District 20 candidates show few differences

  • Published in State

TAKOMA PARK — Seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent District 20 voters in the Maryland House of Delegates found themselves mainly in agreement as they spoke to voters at a forum Tuesday evening.

With little daylight between them, the candidates gave similar responses to questions on a variety of topics, including Interstate 495 traffic, taxes, education, economic development, and the environment.

Hosted jointly by the Women’s Democratic Club, The District 20 Breakfast Club, The Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club, Montgomery County Young Democrats, Montgomery Green Democrats, and the District 20 Caucus at Takoma Park Middle School, and moderated by former State delegate Karen Britto (District 16), the event featured incumbent delegates David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins, immigration attorney Fatmata Barrie, community activist Lorig Charkoudian, data analyst Malik Lendzondzo, labor organizer Darian Unger, and lawyer George Zokle.


Next up for Montgomery could be open primaries

  • Published in Local

Mortellaro Andrews Moon and Effingham PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVFrom left: Stephen Mortellaro, Phil Andrews, Del. David Moon and Damon Effingham talk public campaign financing PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVSILVER SPRING — As the May 12 deadline for candidates in the County to qualify for public financing approaches political leaders in the County are calling for election reforms.

Former County Council member Phil Andrews said he believes the County and the state needs to make several changes to its election system including going to an open primary system where any voter, regardless of party affiliation, can vote in a party primary election.

“If we want truly representative elections that produce representative representatives and then that produce representative public policy, we need to allow all voters to vote for any candidate,” Andrews said last Thursday to a small audience gathered for a forum on the topic at the Silver Spring Library.


Parents of slain pregnant woman fight to change law

  • Published in State

Wallen Family 2aLaura Wallen's family with Sen. Justin Ready and Del. Trent Kittleman in Annapolis. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIANWhen the father of a slain Olney woman found out the man accused of killing his pregnant daughter would only be charged with one count of murder, instead of two, he said he was shocked.

“It wasn’t going to count,” Mark Wallen said of his daughter Laura’s unborn child’s death. “Justice was not going to be done for my grandson. The law now says the life of my grandson doesn’t even exist.”

Under current state law, charges of murder or manslaughter for an unborn child can only be brought against a person if a fetus is considered “viable” outside of the mother’s womb. 

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy charged Laura Wallen’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, 33, of Damascus, with one count of murder last October. Wallen was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, according to the state’s chief medical examiner who conducted an autopsy. She was having a boy, whom she planned to name “Reid.”


Takoma Park sets priorities for legislature

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK — The Takoma Park City Council laid out the municipality’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session in front of the District 20 delegation, taking into account the likelihood of budget cuts in next year's legislative session. 

“Takoma Park has a very active citizenry, and the government is very proactive here about getting these kinds of conversations going,” Del. David Moon (D) said after the meeting. 

Moon, who is the only member of the delegation to reside in the Takoma Park, explained that the state and county governments are facing major budget shortfalls that would complicate the policymaking environment in Annapolis.


Art and politics collide in Takoma Park festival

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK – As thousands of Takoma Park residents gathered for the City's annual street festival Sunday afternoon, arts and politics dominated the atmosphere.

"It's pretty remarkable, we have amazing weather and with the number of people, it's terrific," said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. "With the number of local artisans and businesses, it really shows what a great community we have."

"The event always tends to bring in a big crowd from around the area," said Maryland Del. David Moon (D-20) who represents Takoma Park and Silver Spring residents.


Moon warns Takoma Park of budget hole

  • Published in Local

Takoma Park Govt logo

TAKOMA PARK – The city’s 20th District delegates brought news of a state budget deficit to the City Council Tuesday in what Del. David Moon (D) approximated as a “billion dollar budget hole.”

Moon stated there will be cuts and limited funds will be prioritized but he did not elaborate on what would be cut.

However, Del. Sheila Hixson (D) stayed optimistic.

“I think that us asking for money, we don’t have to apologize for that, we don’t” said Hixson. “I mean when we go into these meetings, they say ‘You guys got it all’ and I say ‘Even if we do, it’s wearing out, so you’re going to have to help us.'”


Democrats support, Republicans oppose Question 1 on fall ballot

  • Published in State

Del. David MoonState Del. David Moon (D-20) authored HB 260, a constitutional amendment to change how officials are appointed to fill vacancies in the comptroller's and attorney general's offices. FILE PHOTO  

Maryland voters this fall will decide whether the governor must pick someone of the same party as the attorney general or comptroller if either of them cannot complete their elected terms.

A special election would follow the next year to complete the term, according to the terms of the proposed constitutional amendment voters are set to consider Nov. 8.

Voting down the measure would allow the governor to make the temporary appointment without regard for party affiliation.

State Del. David Moon (D-20), whose district includes Takoma Park, authored House Bill 260, a constitutional amendment which passed the General Assembly this year and now is up for a statewide referendum.

It’s often referred to as Question 1.

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