Browsed by
Category: Uncategorized

Support for 2022 HB 59, Registration of Lobbyists

Support for 2022 HB 59, Registration of Lobbyists

Here is Maryland House of Delegates testimony I submitted this year, in support of legislation introduced by Delegate Al Carr (District 18) —

Chair Lierman and Land Use and Ethics Subcommittee Members,

I support HB0059, legislation requiring lobbying registration and establishing provisions for local governments.

This legislation addresses an actual issue and will boost transparency and accountability, key attributes of good government.

I served two terms as an elected member of the Takoma Park City Council. I can think of three instances when paid lobbyists interacted with me and with city officials in private or testified before the council as a whole, without public disclosure:

  • A container-company regional vice president, accompanied by a government-relations contractor, lobbied me and colleagues in opposition to a community-initiated city ban on polystyrene food serviceware.
  • A pesticide-industry association representative lobbied me and colleagues in opposition to city legislation, again initiated by community members, to ban lawncare pesticides.
  • Real-estate attorneys and a government-relations firm approached city officials and lobbied council members regarding a pending development proposal that faced community opposition.

These are simply examples. These lobbyist activities and others like them should have been formally registered and disclosed, but they weren’t as there was no municipal requirement.

HB0059 would create much needed lobbying provisions for Maryland local governments. Please give this legislation a favorable subcommittee report and vote to pass it out of committee.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sunil Dasgupta for Montgomery County Board of Education, at-large

Sunil Dasgupta for Montgomery County Board of Education, at-large

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I support Sunil Dasgupta for the 2020 at-large seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education, and I’m hosting an online event with Sunil on Monday, May 11, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm, that I invite you to attend. The form to register is Sunil’s campaign will send a Zoom link prior to the event.

We’ll be receiving mail-in ballots soon — I received 2020 Maryland Absentee Ballot e-mail from the Board of Elections on May 4 — so in case you want to vote before Monday, I’ll relate to you now that:

I support Sunil because a) he’s highly qualified and b) he has taken a clear progressive position supporting boundary analysis and changes as an approach to relieving school overcrowding. Progressive here means that for Sunil, equity — equal access — is a primary consideration as we tackle pressing and difficult school capacity, funding, educational, and student-support challenges.

Sunil is engaged and highly responsive. He has the ability to take on difficult matters such as overcrowding in a sensitive way that will advance us toward solutions rather than deepening divisions, and he has the experience and connections to be effective in the BOE role from day 1. I’ll paste in additional position points below my signature.

Of course Sunil understands education, our public schools, and our system, and he has a true activist’s passion to work especially hard for Montgomery County students who most need strong Board of Education advocates on their side. Condensed background: “Sunil Dasgupta, Ph.D., is a first-generation immigrant, parent of three public school students, and a longtime educator in Montgomery County. Sunil serves on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) and is MCCPTA Health and Wellness chair and Rockville Cluster Coordinator. Sunil was PTA President at Earle B. Wood Middle School and serves on the Montgomery Planning Board’s Schools Technical Advisory Team. Sunil teaches political science and directs the Political Science Program for UMBC at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Nearly 90 percent of Sunil’s students have been Montgomery County Public School students who take the 2+2+2 pathway from high school to Montgomery College and finally to the USG.”

Learn more about Sunil and his positions, sign up for campaign updates, and contribute at, and I hope you will join the Monday session I’m hosting for him, May 11, 5 pm-6:00 pm, RSVP here’s campaign will send you the Zoom link and a reminder 24 hours before the event, and will see you online then!



Sunil will — key positions:

  • Defend public education from budget cuts and unequal access
  • Add teachers and staff, and reduce class size/staff ratio to meet the individual needs of students
  • Expand counselors and social workers to meet the crisis in student mental health
  • Enable parents, teachers, and staff to work together to ensure student success
  • Push for climate change action by adding solar generation and converting the MCPS bus fleet to electric
  • Find the resources to achieve these goals, including rebalancing the capital and operating budgets
  • Create a process for regular, systemwide school boundary review and adjustment, using time-lagged execution of change to ensure student assignment stability
  • Develop processes for open data, transparent decisions, and public accountability

Website and Donation Page:
Twitter: @sunildasgupta4
Facebook: @SunilforSchoolBoard
Instagram: @sunildasgupta4

The Case Against Public Safety Radio Traffic Encryption

The Case Against Public Safety Radio Traffic Encryption

This is a guest post by Leonzo G. Williams, Major (Ret.), Fairfax County VA Police Department

Many local law enforcement agencies across the United States have encrypted all of their radio traffic including routine dispatch, special tactical channels, and training channels. They claim that it “enhances” the safety of first responders and citizens. Although changes in technology allow for encryption at little or no cost, agencies that are implementing it are relying on the unproven assumption that encryption is better for citizens and public safety personnel.

