reduce accidents, and keep pedestrians safe.

Embrace Crowdsourcing & Big Data. As County Executive, I will work with transportation planners and managers to take advantage of a free Connected Communities program that can work with apps such as Google and Waze to reduce congestion and accidents on the roads. These programs will allow us to efficiently and effectively identify and address transportation issues.

On-Demand Transit. Montgomery still runs its bus service on a 1920’s style system, with buses following routes and timetables as a means of communicating between drivers and passengers. I will work with the Department of Transportation to implement public on-demand transit systems that will provide riders with better service for off-peak trips at a lower cost.

Improve Quality of Life.

Local government exists first and foremost to provide quality education and efficient transportation options, and to ensure public safety. We must ensure that we prioritize and invest in these essential services. Good schools and safe neighborhoods are the reason so many of our families came to Montgomery County in the first place, and they are essential to our future. Together, we will make sure our funding priorities reflect these public priorities.

Recharge Our Economy.

The availability of good jobs with good wages is essential to ensuring that all residents can build stable and fruitful lives here in the County. Unfortunately, Montgomery County has developed a reputation as unfriendly to private enterprise, leading too many small and large businesses to choose D.C. or Virginia. When that happens, our property tax base shrinks and our income tax revenues suffer. Together, we can ensure our county is a progressive, inclusive community that also boasts a thriving and exciting private sector economy.

Entice Companies. As our neighboring jurisdictions have attracted new businesses, Montgomery has become stagnant. Today, economic growth relies upon attracting high-growth tech companies. As County Executive, I will roll out a Corporate Incentive program similar to the District, with zero corporate income taxes in the early stages of development for new tech firms. The Corporate Incentive program will also ensure corporate income tax parity with Virginia as the company grows. These programs will ensure we remain as attractive to businesses as our neighboring jurisdictions.

Refocus Montgomery County To Support and Invest in Businesses. As County Executive, I will establish an Economic Sustainability Task Force to evaluate our web of taxes and regulations and develop initiatives to support, cultivate, and grow local businesses and entrepreneurs. We must provide support to our businesses owners and entrepreneurs so that they feel they can safely invest in Montgomery County without the rules constantly changing.

Partner with Our Neighbors. Our county’s growth shows Montgomery County is one of the best places to live! I want to ensure that people who work in Maryland, the District, and Virginia continue to want to call Montgomery County home.

Reform Local Government.

Montgomery County needs to provide a great public education, safe communities, and the transportation infrastructure to ensure families can spend their time together instead of stuck on congested roadways. The County does not need to be in the liquor business or cable media business, for example. As your County Executive, my administration would embrace reforms and technological improvements to deliver services more economically and efficiently, and to better align spending with constituent priorities like schools, transportation and public safety. Together, we can improve our delivery of core services by reducing our involvement in unnecessary and ancillary enterprises.

Dismantle & Sell the Liquor Monopoly. Montgomery County is the only county in the nation that is the exclusive wholesale supplier of all beer, wine and spirits to restaurants and retailers. The state Bureau of Revenue Estimates estimated we would receive $200M each year in economic benefit if we end the County’s monopoly—a monopoly that currently only brings in about $30M a year (which is less than ½ of 1% of the County’s $5B budget).

Economic Savings for Residents. The liquor monopoly has led restaurateurs to avoid opening new establishments in Montgomery County. Neighborhoods in DC have been revitalized with the modern craft food culture, a phenomenon that has largely skipped Montgomery because of a broken system. Eliminating this broken monopoly will reap benefits through increased dining out and economic growth in the County.

An Advocate for an Efficient System and Healthy Competition. I have proposed legislation that would allow the state to share increases in the alcohol sales tax that will flow from dismantling the County’s monopoly . That would mean that as we regain sales that are currently being lost to Virginia and DC, the County will see revenue increases. This will almost certainly exceed the current monopoly’s revenues over the medium and long term.