Jewish tradition teaches us that wisdom comes through learning from everyone, and that we must consider all perspectives of an issue before reaching a conclusion.
Montgomery County Council budget hearings are fast approaching, and we know that in times of economic uncertainty, it is all the more important that voices of Montgomery County residents are heard and considered in the budget deliberations. While it is understandable that the County Council Building is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the closed doors of the County Council Building should not mean the doors to democracy are closed as well.
If the Council only accepts written testimony for the budget hearings, residents of Montgomery County will effectively be silenced and shut out from fully engaging in an open and transparent process. The Council should enable residents to fully participate in the hearing process by testifying remotely so that all Montgomery County residents who wish to can actively interact with Councilmembers and share their thoughts on how the budget should be prioritized. Montgomery County should serve as an example and a model to other local governments of how to continue upholding the values of democratic process and public access even in times of physical distancing.
The County Council has heard our message and they will be sharing updates on how constituents can participate in public hearings in the coming days. Please plan to join us for a virtual watch party of the FY21 Budget Hearing on April 14. Click the button to sign up!