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MoCo Dems begin the Summer of Resistance and Renewal

  • Published in Local

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee launched its “Summer of Resistance and Renewal in Montgomery County” in mid-July, but the canvassing that makes up those efforts began in earnest this past weekend. Those canvassing efforts are aimed at drop-off voters with the hope of ensuring a Gov. Larry Hogan loss in 2018.

“There’s good turnout for general elections, for presidential elections, more of a drop-off with midterms,” said Jackie Coolidge, a precinct official in District 18. “This is going to be a very exciting year leading up to the election.”

Before the canvassing started, the small group of canvassers gathered in the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, and one of the organizers, Marie Mapes, posed an important question: “What are the barriers to (drop-off voters) feeling engaged in the Democratic Party?”

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Computer scientist runs for House of Delegates

  • Published in State

Brian Crider 400x400Brian Crider. COURTESY PHOTO    Brian Crider, a computer scientist, says he was compelled to run for the House of Delegates in District 19 because of his concern for Maryland and his background in activism.

“I’ve been an activist for many years, and we’re just not making the progress we need,” said Crider. “I feel like we can do more, so my goal is to make Maryland better.”

Crider, a Democrat, says that part of what he hopes to do if elected is make people aware of resources that can help them. However, he also has a lot of ideas for things he wants to change.

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Trone speaks at local BBQ on his new bid for Congress

  • Published in State

David TroneDavid Trone speaks at a Smokey Glen Barbecue. PHOTO BY CAROLYN KOMATSOULIS   At a barbecue at Smokey Glen to promote his run for the 6th congressional district, David Trone called to mind his simple farm beginnings and progressive ideas in the hopes of his message resonating with Maryland voters.

“You know I’m in a farm, we learned a couple of things, most important thing is hard work,” said Trone. “What we do on that farm, whether it was shoveling chicken manure, literally 13 tons of manure every day, that would be good practice in Washington.”

“We also did a lot of time feeding hogs. That could be good practice in Washington too,” said Trone.

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“Our Voices” brings advocacy to Silver Spring

  • Published in Local

Akieal WIlliams and Jarret Smith talk with interns from OVM before the meetingAkieal WIlliams and Jarret Smith talk with interns from OVM before the meeting. PHOTO BY CAROLYN KOMATSOULIS   It’s going to be an uphill battle for Our Voices Matter, a group hoping to promote civic engagement in Silver Spring and inspire activism for local issues.

The group began after Will Jawando ran for state delegate in 2014 and realized that the people in the Long Branch neighborhood where he grew up didn’t feel like their vote mattered.

“‛Why are you asking for my vote? My voice doesn’t matter,’” John Randall, OVM’s director of operations, said about what Jawando heard while canvassing. “I think people were just feeling a sense of powerlessness,” said Randall.

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Transgender marine veteran works for MoCo Pride Center

  • Published in Local

Stevie Neal, a transgender woman who served in the United States Marines 40 years ago, sat on a booth in Denizens Brewing Co. during an lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social gathering reflecting on the world’s increasing acceptance of LGBT people.

Neal is one the founders of the Montgomery County Pride Center, a group that is trying to bring big-city resources for the LGBT community to Montgomery County even as they face Republican politicians in power who they feel don’t do enough for the community.

For Neal, her youth reveals a life without strong roots to any one place.

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Religious communities come together to support LGBTQ

  • Published in Local

The search for an LGBTQ community space in Montgomery County has brought about an interesting solution: A group predominantly made of faith leaders is in the process of creating a MoCo Pride Center.

For some, this project is a way to reverse personal injustices.

“My brother is LGBTQ. He, growing up, we grew up Catholic in a small town,” said Janine Rauscher, the creator of Rainbow Youth Prom and a member of the organizing board for the pride center. “He could never be himself.”

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Bernie supports a Jealous vote

  • Published in State

Though Gov. Larry Hogan says he did not vote for President Trump, Ben Jealous, a progressive candidate and former NAACP president, is trying to turn his campaign for governor in 2018 into a referendum on the two Republicans.

“We are a great state with a great future with great people, but our children will not be able to realize their full potential if we continue to tolerate the status quo,” said Jealous.

Hogan is popular in the state, but certainly not among progressive voters in Takoma Park, many of whom were drawn to Bernie Sanders’ appearance at the rally. Trump, however, is not as popular in Maryland, and Jealous is ready to capitalize on that.

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Green Dems organize for 2018 primaries

  • Published in Local

Democrats are organizing to impact the 2018 primary elections and strengthen the Democratic Party after an increase in support for the group following the November election.

“The Green Dems were meeting regularly and there were about six to ten people meeting every month in Tasty Diner. Every month after the Nov 8 election, attendance went up,” said their president, Sheldon Fishman.

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