Purple Line Trail Costs Double

From the Washington Post (h/t Center Maryland):

The estimated cost to rebuild a popular running and bike trail along a proposed light-rail Purple Line between Bethesda and Silver Spring has almost doubled, to about $95 million, Montgomery County officials said Thursday.

The projected $45 million increase comes after Montgomery County officials have promised for years that a trail would remain, even after trains began running through what many now consider to be a wooded oasis in the heavily developed Maryland suburbs.

This is the latest in a string of increases for the Purple Line, which has doubled in price to over $2 billion.

Fortunately, both proponents and opponents of the Purple Line agree that past promises to include the running and bike trail alongside the trains must remain in the final plan, as do County officials:

Gary Erenrich, a special assistant to the director of Montgomery County’s Transportation Department, said County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will update his six-year capital budget proposal to reflect the higher figures.

“We’re assuming the whole trail will be built,” Erenrich said.

Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), whose district includes the trail, said its reconstruction remains “inseparable” from the Purple Line project.

“People have appreciated for some time that we have a deal here,” Berliner said.

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It’s On

Montgomery County Council District 1
Democratic Primary
DEBATE
Berliner v. Trachtenberg
Wednesday, April 30th at 7PM

Town of Chevy Chase
Town Hall
4301 Willow Lane

I recall the debate four years ago between incumbent Roger Berliner and challenger Ilya Hopkins as being unusually combative. As this contest is even more heated, I only expect this year’s Democratic primary debate to be more so.

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At-Large MoCo Council Race, Pt. 1

MarcElrichMarc Elrich Argues for a Higher Minimum Wage

All four Montgomery County Council incumbents elected at-large are running for reelection: Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer. Two challengers are also in the race: Beth Daly and Vivian Malloy. Both are credible candidates.

Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal joined the Council in 2002 as part of County Executive Doug Duncan’s “End Gridlock” slate. Elrich lost that year but joined the Council when tides turned in 2006. Hans Riemer lost the primary for the District 5 seat to Valerie Ervin in 2006 but unseated one-term incumbent Duchy Trachtenberg with Valerie’s support in 2010.

Gauging the shape of these primaries is difficult. In a county of roughly 1 million people, the county government–equivalent to the city council of a city of the same size–remains much less known than it deserves. Indeed, for the challengers, one of the main problems is getting sufficiently well-known to pose a serious challenge.

None can afford to advertise on television in this very expensive media market. Communication through the mail, in person, and now through social media are the central means of voter contact. All also race around the county following a brutal schedule that makes me tired just thinking about it.

Oddly enough, the Council’s most conservative and liberal members seem safe. In his first reelection bid in 2010, liberal Marc Elrich came in first by a mile despite being underfunded as usual. He is best known for his relentless advocacy of a countywide bus-rapid transit system–an indication of a willingness to work with development interests that he is better known for opposing.

Marc’s BRT plan still strikes me as the most innovative and future-oriented vision for the County. It has the potential not just to aid the County’s transportation needs but also to promote economic and job growth in a sustainable way over the long term.

Nancy has been a leading voice on the other side, successfully promoting revision of zoning laws in a developer friendly manner. While part of the County’s liberal consensus on social questions, she also has staked out conservative positions on other issues, such as her opposition to the county bag tax.

Even as she argues tenaciously for her positions, Nancy also does a good job of keeping in touch with all sides. Despite being seen in many ways as the Chamber’s closest ally on the Council, she is also occasionally willing to deviate from this pattern, particularly when pressed hard by well-organized large civic groups.

Both Marc and Nancy are smart, opinionated lawmakers who utterly disagree on many big issues before the Council.

nancy_and_alexandraNancy Floreen Seeking Golden Shovel Nominees

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Young Guns of Prince George’s

1. Ed Burroughs – Not only is Ed the youngest member of Prince George’s School Board, he’s established himself as a national thought leader on education reform. Although he passed on what would have been an easy open seat race for Delegate in D26, a promotion is surely in his near future. He’ll certainly be the favorite to succeed Obie Patterson on the County Council . . . if he wants it. Close with the Iveys, he could also end up as a bigwig in a potential Gansler administration.

2. Dave Murray – Nobody out hustles Dave Murray. He came within a razor’s edge of capturing a seat on the Prince George’s Board of Ed in 2010 and 2012. While he won the primary with an overwhelming majority, the demographics of a General Election universe of voters are challenging for him. When term-limited Mary Lehman leaves the council in 2018, you can count on Dave to replace her.

3. Raaheela Ahmed – Raaheela came gut wrenchingly close to beating the Chair of the Prince George’s Board of Education last cycle. While her father Shukoor is a bit of a perennial candidate, Raaheela will be in Annapolis before the next round of redistricting.

