Montgomery County Council At Large – Beth Daly

BethDaly

Beth Daly

1) Tell us about yourself.

Although this is my first run for public office, I have more than 20 years of experience working in Democratic politics, first for U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), then as a media professional for Democratic candidates and progressive causes, and most recently for Telemundo, promoting political messaging to its Spanish-language viewers. I was named “Media All Star” by Media Week magazine in 1993 for my team’s work on the Clinton-Gore 1992 campaign. I am legislative director of the Sugarloaf Citizens Association; was appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett to the Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board where I am land use chair; served as one of the original members of the Save Ten Mile Creek Coalition; and was selected as a community leader on the regional Transportation Planning Board. I have also been active on the Dickerson Facilities Implementation Group advisory board (DAFIG), PTA, within my church and as a hospice volunteer.

I was selected to be a member of Emerge Maryland’s inaugural class. Emerge is an organization whose mission is to encourage women to run for elected office. Although I have always been active and engaged in the community, Emerge gave me the tools and confidence to take it one step further and seek the county council office.

2) What do you hope to accomplish in office?

I want to raise the standards of accountability and transparency in county government, especially when it comes to budget, development and tax breaks, with the ultimate goals of easing traffic by expanding public transit, reducing the achievement gap, expanding affordable housing and protecting our environment. The county council must start using real metrics to anticipate growth and require developers to provide solutions ahead of construction and to help build schools, transit and public amenities.

I will work to increase public transit options. Public transit, intersection improvements, “complete streets” that include bicycle and pedestrian access, and road fixes are tools to ending the traffic crisis in Montgomery County. With the planned increase in density countywide, and with our already overburdened streets and intersections, mass transit is crucial to our future economic growth and quality of life, and long planned projects must be accelerated to completion.

Our nationally renowned school system has long been a powerful draw for residents and businesses alike. I support using third party reviews to identify and fund proven programs that work to close the growing achievement gap. We need to identify and invest in all of our most advanced students. I will work to reduce class size and to better fund English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Creating and preserving parks is also a priority, especially in areas with dense development, and I will work tirelessly to protect our mature tree canopy. I support keeping the public informed and will push for publishing online any proposed exemptions to stormwater and forest conservation laws so that the affected residents have a chance to be heard before the bulldozers forever change the landscape.

I will work to create and protect affordable housing. It is not fair that many hardworking schoolteachers, firefighters, police officers, low wage earners, seniors, and young professionals must live outside the county because of our scarcity of affordable housing. Through master plans and zoning, the county council can better protect existing affordable homes and incentivize moderately priced units in new developments. I will also work to increase funding for affordable housing initiatives.

3) What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been so far. What does that say about your priorities as council member?

I am an original and active participant in the Save the Ten Mile Creek Coalition. I testified before the Montgomery County Planning Board and the council about the importance of protecting our last best creek and the emergency water supply for our region. After months and months of testimony, meetings with elected officials and staff, rallies, and coalition conference calls, the council was persuaded to lower the imperviousness levels on the properties in the Ten Mile Creek watershed from 35 percent to 15 percent – and six percent in the most sensitive headwater areas. That translates into acres upon acres of less asphalt. This victory highlights to me the importance of good outreach and research. Our coalition grew to over 30 member organizations – ranging from faith-based organizations to labor to neighborhood and environmental organizations. In the end it was our diversity, our number, and the science-based data that led to our success.

4) What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

The most important reason for people to vote for me is that I want to change the way the county council does business. I am calling for stronger evaluation of, oversight and accountability for taxpayer funded programs, from the school system to clean water to transportation. I am a civic advocate, and will seek out, listen to, and respect residents’ points of view.

5) What is the top issue (or one of the top issues) facing the county and how do you propose to deal with it?

Public transit and road improvements cannot be an afterthought. Intersection improvements, road fixes and public transit are tools to ending the traffic crisis in Montgomery County. With the planned increase in density countywide, and with our already overburdened streets and intersections, mass transit is crucial to our future economic growth and quality of life. I will work to ensure the county council starts using real metrics to anticipate growth and to require developers to provide solutions ahead of construction to help support public transit, build complete streets, and to fix our roads and intersections.

6) Will you pledge to end the double-taxation of Takoma Park so that the county fairly reimburses the city for duplicate services? If so, what do you see as the solution?

Yes, I pledge to end the double taxation of Takoma Park and for residents of all of our county’s municipalities. I support the goals of the new working group that will propose revisions to the current system, standardize formulas that are inconsistent and inadequate, and help to gain buy-in from property tax payers and the county.

7) What are other important local issues in Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Four Corners and Wheaton, and how will you address them?

These four areas of eastern Montgomery County will experience intense development over the next decade spurred by new transit projects and, in the case of Wheaton, a recent downtown sector plan that is already offering mixed use developments close to Metro. The Purple Line and priority Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route on Route 29/Colesville Rd, if done correctly, will bring jobs, traffic relief and quality of life improvements to local residents. The job of the county council is to work with all constituents, including current residents and businesses, to support and promote small local businesses affected by physical changes and rising rents; retain access to established neighborhoods; maintain affordable housing through better land use decisions, state and county support and public-private-nonprofit partnerships; enhance the environment by increasing tree canopy in the urban areas; and improve stormwater management through redevelopment with an emphasis on natural elements such as mature trees rather than engineered solutions.

The MCPS Downcounty Consortium, especially in the “regular” programs, suffers from a growing achievement gap aligned with race and socioeconomic status. I pledge to work with all partners to vigorously implement programs and practices to close that gap, from encouraging all parents to be involved in local schools; funding more aides in classrooms; lobbying Annapolis for more school construction funds; supporting pre-K especially for schools with significant Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) rates; supporting early intervention programs; resolving our affordable housing shortage so that students do not suffer from the disruption of moving from school to school; and doing all we can to assure every student – no matter the zip code – has an opportunity for a bright future.

8) Please list endorsements:

The Gazette; Sierra Club Maryland Chapter; Montgomery County National Organization for Women PAC; Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO; Progressive Maryland; Progressive Neighbors; Montgomery County Public Schools Retirees Association; CASA in Action; SEIU MD/DC State Council; SEIU Local 500; Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35; UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO; Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats – Maryland; Montgomery County Green Democrats; Associated Builders and Contractors; and Brickyard Coalition.
Elected officials who endorsed Beth Daly: Sen. Brian Feldman (D-15); Sen. Nancy King (D-39); Sen. Roger Manno (D-19); Del. Charles Barkley (D-39); Del. Kathleen Dumais (D-15); Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo (D-15); Del. Aruna Miller (D-15);
Del. Shane Robinson (D-39); Del. Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18); Council Member Mike Sesma, Gaithersburg; and Mayor Jeffrey Slavin, Somerset.

9) Please supply links, and contact info.

Website: http://bethdaly.org
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/beth4moco
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beth4moco
Email Address: info@bethdaly.org
Campaign HQ Address
Friends of Beth Daly; PO Box 2908; Germantown, MD 20875
Telephone: (301) 704-3038

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