American law enforcement agencies trace their roots to Sir Robert Peel, a 19th century British statesman. He established the first modern law enforcement agency in London. Peel had nine principles on which he based the establishment of an ethical police force. Among them were the following[1]:

  • “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
  • Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
  • Police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time and attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

So, what does all of that have to do with encryption? Everything! Robert Peel’s point is that police agencies are a part of the public that serves the public; it is their tax dollars that enable law enforcement agencies to purchase, operate, and maintain equipment including radios and other communication devices. American democracy values freedom and encourages transparency in government operations. Citizens value local independence and control, as evidenced by the absence of a national police force in favor of the establishment of thousands of locally run police forces throughout the country.

We allow citizens to gather information from law enforcement agencies through Freedom of Information Acts and agencies disseminate information via press briefings, websites, social media, and the release of statistical information. Law enforcement agencies establish neighborhood watch groups, citizen academies, auxiliary programs and other community outreach activities to further promote positive interactions with the citizens that they serve.

In this context, full encryption of all police radio systems in the United States runs counter to everything that U.S. law enforcement has historically stood for since its founding under Peel’s principles.

Given the number of local, regional, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, along with fire and rescue departments engaged in public safety activities, full encryption is already proving to be a major hindrance to radio interoperability (i.e., the ability of devices to exchange information). During times of crisis, there may be non-governmental agencies, working closely with first responders, that may also need to monitor public safety frequencies. When full encryption is implemented, interoperability ceases. It returns us to the days when radio dispatch centers called other dispatch centers on the telephone to relay critical, time-sensitive information; agencies are becoming again unable to directly communicate with one another due to incompatible encrypted radio channels.

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida flight 90 crashed on takeoff from National Airport into the Potomac River, which separates Washington, D.C. from the State of Virginia. Multiple public safety agencies responded to the crash, including the (D.C.) Metropolitan Police Department., U.S. Park P.D., Arlington County P.D., and the Metropolitan Airports Authority P.D. Also responding were the Washington, D.C. fire department, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority F.D., the Arlington County F.D., Alexandria City F.D., and Fairfax County F.D.

One of the major impediments to the rescue operation was a lack of radio interoperability. From that disaster, first responders came together to develop shared radio systems and digital mobile radio talkgroups (A DMR talkgroup is a way of organizing many radio IDs into a single digital contact). That way, a majority of Washington, D.C. area public safety agencies were able to share radio frequencies, allowing different jurisdictional agencies to communicate in real time as a situation dictated. That ability proved invaluable on September 11, 2001, when multiple agencies were needed to respond to the disaster at the Pentagon and, the absence of encryption, enabled all agencies to communicate directly and in real time.

Now, those same agencies are seriously considering dismantling this capability with a headlong rush into encryption. While it can be argued that if everyone becomes encrypted, all relevant agencies could share encryption keys, allowing them the ability to communicate with each other, the reality is in a crisis situations both government and  nongovernmental entities would be left out of the encrypted communication loop and unable to assist public safety agencies. The cost of encryption is not so much financial as it is societal; encryption limits citizen engagement and cooperation.

Also lost is situational awareness among agencies. Before encryption, many stakeholders routinely monitored each other’s public safety channels. Fire departments monitored law enforcement channels to identify and evaluate events that might involve them.

It was a passive, often informal monitoring, but it offered a great benefit. Off-duty personnel and civilian support personnel monitored their agencies or adjoining agencies. On-duty personnel, such as county police officers, could monitor the state troopers that worked in their county or vice versa. This type of monitoring allowed stakeholders to have greater situational awareness and supported a more robust response when needed.

As more and more public safety agencies encrypt routine dispatch radio traffic, this awareness is diminishing. Fire department personnel are not aware of what their law enforcement colleagues are doing until the moment a call is made to fire dispatch. Even then, they only hear what their fire dispatcher tells them, which is only what the police dispatcher has relayed to the fire dispatcher via a phone call. Encryption hamstrings public safety personnel for whom additional background information would enhance performance.

