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NEW
LEADERSHIP


EXPERIENCED 
PERSPECTIVE

 

ISSUES

 

Revitalizing Our Economy and Rebounding From the Pandemic.

Montgomery County is the economic engine of the state and one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, yet we’re falling behind our regional neighbors on some key economic indicators and persistent inequality exists in our community. The onset of the pandemic deepened these issues and hit our communities hard; worsening health and economic disparities that have existed without being addressed for far too long. As we move ahead, we have to center recovery for those most impacted and work to finally address persistent inequality. We also need to prioritize investments that will spur economic growth - attracting new industries and employers to the region, creating good jobs for our residents, and fortifying our tax base to fund local services.                                                                                                                                                           

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William has always been a leader in this fight.  He is a voice for improving the County’s business climate and worked in community coalitions to support local small business development, especially those owned by women and people of color. He helped lead the charge against a ballot initiative that threatened the County’s AAA bond rating and fiscal future. He  has also worked to combat food insecurity as a member of Manna Food Center’s advocacy task force.  As a member of the Upcounty COVID Committee and the Community Recovery Advisory Group, William has advised county staff as they devised strategies to address the real-time impacts of the pandemic . He is ready to help our economy and communities recover and he is committed to:

 

  • Recognizing small businesses as the lifeblood of our county and developing long-term solutions and partnerships to help them gain the resources they need, like access to capital and business development opportunities, to set them up for success.

  • Taking a holistic approach to implement best-practices that would make Montgomery County a more attractive and efficient place to do business, including an increase in the percentage of the county budget spent on economic development and a focus on the reinvestment of county contracting dollars into local businesses.

  • Helping working families regain their economic footing by focusing more investment in workforce training and development that supports a living wage.

  • Investing in the I-270 biotech corridor to create the jobs and innovation of the future.

  • Collaborating with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to attract and retain employers, incubate new businesses, and foster economic development Upcounty. 

  • Investing in community partnerships that work to extend county services and address barriers.

  • Prioritizing the implementation of the county’s racial equity and social justice framework. 

Investing in a Lifetime Pursuit of Education.

A quality education is the most powerful driver of success in our society. That’s why it’s critical for every student to have high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities from pre-K to career. We are fortunate to have excellent institutions like Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery College, and the Universities at Shady Grove - as well as phenomenal teachers and staff dedicated to educating our students. Yet we know that persistent opportunity and resource gaps exist, creating different outcomes for too many, and we need a clear equity focus to close them. Our systems are not without their challenges and we need strong partnerships to ensure that we’re setting students up for success. We need investments that will prepare our kids for higher education, the future workforce, and civic engagement. We also must ensure that teachers, staff, and partners have the resources they deserve.

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Before William and Michelle started their family, they decided to call Montgomery County home because of our excellent schools.  As parents to a pre-Kindergartener, they personally understand the struggle to find affordable childcare. William cares intently about the future of our educational system and he understands the social and economic correlation between great schools and a strong workforce. That’s why he joined the Clarksburg High School PTA and works with organizations focused on achievement for students of color. In Congress and as a community advocate, he’s supported resources to train our students for the future and close the opportunity gap. 

As we look to keep the promise of a brighter future to our kids and educate our community over a lifetime, William is committed to:

 

  • Supporting a significant expansion of high quality early childhood educational options that are affordable and accessible as well as ensuring that there’s more support for schools and community-based providers.

  • Prioritizing trade education, apprenticeships, and other career pathways that will fill the skills gap, prepare students for high-demand careers, and provide retraining opportunities for those switching careers due to the pandemic.

  • Robustly supporting MCPS and working with parents, teachers, students, and other stakeholders to close opportunity gaps and prioritizing support for broader mental and emotional health services in school.

  • Championing Upcounty school capacity and infrastructure needs to keep pace with growth and address deferred maintenance issues, including advocating for smaller class sizes and additional school construction.

  • Ensuring that teachers receive the resources, training, pay, and respect they deserve and that all students have access to high-quality educators.

  • Dramatically expanding broadband access to close the digital divide and ensure that students, families, educators, and communities are better connected.

  • Working with the Board of Education and community stakeholders to make sure that every child has access to free and nutritious meals in school to ensure that, in one of the wealthiest counties in America, no child has to try to learn on an empty stomach.

 

Supporting Multimodal Transportation Solutions.

 

For years the rapid growth of the Upcounty has outpaced investments in our transportation infrastructure. Our residents feel their needs are overlooked as we see Upcounty projects delayed and deprioritized. Our traffic challenges impact quality of life and our economic opportunity. There are no easy fixes and a one-size-fits all approach will not suffice; we must think critically about what improvements best serve the diverse areas of the Upcounty and work together to see them completed. That means keeping a full range of transportation options on the table that address our desire for more mobility with a multi-modal approach that provides communities with options that are environmentally sustainable. 

