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Montgomery County Council District 3

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DEMOCRAT

Sidney Katz (incumbent)

• Where you live: Gaithersburg

• Date of birth: March 24, 1950

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Montgomery County Council member for District 3

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Member of Gaithersburg City Council, 1978-1998. Mayor of Gaithersburg, 1998-2014. Montgomery County Council member, 2014-present.

• Campaign information:

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

I’m running for re-election to continue the progress we’ve made. What I’ve brought to my first term on the County Council is experience and a consensus-building approach to legislating that I honed during my years serving the City of Gaithersburg. I helped bring Mental Health Courts to Montgomery County, I led the passage of senior tax deferral legislation, and due to my leadership and consensus-building, the Council unanimously passed the $15 minimum wage legislation.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

Education remains my top priority. I’ve been — and will continue to be — a champion for Montgomery County Public Schools. I am a proud graduate of MCPS and we need to continue to ensure that MCPS has the necessary resources to provide a quality education for all of our children. We need to provide children with an education that starts in pre-K, and ends in college and career. I support universal pre-K. We also need to increase our career education opportunities. I’ve been working with many stakeholders to see how we can further that goal.

3 – What is one major issue the current County Council has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

The one issue that has been handled poorly is the issue of where to relocate the County’s school buses from the site on Crabbs Branch Parkway. The buses need to be moved. The County and the school system have been discussing this for many, many years, but have yet to come up with a viable solution. I believe that the approach that is now being taken as a systemic approach is the correct one while keeping in mind the proper place needs to be located without causing environmental problems and disruption to neighborhoods.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

My background is one of continued community service. Over 40 years ago, a Vice Principal of Gaithersburg High School suggested that I start to come to City of Gaithersburg meetings and get involved in the community. I did just what he suggested and was subsequently appointed to the Gaithersburg Planning Commission. I served on the City Council and as Mayor until I was elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2014. During my service to the City of Gaithersburg, I was also the owner of Wolfson’s Department Store, a small retail store started by my grandparents in 1918.

Benjamin Glickman Shnider

• Where you live: Rockville

• Date of birth: March 23, 1989

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Immediate past national political director, J Street

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): None

• Campaign information:

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

I’m running because it’s become too tough for too many to make ends meet in this community that I love. We need new leaders who will work tirelessly to ensure that every resident of Montgomery County can afford to live and thrive. I believe that my experience as an organizer and community activist affords me the coalition building skills to provide such leadership.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

The affordability crisis is the most significant issue facing our county. We need to ensure that all residents of our community can afford a roof over their heads, transportation to employment, and a quality education. To that end, I will work toward universal pre-k and tuition-free access to Montgomery College; more express Ride On service and all-day, week-long MARC commuter rail service; and mixed-use redevelopment of underused land to boost the supply of affordable housing and a higher Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) mandate.

3 – What is one major issue the current County Council has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

Our current leaders have not done enough to alleviate traffic and ensure every resident has access to quality, affordable transportation options. As the county grows, we urgently need to implement more options for our commuters. We need expanded regional rail, a comprehensive Bus Rapid Transit system, and more express Ride On service that connects residents to commercial and employment centers. We also need smart signals on our roads to ease the flow of traffic along congested routes. Through such improvements, we can both alleviate congestion and ensure that fewer working families need to incur the cost of owning multiple vehicles.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

From helping to grow progressive groups like Bend the Arc and J Street professionally to serving as a Human Rights Commissioner in Rockville and on the Board of the Action Committee for Transit, I have experience organizing coalitions to implement progressive policies. That’s the approach I’ll take as councilmember. I’m proud to be endorsed by our County’s teachers, Sierra Club, SEIU, Casa in Action, and Montgomery County House Delegation Chair Delegate Shane Robinson, among other progressive groups and community leaders. I’m committed to always being accessible and am happy to discuss pertinent issues on my cell phone at 240-242-9451.

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