4. Larry Stafford – Deputy Field Director on Heather Mizeur’s gubernatorial campaign, Larry also revitalized the Prince George’s Young Dems. He’s sure to continue to rise behind the scenes regardless of how Heather’s bank shot bid turns out.

5. Dinora Hernandez – She grew up in Lewisdale, went to Michigan Law, and has recently worked for County Executive Rushern Baker’s lobby shop. She has pressed for greater recognition of Prince George’s growing diversity. In her current School Board campaign, she has argued hard for more parent liaison resources in areas with high concentrations of limited-English proficient students. Already a leader with the skills to move forward and to offer.

6. Walakewon Blegay – Walakewon is an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. Previously, she worked in U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s District Office, as a Legislative Aide to Ben Barnes, and as a staffer on the campaigns of Tom Perez (for Attorney General) and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (for Baltimore City Council President). Of Nigerian and Liberian descent, she is also a leader in Maryland’s growing continental African Community. Definitely one to watch.

7. Jazz Lewis – Jazz is an extremely talented Prince George’s based organizer. He’s worked for everyone from SEIU to Del. Michael Summers to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. Currently a grad student at UMD, he is sure to continue and rise in politics.

 

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MSEA Legislative Endorsements

msealogo
Here are the endorsements for the Maryland State Education Association for the General Assembly. As always, I’ve done my best to note non-incumbents in boldface and Republicans with (R). MSEA’s endorsements in Montgomery County (Districts 15-20, 39) are identical to those of MCEA.

District 1
Senate: George Edwards (R)
House: Kevin Kelly (1B), Nick Scarpelli (1C)

District 2
House: Elizabeth Paul (2A)

District 3
Senate: Ron Young
House: Carol Krimm (3A), Karen Lewis Young (3A), Stephen Slater (3B)

District 4
House: Gene Stanton

District 5
House: Haven Shoemaker, Jr. (R)

District 6
Senate: John Olszweski, Jr.
House: Ed Crizer, Eric Washington, Michael Weir

District 7
House: Bob Bowie, Jr., Norman Gifford

District 8
Senate: Kathy Klausmeier
House: Eric Bromwell, Bill Paulshock, Renee Smith

District 9
Senate: Daniel Medinger
House: Trent Kittleman (R-9A), James Morrow (9A), Tom Coale (9B)

District 10
Senate: Delores Kelly
House: Rob Johnson, Adrienne Jones, Carin Smith

District 11
Senate: Robert Zirkin
House: Don Engel, Dan Morhaim, Dana Stein

District 12
Senate: Ed Kasemeyer
House: Brian Bailey, Eric Ebersole, Clarence Lam

District 13
Senate: Guy Guzzone
House: Vanessa Atterbeary, Shane Pendergrass, Frank Turner

District 14
Senate: Karen Montgomery
House: Anne Kaiser, Eric Luedtke, Craig Zucker

District 15
Senate: Brian Feldman
House: Kathleen Dumais, Aruna Miller, Bennet Rushkoff

District 16
Senate: Susan Lee
House: Bill Frick, Hrant Jamgochian, Ariana Kelly

District 17
House: Kumar Barve, Jim Gilchrist, Andrew Platt

District 18
Senate: Rich Madaleno
House: Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutiérrez, Jeff Waldstreicher

District 19
Senate: Roger Manno
House: Bonnie Cullison, Ben Kramer

District 20
Senate: Jamie Raskin
House: Sheila Hixson, David Moon, Will Smith

District 21
Senate: Jim Rosapepe
House: Barbara Frush, Joseline Peña-Melnyk

District 22
Senate: Paul Pinsky
House: Tawanna Gaines, Anne Healey, Alonzo Washington

District 23
Senate: Doug Peters
House: James Hubbard (23A), Marvin Holmes (23B), Joe Vallario (23B)

District 24
Senate: Joanne Benson
House: Erek Barron, Carolyn Howard, Michael Vaughn

District 25
Senate: Ulysses Currie
House: Angela Angel, Darryl Barnes, Dereck Davis

District 26
Senate: Anthony Muse
House: Tamara Brown, Jay Walker

District 27
Senate: Mike Miller
House: James Proctor (27A), Michael Jackson (27B), Sue Kullen (27C)

District 28
Senate: Thomas Middleton
House: Sally Jameson, Candice Quinn Kelly, C.T. Wilson

District 29
Senate: Roy Dyson
House: John Bohanan (29B), Leonard Zuza (29C)

District 30
Senate: John Astle
House: Michael Busch (30A), Maria Triandos (30A)

District 31
House: Stan Janor

District 32
Senate: James DeGrange
House: Pam Beidle, Spencer Dove, Thedore Sophocleus

District 33
Henry Green

District 35
House: David Rudolph (35A)

District 36
House: Alan McCarthy, Irving Pinder, Robert Thornton, Jr.