Much has been made regarding the media and encryption. Media outlets have sometimes rebroadcast public safety radio traffic without verifying it. On occasion, reporters have compromised law enforcement tactics in emergency situations. These incidents are unfortunate but not the norm. However, in response, some agency leaders have used them as additional reasons to fully encrypt their radio communications. They feel that preventing media outlets from monitoring public safety radio transmissions is good public policy.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibits government actions that infringe on the freedom of the press. In reality, how does the implementation of total public safety radio encryption square with the ability of members of the press to do their job? In practice, full encryption infringes upon their ability to perform their role as observers and reporters of government actions.

Some agencies state that the safety of their personnel must outweigh the public’s desire to listen in real time to their department’s radio operations. Nevertheless, if you ask these same agency heads if guns should be banned to insure the safety of their personnel, many will cite the Second Amendment, which allows citizens to own guns. If they understand the rights granted by the Second Amendment, how can they not recognize the freedoms guaranteed by the First?

Encryption does serve a valuable purpose in some circumstances. Radio traffic involving national security, presidential protection details, detective and narcotics operations, SWAT incidents and other tactical activities are exactly the types of communication that should be encrypted. Encrypting sensitive radio traffic helps maintain the safety of first responders and the public by limiting opportunities for that type of information to fall into the wrong hands.

However, encryption does not serve a purpose in the day-to-day routine dispatch that makes up so much of public safety radio traffic. For an example a lot of law enforcement agencies establish, or support neighborhood watch groups.

When an agency uses fulltime encryption, how can those groups or any taxpaying citizen become aware in real time of the situations occurring in their neighborhoods? It is meaningless for agencies to state they support neighborhood watch groups when encryption undermines citizens’ ability to be the extra set of eyes and ears for their neighborhoods.

In jurisdictions using full encryption, news outlets without access to real time police radio communications can no longer report traffic jams or incidents in a timely manner; citizens who formerly used their scanners or internet streams of radio traffic to monitor routine police activity can no longer call in useful tips to law enforcement. The slogan, “if you see something, say something®” loses some of its value when interested citizens are left out of the communications loop.

Full encryption breaks the bond between the community and the police as described by Peel[2]. Citizens may question why police in a democracy feel the need to hide all of their radio traffic from the public. It is a fair question. Just as events in Ferguson, Missouri gave rise to concerns about the militarization of U.S. police officers, full encryption generates concerns about a governmental lack of transparency. The existence of the technology does not obligate its use if it negates the government’s responsibility to share information with its citizens.

In the District of Columbia area, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department has encrypted all but one radio channel. However, they have not shown a correlation between encryption and a decrease in crime or an increase in arrests; they cannot demonstrate an impact on the safety of its officers. Yet, all of those criteria were cited as reasons for moving to full encryption. The only measurable difference has been the inability of citizens and other stakeholders to hear routine radio dispatch traffic!

In addition, while much has been made of encryption as a tool to thwart acts of terrorism, there has been no clear nexus there either. The Washington, D.C. police department is encrypted; they were the major first responders to the Navy Yard shooting in 2013. Encryption did not deter the shooter. However, it did hamper radio communications in real time with other agencies called in to assist.

Agency heads and policymakers should think long and hard before allowing our founding principles and beliefs to be trampled by limiting citizens’ abilities to hear any police radio traffic in an exaggerated desire to “keep officers and citizens safe.” Agencies and the public should be looking for data to back up those claims. Has encryption enhanced public or officer safety? Has encryption provided quantifiable gains in a department’s number of criminal/incident reports or in the effectiveness of its other public safety activities?

While there is clearly a role for encryption in public safety, it should be restricted to channels and talkgroups that deal with particularly sensitive situations and tactical matters. It should not be used for routine, regular dispatch. Policymakers should consider this: government agencies cannot operate in secrecy and expect to have public support. There must be transparency and accountability by government agencies that will allow and encourage the public to support them.


  • Public safety administrators should carefully weigh the value of encryption against the significant negative impact to legitimate listeners of public safety radio traffic as well as to its impact on news gathering and traffic reporting organizations.
  • Public safety administrators should consider how encryption will affect their agency’s ability to communicate with neighboring jurisdictions.
  • Public safety administrators should make their decisions with the understanding that encryption is a tool that protects sensitive information from unwanted disclosure. However, its overuse can compromise the underlying elements of citizens’ trust and confidence in public safety.
  • For agencies that have already encrypted all of their radio communications: it is suggested that you end encryption on the main dispatch channel so that citizens and the media can listen in real time to what their local public safety agencies are doing in their communities.

