Hans Riemer, elected to an At-large seat on the Montgomery County Council in 2010, represents more than one million residents in a thriving and diverse community with a history of responsible government.
Hans’ passion for change comes from his roots in Oakland, California, a city of tremendous disparities, and a deep commitment to social justice that he learned from his family. Hans has dedicated his career to public service and his dream of creating opportunity for all people to achieve their potential.
As a Councilmember, he works towards his vision by advocating to fund public education and public transportation, early childhood programs, libraries, recreation, human services, housing and economic development. Thanks to countless hours spent in the outdoors, on foot and on bike, Hans is also a dedicated environmentalist and works hard to enhance the integrity and differing characters of Montgomery County’s rural, suburban and urban areas.
Hans was elected to the County Council as the worst effects of the Great Recession were taking hold, and he set to work with his colleagues to address some of the toughest problems that local governments face. Thanks to numerous tough fiscal and government reforms instituted by the council, county government has emerged from the crisis stronger and better prepared for the future.
Hans accomplishments so far in his first term demonstrate his ability to make a deep impact on a wide range of issues.
His background in public policy and campaign organizing prepared him well for the job of County Councilmember.
Hans was a senior advisor for AARP before joining the County Council, an organization that he has worked closely with throughout his career. A nationally recognized leader on Social Security, Hans played a pivotal role organizing the Democratic coalition that stopped President Bush from privatizing Social Security. Tom Matzzie, of MoveOn.org, called Hans “one of five people in the country most responsible for protecting Social Security from George Bush.”
Hans may be best known, however, for his work as National Youth Vote Director for Obama for America, where he was a key early staffer on President Obama’s 2007 primary election campaign. Starting with the landslide turnout of young voters in the Iowa Caucus and continuing through the Maryland primary, Hans helped young voters raise their voices for change. Hans was also instrumental in forming the Montgomery County and Maryland for Obama operations, bringing the new politics of the Obama campaign home to his community, where it thrives today as Organizing for Action.
In the 2004 election, Hans served as political director for Rock the Vote, as the group registered nearly a million young voters and broke new ground in online political engagement. He organized a Democratic presidential candidates debate with CNN, an advocacy campaign promoting the young adult health insurance option (which he later brought to the Obama campaign), and guided the organization’s strategy, including the controversial media campaign on the military draft that rocked the 2004 presidential election.
In 1996, as a recent college graduate, Hans founded a non-profit organization called the 2030 Center, which brought young people and all generations together to protect Social Security, boost health care, and support progressive solutions for fiscal challenges at the federal level. In recognition of the important voice that his group brought to discussions, Hans was invited to speak at the White House on panels with President Clinton and Vice President Gore; and he testified many times before Congress as well as at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
In Montgomery County, as a past board member and president of the Action Committee for Transit, Hans helped a strong grassroots citizen group work to prioritize funding for public transportation.
Hans serves on the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee as well as the Government Operations & Fiscal Policy Committee. He also serves as the council’s Lead for Digital Government, a role that he has used to push the county forward in its use of technology, innovation and citizen engagement.
Hans and his wife Angela, along with their young sons, Henry and Travis, live in Takoma Park, and are members of the MCCPTA. They love the community life that years of citizen engagement and great government has made possible in Montgomery County.
Hans graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1995.