I received the following response from Terrill North to Del. Eric Luedtke’s post about the needs of the northern end of Montgomery County Council District 5. Like Evan Glass, he is a candidate for this open council seat.
I’m glad Del. Luedtke is paying attention, but as the unnamed candidate he mentioned canvassing the area I’d like to add a few details.
I began talking with my neighbors in Burtonsville “officially” in 2010 when I led Impact Silver Spring’s efforts knocking on over 4500 doors and meeting with community leaders examining local needs.
Residents told us they wanted:
· constructive activities for the youth, and
· better job opportunities for adults.
That year (with seed money from Councilmember Navarro), we expanded Impact’s afterschool program (then serving 60-90 kids in Long Branch) to East County (now serving over 400 youth primarily in East County). This year, we worked with a coalition of stakeholders to launch the first workforce development program serving East County (so local residents could benefit from job opportunities coming with the FDA Science Center). We are also currently working to bring Montgomery College continuing education programs to the East County Regional Services Center.
I’m already enacting the plan for East County based on resident concerns.
As a candidate, spending a lot of time in East County is second nature to me because most of my in-laws live there; I’ve been hearing their concerns without asking since long before 2010! Since my campaign kick-off at Cuba de Ayer on Route 198 in February, I have been actively engaging Burtonsville voters (and non-voters). I will be in White Oak this weekend meeting with 230 families from another multi-cultural youth program I work with, structuring a summer day camp featuring sports, meals, and academics (modeled on the program I saved from Bush Administration cuts in 2007 as a Hill staffer). That’s after judging an oratorical contest for East County youth that morning (1st annual competition of MoCo youth in the Baltimore Urban Debate League).
I will disagree with Eric about one thing, I don’t think East County is ignored. The key, however, is that residents need to vote! The precinct at Greencastle Elementary had an 8% turnout in the 2010 local primary, compared to 40% at Takoma Park Elementary. I spoke at a D14 Democratic Club forum last week where the only Burtonsville residents in attendance were candidates for central committee. The more folks vote, the more quickly issues will be addressed.
I develop institutions that improve the lives of District Five residents wherever they live. I put as much effort into establishing a workforce development program in East County as securing over $1 million for stormwater mitigation in Takoma Park. Best of both worlds!