About the Author

Leonzo “Lee” Williams began his 40-year law enforcement career in 1973 in New Jersey. He first “retired” in 2005 as a major from the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department. He returned to full-time law enforcement in 2008, retiring a second time in 2016 as a lieutenant from the Loudoun County Virginia Sheriff Office.

[1]  Peels’ Principles of Policing

[2] One of Peel’s principles is that “police are the public and the public are the police.”  The difference is the full-time nature of the police.

I Oppose Montgomery County MD Police Communications Encryption

I Oppose Montgomery County MD Police Communications Encryption

It’s my understanding that the Montgomery County MD Police Department plans to start encrypting routine police radio communications. I oppose this change from long-standing policy, as described in the letter I’m posting, below, that I sent to the county executive and police chief.

Thanks to Alan Henney, who alerted me and others to this planned policy change. Alan noted that the same issue was discussed in the Columbia Journalism Review in regard to Colorado policies. The CJR article notes,

“A national study published in 2017 found that police PIOs zealously try to control the narratives about their departments. That’s especially concerning in Colorado, where law enforcement officials have downplayed transparency implications by saying they will release information about breaking news on social media, in press releases, and in daily reports—as if those are reasonable substitutes for independent reporting.”

The CJR article quotes several authorities including Frank LoMonte, director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida —

“The scanner functions as a check-and-balance to keep law enforcement agencies honest.”

— and David Cuillier, a media law professor at the University of Arizona and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Freedom of Information Committee,

“I would think police would want scanner traffic public. It builds citizen trust and shows they are busy earning their tax-paid salaries. Otherwise, shrouded in secrecy, police are viewed more suspiciously and lose the trust of the public.” 

Please consider contacting county leaders yourself, to oppose this disfavorable police policy change. I wrote the County Executive Marc Elrich and Police Chief Marcus Jones also the members of the Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety Committee and at-large Councilmembers, and you might too. I’ll list the county-council addresses after the letter text. Here it is:

To: Marc Elrich <>, Marc Elrich <>, Marcus G. Jones <>
Cc: Caroline Sturgis <>
I am very concerned about Montgomery County Police Department plans to encrypt routine radio communications including dispatch communications. I believe that these communications should remain unencrypted and therefore freely accessible to the public, the media, and any individual concerned with their content for any reason. Transparency is important, both so the public can stay informed about matters that concern them and to ensure police accountability, and also so the police can avoid accusations that they are keeping information from the public in order to hide improprieties.
I believe in government openness as a matter of principle, particularly in routine operations where there is no compelling reason for secrecy.
Please preserve our county’s long-standing policy of maintaining open, accessible, transparent routine police communications.
Thank you for your consideration.

Public Safety chair and members, Councilmembers: Sidney Katz <>,
Gabe Albornoz <>, Tom Hucker <>
At-large Councilmembers:  Evan Glass <>, Hans Riemer <, and Will Jawando <>
My 2018 electoral recommendations

My 2018 electoral recommendations

Friends and neighbors, allow me to share selected 2018 electoral recommendations, for competitive races. They are:

Montgomery County

County executive: Marc Elrich. Marc is the progressive candidate in the race, independent of corporate and moneyed-interest influence and highly capable, and the only candidate truly capable of listening, learning, and growing in office. 

Board of Education, at large: Karla SilvestreKarla has extensive education and community engagement, deep Montgomery County roots, and the skills and knowledge to work with parents, MCPS staff and leadership, and BOE colleagues to make progress on the pressing needs facing our school communities.

Board of Education, District 3: Lynn Amano. Lynn will bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the school board, one less accommodating of the school bureaucracy. 

Board of Education, District 1: no recommendation

State Constitutional Ballot Questions

Yes: Question 1– Requiring Commercial Gaming Revenues That Are For Public Education To Supplement Spending For Education In Public Schools. This is the “lockbox” we were promised when Maryland first legalized casino gambling. Unfortunately, revenues displaced and did not supplement, as intended, funding from other sources.

Yes: Question 2– Same-Day Registration And Voting At The Precinct Polling Place On Election Day. This reform would extend same-day registration and voting from early voting to Election Day, expanding the electorate to late-activated potential voters.