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William has a long history as a champion of various transportation solutions tailored to our needs in Upcounty. In his role with Congressman Raskin, he worked to get more funding for Metro and he was part of the team that secured millions in federal grant dollars to purchase more electric buses and charging stations for RideOn. As chair of the Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board (UCAB) and chair of the board’s Land Use Committee, he has a detailed understanding of the approach we need and solutions that will end gridlock, connect communities, and allow safe travel by any mode. That’s why he is committed to:

 

  • Championing high-quality public transit projects like the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on MD 355 as well as all-day, two-way, week-long MARC train service on the Brunswick Line.

  • Completing the Observation Drive and Snowden Farm Parkway extensions in a manner that protects the environment and provides capacity for those who walk or roll as well as bikers, transit riders, and drivers.

  • Prioritizing the expansion of Upcounty bus routes and an extension of RideOn Extra to the Germantown/Upcounty Transit Center in addition to expanding free RideOn service. 

  • Increasing capacity and reducing gridlock on I-270 for drivers and transit riders.

  • Working with advocates and communities to ensure we have finished sidewalks, complete streets, and safe options for all modes of transportation.

  • Supporting mixed-use, transit-oriented development that will help us grow strategically.

 

Safeguarding the Agricultural Reserve and Addressing the Climate Crisis.

 

The 93,000 acres of “farms, fields, and forests” that make up our Ag Reserve are truly a natural gem. One of the nation’s most successful local agricultural preservation projects, it protects farmland and agricultural history; provides locally sourced products and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation; and generates more than $280M in revenue for Montgomery County. The Reserve is also a critical part of our battle against food insecurity and climate change. As food insecurity grows across our county, local communities and organizations have partnered to utilize the Ag Reserve’s bounty to keep families fed. The reserve’s future, and our own, depends on our fight against the climate crisis. We know that we have to do more to address the emergency, like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building greener, incentivising renewables and clean energy usage, and making our infrastructure more resilient to withstand changing weather patterns. As we all deal with the impacts of the climate crisis, the benefits that the reserve gives us in protecting our drinking water and cleaning our air cannot be taken for granted.

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While working in Congress, William focused on ensuring that small local farmers were protected and he spearheaded an effort to make infrastructure in floodplains more resilient to climate change. On the Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board, he has been an outspoken champion of the Ag Reserve and in our growing agricultural economy and he knows that we have to keep the reserve environmentally and economically sustainable. That’s why he is committed to:

 

  • Protecting the Ag Reserve for future generations to enjoy it’s benefits; promoting investment in agribusiness and leveraging our local assets to make Montgomery County a leader in agritourism.

  • Working with farmers and local food producers to enhance the ability to cultivate the land and invest in farm upgrades like high tunnels, green houses, and cold storage that can produce additional yields.

  • Adapting best practices from the pandemic to work with farmers, the local community, and public-private partners to bolster processing, distribution, and sale of more local food and agricultural products.

  • Generating and taking advantage of innovations locally to help realize the county’s climate goals like reducing emissions, promoting solar installations, prioritizing renewable energy, investing in clean transit, and focusing on greener and more resilient infrastructure.

 

Ensuring More Affordable Housing to Meet Our Needs.

 

Safe, affordable, accessible housing is a foundational piece of family and community stability and home ownership is still one of the best ways to create family wealth. For far too many in Montgomery County, the rising cost of housing and the lack of quality affordable housing options has walled them off from opportunity.  For the nearly forty percent of county residents who rent their homes, skyrocketing costs have forced them to spend more of their income on housing and the eviction crisis brought on by COVID-19 has exacerbated the strain. Estimates indicate that Montgomery County needs to create thousands of new housing units every year to meet regional demand, and we’ll need multifaceted solutions to meet these challenges. 

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Since his early days as an attorney and policy advocate, William has been a fighter for affordable housing. The first clients he represented were local tenants in fair housing cases. He chairs the Renters Alliance as a voice for tenant rights and safe multifamily housing. In Congress, he helped Marylanders stay in their homes during the foreclosure crisis and worked on policies that made it easier for first-time homebuyers to afford a home. That’s why he is committed to: 

 

  • Supporting policies that create more diverse housing options and types across our county to meet future demand; prioritizing housing in mixed use and mixed income developments and those near job centers and transit. 

  • Advancing efforts that allow those who are interested in a route to homeownership to be successful, like down payment assistance and rent-to-own programs.

  • Fully funding rental assistance and homelessness prevention programs as well as grants to support partnerships with nonprofits that provide renter outreach and education; working with tenants and property owners alike to ensure protection of renters rights, oversight of code enforcement issues, and harmonious rental communities.

  • Prioritizing affordable housing preservation to prevent displacement as well as strategies that will help current residents stay in their homes.

  • Pursuing innovative ideas that provide options for renters to build equity and maintain affordability.