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NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Endorsement

I am glad to say I have had the chance to put my values into action on women’s health and reproductive freedom issues. In particular, I was able to work closely with my friend, constituent and national leader Kim Gandy, in her work as VP of the Feminist Majority Foundation, to ensure that women were safe as anti-abortion protests mounted against the health clinic where Dr. Leroy Carhart practices in Germantown. The county responded well to that situation thanks to the effective outreach of advocates such as Ms. Gandy, the good work of our police department, and the support of elected leaders. My commitment to choice and to NARAL specifically is also a family value for me: my wife Angela Walker Riemer is a past member of the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America, as well as the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Board of Directors. Go team!

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Hispanic Democrats Endorsement

I’ve spent my career fighting for social and economic justice and I am tremendously proud to announce that my work on the Council earned me the endorsement of the Hispanic Democratic Club of Montgomery County. HDC advocates sensible policy aimed at expanding economic opportunity—the kind of rising tide legislation that lifts all boats. From the minimum wage increase and our restoration of the 100% match on the Earned Income Tax Credit, to increased funding for a safe and reliable public transit system and more affordable housing, I have written and sponsored laws that will build on our success and make Montgomery County fairer and more economically vibrant than it is today. In partnership with HDC, I look forward to four more years of continuing that work.

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MCVFRA Endorsement

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In 2010, I was proud to earn the support of the county’s Volunteer Firefighters and I am pleased to announce that I have their support for my re-election in 2014.  I have made a great personal effort to bring the volunteers together with the county government fire and rescue service to repair and strengthen our partnership.  I think we have made real progress. Thanks to a new dedicated funding source to the fire and rescue service, our volunteer organizations are in better shape and there is also a renewed focus on organizing new volunteers to expand our fire and rescue service.  I am grateful for the recognition by MCVRA for my work on these important issues.

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GCAAR Endorsement

If you have ever bought or sold a home, you may have a special place in your heart for your realtor. I sure do. In Montgomery County, realtors are our agents who are our making the case everyday for our beautiful neighborhoods, excellent schools and great quality of life. They have their fingers on the pulse of our community in a unique way. So I am very proud to have earned the support of the Realtors association, GCAAR. Just yesterday GCAAR was at the county council to testify in favor of my low income senior property tax break, and they suggested ways to improve it. I look forward to continuing to work closely with GCAAR in my next term on the County Council.

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Casa in Action Endorsement

We are fortunate to live in a community that has become a destination for new immigrants.  This great change gives us the opportunity to lead the way in building a county that values everyone and helps all people to achieve their potential.  I am pleased to share that, in recognition of my work on issues important to our low income and new immigrant communities, I have been endorsed for re-election by Casa in Action.  Casa is one of our most important community institutions because of its work to strengthen community and social ties and to hold local, state and federal government accountable for meeting so many important needs.  I was particularly proud to work closely with Casa to support the advocacy of our new immigrant youth in their successful efforts to pass the Dream Act in 2012.

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SEIU Endorsement

SEIU Local 500

I am very proud to announce that I have the support of SEIU.  SEIU has always been a special partner to me in my work to advance social justice. When I was at Rock the Vote, SEIU gave us office space in their building on L Street, and so many senior leaders at the union helped us build a powerful youth vote political program in the 2004 presidential election. When I ran for the County Council in 2010, SEIU Local 500 endorsed me and helped me build a strong base of Democratic support, which carried me to victory and helped me earn more votes than three incumbents. I am looking forward to working with SEIU to strengthen our child care and early childhood programs, an issue that, as a parent of two young children, I am very concerned about.

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My record, moving MoCo forward

When I ran for the County Council in 2010, I ran on a platform of progressive values: supporting education and public transportation, protecting our environment, helping the most vulnerable and boosting our economic competitiveness.

This past November, I kicked off my re-election campaign with a fantastic event attended by hundreds of enthusiastic Democrats and community activists.

This election will be competitive, and I need your support to finish strong. But first, I invite you to consider my record.

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Progressive Values
I introduced and passed a bill to restore Montgomery County’s Earned Income Tax Credit after the last council cut it, and I supported one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation — two policies that combined make Montgomery County one of the nation’s leaders in fighting poverty. I cast the deciding vote for a bill to protect janitors and service workers from layoffs, and I walked the picket line to support unionizing our trash workers, who now have a union. I supported budget increases to provide health care through county clinics for residents who lack insurance — also a national model policy — and to restore services in our great libraries.

Education and Children
The Great Recession challenged the county to protect education, but we did it, and so did the state. This year’s MCPS budget – $2.225 billion – is an all-time record. We are also spending an additional $125 million on school construction debt service, $84 million on school retiree health benefits, $53 million on school support services and $22 million on school IT modernization, over and above the MCPS budget. As a parent of young children concerned about preparing kids for school, I drafted and passed a bill requiring the county to consider including space for child care in every facility we build.

Smarter Government
I introduced and passed the Open Data Act of 2012 to require our county government to further open its books to the public. The result is a new website with employee compensation, food inspections, residential permits, budget information and much, much more that is growing by the day. All council committee sessions are now recorded on video, which you can watch live on cable, our website and even your smart phone. Our county won a national award for its efforts.

Environmental Sustainability
I voted for two landmark bills to protect the county’s tree canopy. I also voted for stormwater fees to clean up the bay and a bag fee to protect our local streams. I was the only Council Member to vote in committee against a misguided effort to repeal part of the bag fee, before it was withdrawn. And I have insisted on environmentally responsible plans for Ten Mile Creek.

Public Transportation
When the future of important transit projects like the Purple Line and the upcounty Corridor Cities Transitway was on the line, I helped launch a successful statewide effort to fund them. While clarifying that improving Metro is our top transportation priority, I also supported a master plan to establish a full Bus Rapid Transit system around the county as well as other master plans to provide for more desperately needed housing — including affordable housing — around transit stations.

Jobs and Competitiveness
Before I came to the council, our county had no strategic plan for attracting and retaining key industries. So I drafted and passed a bill to require one. I also passed a bill to give tax credits to cybersecurity companies, a booming sector that Montgomery County could one day dominate. And I launched a nightlife initiative designed to help us retain our young workers and empty nesters.

Those are some highlights from my record. I hope you agree that I am on the right track. And if you do, I need your help to continue my work.

Please help me to keep moving Montgomery County forward.