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Friday, June 29, 2012

Daily Journal

It was a busy week indeed! On Tuesday, I taped a political talk show with Charles Duffy, which featured a lot of tough issues around education funding, transportation, and economic development. That will be upcoming on Political Pulse, you can watch it on TV or online.

Tuesday’s council session featured a debate over a proposal that would reduce the incentive to develop around the county’s MARC stations. I opposed the provision and am looking for a more balanced alternative. I support the idea of establishing a parking district in Kensington, where the proposal would primary have its impact, and begin to establish a more rational parking strategy for that area based on what kind of community it wants to become over the long term. More work on this to come.

Also on Tuesday we got the news that the executive has launched a community banking initiative! I have been working on this issue and, along with business leaders, requested this action. Great move by Mr. Leggett.

Wednesday morning I met with Jarret Smith, a candidate for Takoma Park City Council. I was very impressed by his background and I am going to support his candidacy, I think he would bring a new and needed perspective to the City Council there. We talked about a lot of issues including municipal tax duplication, an issue that I have wrestled with a lot since coming to the council and that we are going to try to address more comprehensively this summer.

That afternoon I joined a planning meeting for Purple Line Now!, where a group of activists is working to press for funding. The state has failed to find a transportation funding fix and we are getting to the breaking point for decisions about the Purple Line in Montgomery County and Prince George’s as well as the Red Line in Baltimore City. The next legislative session is make-it-or-break-it.

That evening, I attended the launch of Obama for America in upper Montgomery County. It was an awesome event with a full house and lots of energy. Everybody participated in a phone bank, including myself. This is how we are going to win.

Yesterday, I attended a meeting of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Air Quality Committee, of which I am a member. We are working on plans to continue reducing pollution in the environment and my job is to represent the county in making those decisions. I am new to this discussion at MWAQC but I’m enjoying the learning process, and I’m also enjoying the chance to serve on a committee chaired by DC Council Member Phil Mendelson. He’s knowledgeable and engaged in the details and really keeps the meetings going.

Meanwhile, I am continuing work on Digital Government. My first big project out of the gate is to move the ball forward on how the county collects, manages and publishes data. More on this soon….