GAITHERSBURG — Yvette Monroe, the most junior member of the Gaithersburg City Council, is seeking a full term this fall.
Monroe and her husband moved to Gaithersburg from Philadelphia 27 years ago for work. Her interest in civic affairs in the city began when she attended the 2010 State of the City Address.
"I had been president of the Watkins Mill PTA, and I was interested in staying involved in education issues after my daughters graduated," Monroe said. She joined the city's Education Enrichment Committee and became its president in 2013. She also joined the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee in 2016. At the 2016 State of the City Address, Monroe received the city's Distinguished Citizen award.
After long-time Council member Henry F. Marraffa died in October of 2016 after a protracted battle with leukemia, Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council solicited applications to serve the balance of his final term. Out of a dozen applications and five finalists, Monroe was selected in January to fill the vacancy and was sworn in in February.
"It's been a wonderful experience," Monroe said. "The other Council members have been great in helping me learn the job. It's one thing to be a citizen advocating before your government; it's quite another to be on the other side, to be an official listening to citizens’ concerns."
She said a highlight of her time on the Council was attending a conference of the Maryland Municipal League.
"They had a program for me and other newly-elected officials," Monroe said. "That was very helpful and encouraging."
She said if elected to a full term this fall, she will continue to advocate for the city's schools, some of which are overcrowded, and seek opportunities for economic growth in the eastern side of the city.
"We need to continue the conversation with MCPS [Montgomery County Public Schools] and find solutions to meet the needs of our schools," Monroe said. "I live in Olde Towne, and everyone knows this is an area in desperate need of revitalization, along with the 355 corridor and LakeForest. I've also talked to many of our senior residents, who are concerned about finding affordable housing, so that will be a priority."
Monroe is one of two Council members, along with Michael A. Sesma, the Council's most senior member, seeking re-election this fall.
"I've enjoyed my work and I hope to continue," Monroe said.