Montgomery County Charter Questions

Yes: Question A– Redistricting Procedure – Composition Of Redistricting Commission. I would remove the explicitly-partisan party committees from the redistricting process.

Yes: Question B– Changes the requirement needed to raise County property taxes above the inflation rate from 9 votes to a unanimous vote of the Council. This is a technical adjustment to existing law, to allow for a situation when a council seat is vacant.

Yes: Question C– Would allow Councilmembers to hire aides outside the Merit System. A councilmember should be free to hire non-status aides, whom the councilmember knows and whose politics matches the councilmember’s, without going through the charade of competitive hiring. 


Congress, District 6: David Trone. We need a Democratic congressional majority. 

Maryland state

Governor/Lt. Governor: Ben Jealous and Susan Turnbull. Jealous and Turnbull are strong progressives who would advance education, equity, justice reform, and environmentalism in Maryland.

Attorney General: Brian Frosh. Frosh is an excellent AG who fights for Marylanders’ interests and deserves another term.

Vote for the Environment

Vote for the Environment

The Montgomery County Council declared a Climate Emergency in December…

… but in May declined to budget a modest $70,000 toward meeting our climate commitment. That won't do. Climate change is a global challenge, and we need to get serious locally, fast. Please vote for the environment when you vote in this month's primary.

In December, the Council committed to "transform the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and reaching 100% elimination by 2035." It's an ambitious goal – and could generate very significant economic benefit – but we need to get moving. The nonfunded $70,000 would have paid for a Director of Climate Emergency Mobilization as a first step toward establishment of a Climate Emergency Office and steps beyond.

The Council's December resolution was prompted by local activism, by the Montgomery County chapter of The Climate Mobilization (MOCOTCM). (I'm grateful for MOCOTCM's endorsement of my campaign for Montgomery County Council, at large, recognizing my pro-environment positions and accomplishments as a Takoma Park Councilmember.)

Local advocacy matters, especially with the EPA in Scott Pruitt's thieving hands and Governor Hogan running state government. As my friend and neighbor Betsy Taylor, chair of 350 Action, puts it, "Montgomery County has a rich history of environmental activism, from those protecting our farmland and tree canopy to others promoting clean energy. Citizen engagement on these issues has been and always will be essential."

It's citizen engagement that protected the Ten Mile Creek watershed and won Montgomery County's lawncare pesticide ban and polystyrene food serviceware ban, and that will lead to our closing the Dickerson incinerator and the County's coal-fired generating station.

Which candidates do you trust to accelerate pro-environment policy-making and County investment? To enact clean-energy and zero-waste policies that respond to the climate emergency and live up to our commitment?

Burning trash is dirty. Adoption of zero-waste policies is a necessary step toward closing the Dickerson incinerator, which send 200,000 tons of ash to landfill each year. We need to reduce waste via food recovery, high recycling rates, and elimination of single-use plastic food-service materials among other steps. No need for delay: organizations such as the Food Council have been pushing forward education and action campaigns. Locally, Takoma Park pioneered curbside food-waste collection for composting. We should move quickly to a county-scale program with phase-in of a requirement that all food serviceware disposables be compostable.

Energy conservation and 100% clean energy are parts of the equation: solar and wind power, net-zero building standards and energy-efficiency retrofitting, a move to electric vehicles, and transit expansion. Smart roadways will add capacity to our existing road network and will speed trips and reduce emissions.

And let’s reintroduce pension-fund divestment from fossil fuels and work with state legislators to pass new renewable energy portfolio standards.

You can count on me to respond. I'll link you to my environment position and close by quoting climate champion Mike Tidwell: "Seth understands environmental challenges, and he knows how to make local government work. This is why I’m backing Seth for Montgomery County Council at large." Will you join Mike in supporting me?

Please vote for the environment in this month's primary.

Earth Day + 1 – Local Action to Combat Climate Change

Earth Day + 1 – Local Action to Combat Climate Change

Earth Day 2018 was yesterday, April 22, but the fight against climate change can’t be a once-a-year thing.

Did you know that President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, the same year as the first Earth Day? Yet with Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt undoing environmental protections, we’re back in an era of dirty politics, literally.

Activism and state and local action are needed, now more than ever.

Task #1 is to defeat Governor Hogan in November. It’s outrageous, for instance, that Hogan last year rescinded Maryland’s “zero-waste” goal and mandatory-recycling targets. Until November, and after, Montgomery County can and should lead the way.