District 37
House: Sheree Sample-Hughes (37A), Christopher Adams (R-37B), Keasha Haythe (37B)

District 38
Senate: Jim Mathias
House: Percy Purnell, Jr. (38A), Norman Conway (38B), Judy Davis (38C)

District 39
Senate: Nancy King
House: Charles Barkley, Kirill Reznik, Shane Robinson

District 42
Senate: Jim Brochin
House: Stephen Lafferty (42A), Robert Leonard (42B)

District 43
House: Maggie McIntosh

District 44
Senate: Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
House: Aaron Barnett (44B), Rainier Harvey (44B)

District 45
Senate: Nathaniel McFadden
House: Cory McCray

District 46
House: Pete Hammen

District 47
Senate: Victor Ramirez
House: Jimmy Tarlou (47A), Michael Summers (47A)

 

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County Council District Maps

This post is a collection of the new councilmanic district maps from around Maryland. I have done my best to make sure that they are the new rather the old districts but please let me know if any are outdated and where I might find the new map.

They are organized by the type of electoral system used by the county starting with (1) elected at-large with district residency requirements followed by (2) elected entirely from districts, and (3) elected by a mixture of districts and at-large. Counties are listed alphabetically within each category.

ALL ELECTED AT-LARGE WITH A RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT

Cecil County: Five commissioners with staggered terms.

Cecil Districts

 

Garrett County: Three commissioners.

Garrett Districts

 

ALL ELECTED FROM DISTRICTS

Anne Arundel: Seven councilmembers.

AA Districts

 

Baltimore County: Seven councilmembers.

BaltCo Districts

 

Carroll County: five commissioners.

Carroll Districts

 

Dorchester County: five councilmembers.

Dorchester Districts

 

Howard County: five councilmembers.

Howard Districts

 

Prince George’s: nine councilmembers.

PG Districts

 

Somerset County: five commissioners (unclear if these are the old or new districts).

Somerset Districts

 

Worcester County: seven commissioners.

Worcester Districts

 

MIXED

Baltimore City: 14 councilmembers elected from districts and the Council President elected at-large.

BaltCity Districts

 

Frederick County: five councilmembers elected from districts and two elected at-large.

Frederick Districts

 

Harford County: six councilmembers elected from districts and the council president elected at-large.

Harford Districts

 

Montgomery County: five councilmembers elected from districts and four elected at-large.

council_districts

 

Wicomico County: five councilmembers elected from districts and two elected at-large.

Wicomico Districts

 

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Progressive Neighbors Caves

PNWebanner

In a previous post (“Not So Progressive Neighbors“), I detailed PN’s problematic, unethical endorsement process. Among other criticisms I made was their inexplicable decision not to endorse incumbent Del. Ana Sol Gutiérrez:

Other choices seem as bizarre. In District 18, Del. Ana Sol Gutiérrez has long been a stalwart staunch progressive. How on earth can she, the first Latina elected to public office in Montgomery County who passionately favors left-wing policies to reduce economic inequality, not be progressive enough?

They’ve quietly changed their mind and endorsed Del. Gutiérrez “after input from our supporters and reconsideration by the Steering Committee.” Disgruntlement with their flawed process has gone beyond the many Democratic incumbents who wouldn’t even respond to their questionnaire.

Looks like PN has taken the first step towards the first step of admitting that they have a problem.

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Putting a Face on the Victims of Gun Violence

Two teenagers, Najee Thomas and Michael Mayfield, were shot this past week in Baltimore. Najee was 14 and Michael was 17. According to reports, “Michael was passionate about the Junior ROTC, band and the Inner Harbor Project. He played for the Edmondson High School baseball team.” Najee worked at a smoothie stand in Camden Yards and dreamed of being a lawyer.

I’m sure all reading this join me in expressing deepest condolences to their families.

Michael MayfieldMichael Mayfield

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Najee Thomas

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Kessler Responds to CASA’s Torres

Kessler

Rick Kessler issued the following comment in response to the strong defense of Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez’s decision to travel to El Salvador by CASA de Maryland’s Gustavo Torres .

This is a question of commitment to District 18.  It is about the choices made by one elected official who chose to be absent for two days during the recent Maryland Legislative Session to vote in the Salvadoran election when she could have voted by mail. The Legislative Session only runs for 90 days: I believe that the Session is important and that Delegates are elected to be present and participate. There were important Appropriations Committee budget hearings on those days that she could have attended and still voted in the El Salvador election by mail.I think the people of  District 18 deserve better: they have a right to expect that the priority of their elected legislators is to participate fully in the Maryland legislative process on behalf of the people who elected them.

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