The following are JUFJ’s responses to incoming County Executive Marc Elrich’s invitation to share priorities for Montgomery County. We hope you will share your priorities for our county in the form embedded below that will be read by Marc Elrich’s transition team.
“What are your ideas for building a more equitable and inclusive Montgomery County?”
- Fully implement the proposed racial equity framework for County decision making.
- Pass and implement a Montgomery County Trust Act and strengthen protections against deportation.
- Expand — and fund — early child care and education, especially for children in the greatest need.
“What is the most important issue facing Montgomery County?”
Select: “A More Affordable and Welcoming Community”
“What is the second most important issue facing Montgomery County?”
Select: “Thriving Youth and Families”
“What is the third most important issue facing Montgomery County?”
[JUFJ is not currently working on the other issues listed. Please choose your own priority.]
“Share with us your ideas about thriving youth and families:”
Finding childcare that meets the needs of children and working parents is one of the hardest challenges of parenting young children, no matter what your family’s income level is. County government should prioritize funding for quality, affordable care and education for all infants and young children, especially to support families who are struggling to make ends meet while also preparing their children for school success.
“Share with us your ideas about a growing economy:”
With a growing population of poor and working-class families, including disproportionately high percentages of women and people of color, we need to ensure that everyone in Montgomery County can earn a decent living and live a decent life. We need “fair scheduling” legislation so people can plan their lives without wondering when they will be assigned shifts at work. The county should encourage employers to offer part-time employees additional hours before they hire new employees, so people don’t need to work multiple jobs just to get by.
“Share with us your ideas about a greener county:”
Climate change is a global emergency and Montgomery County should do its part to address this crisis. Please fully implement the “Climate Emergency” resolution and goals that the County Council passed a year ago. We need to back that first step up with concrete action.
“Share with us your ideas about easier commutes:”
People need to get where we’re going through many modes of transit. Montgomery County should prioritize making transit affordable and reliable, and should ensure the Purple Line will benefit and not displace the working-class and immigrant communities that live nearby.
“Share with us your ideas about a more affordable and welcoming county:”
Too many county residents struggle to find dignified housing that they can afford. Listen to outgoing DHCA Director Clarence Snuggs and expand the county’s existing housing programs to include a wider range of incomes and larger homes that are suitable for families. Work with advocates for renters’ rights to protect the 40% of county residents who are renters.
“Share with us your ideas about safe neighborhoods:”
Montgomery County prides itself on being a diverse community and a safe home for all residents, but with ICE targeting our neighbors and tearing families apart, immigrants in our county live every day in fear. We need a community trust ordinance that prevents local agencies from engaging in civil immigration enforcement and allows our neighbors to breathe easily and trust our government. I also urge you to continue to support the County’s funding of direct legal representation for immigrants facing deportation.
“Share with us your ideas about effective, sustainable government:”
Racism, no matter how unconscious, stops us from seeing every person as our Jewish tradition teaches – infinitely valuable and uniquely in the Divine image. Black and brown Montgomery County residents are less likely to earn enough to support their families or to be able to buy a home. We need our government officials to commit to resourcing communities of color and ending practices that harm them. Policies that discriminate and perpetuate harm can and must be identified and eliminated. I support Marc Elrich’s equity analysis and look to him to lead the effort on implementation.