Last December, the County Council declared a Climate Emergency with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. That’s good! The Council is taking a next step, creating a new Climate Policy Director post. (As a Takoma Park Councilmember, I supported hiring an Environmental Sustainability Manager in 2014, and I know the impact that dedicated staff can have on environmental education, planning, and programming.) Zoning Text Amendment 18-01, introduced by Councilmember Tom Hucker, will allow solar generation of up to 2 megawatts of electricity at a site, enough for 200 typical residential homes, equal to removing 310 passenger cars from the road. Excellent… noting however a need for ZTA modifications to respond to Ag Reserve concerns.

The choices the next County Council makes will leave a profound mark on our environment. A number of points are especially critical:

  • We must move to 100% green energy — solar and also wind and geothermal — via net-zero commercial and residential building standards, retrofitting, and rapid transition to electric vehicles, with the charging facilities to support them.
  • Let’s stop burning our trash. Via waste reduction and waste recovery, we can shut down the Dickerson incinerator without simply sending our trash to landfill. The County should push for much-higher recycling participation and move toward broad organics (food-waste) composting and away from single-use plastics, and we should explore technologies for atmospheric-carbon drawdown.
  • Let’s preserve and restore our watersheds, expand our parks, plant trees, make wise transit and development decisions, and improve walkability and cycling infrastructure.

We know how to do these things. For instance, the City of Takoma Park has provided curbside food-waste collection to all single-family homes since 2014. Takoma Park bans disposable single-use plastic bags and has considered a requirement (like San Francisco’s) that food-service establishments use only compostable disposables and collect all disposables and food waste for composting.

Actually, the County has been taking sensible environmental steps for a decade — I count a variety of January 2009 Montgomery County Climate Protection Plan recommendations that have been realized — but the challenge remains daunting. For each success like the creation of a Green Bank to finance energy efficiency projects, there are a dozen unrealized ideas on the table, and we have faced defeats such as a court ruling overturning the County’s Healthy Lawns Act, which banned nonessential pesticide use.

Today is Earth Day + 1. I’m dedicated to making every day Earth Day, via local action to combat climate change and protect the environment. Are you on board?

A message to Montgomery County pesticide ban supporters

A message to Montgomery County pesticide ban supporters

A letter to supporters of Montgomery County Bill 52-14, the Healthy Lawns Act banning cosmetic lawncare pesticide use, from Catherine Cummings and Julie Taddeo, co-founders of Safe Grow Montgomery (named for identification only) –

In October 2011, out of concern for our families’ health and for the environment, we raised the idea of a Takoma Park lawncare pesticide ban. Seth Grimes, a candidate for City Council, responded. Seth was elected and helped us turn our idea into city law. Then, when we joined with parents, activists, and environmentalists around Montgomery County, he answered our call a second time and helped pass the County’s ban.

Seth is running for Montgomery County Council, and he needs our help. He is the sort of responsive, experienced, progressive leader our County needs, now more than ever.

Three years ago, you contacted the council in support of our pesticide bill. Will you step forward again and join us in supporting Seth’s campaign?

Learn more about Seth’s record at – his work with Shepherd’s Table and in county social services, to pass a living wage bill, in defense of immigrant rights. One of his signature issues is early childhood education. Seth gets Montgomery County’s needs. Please join us in supporting Seth Grimes for County Council.

(Seth is running for one of four at-large council seats; you may vote for four at-large candidates total.)

Please reply to this message if you’d like campaign updates or to help. And your campaign contribution will help Seth compete:’s a big county. Your support will help us elect a visionary environmental leader to the Montgomery County Council.

Thank you so much!

Julie Taddeo and Catherine Cummings

P.S. Seth is proud to have won environmentalist endorsements from Mike Tidwell (Chesapeake Climate Action Network), Brenda Platt (Institute for Local Self Reliance), and Bob Bingaman (Sierra Club). (Affiliations are listed for identification only.)

“Seth has the skills, knowledge, contacts, and vision we need in county leaders”

“Seth has the skills, knowledge, contacts, and vision we need in county leaders”

I’m gratified to have the support of Takoma Park community leaders Diana and Howard Kohn.

“Dozens of candidates are running for office in 2018. Seth Grimes – a former Takoma Park councilmember, an environmental champion, and an accomplished community advocate – rises to the top in the race for Montgomery County Council, at large.”

The Kohns’ full letter…