Why I'm Running and Why I Ask for Your Support - Part Two
LESSONS FROM MY FAMILY:
My grandfather and great-grandparents immigrated to the United States to escape anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. My grandmother devoted her life to organizing her community and lobbied the Roosevelt Administration to admit refugees fleeing the Nazis. My father was president of the Jewish Federation of Welfare Agencies in Bergen County, NJ, where I grew up, and he and my mother co-chaired a Parent-Teacher Association. Their examples taught me about the importance of civic engagement.
The famous quotation about the Holocaust by Pastor Martin Niemöller of Germany resonates for me. It seems as poignant as ever today:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The Democratic Party has often been a powerful vehicle for change, including through President Roosevelt's New Deal, President Johnson's Great Society, and President Obama's health care reform and clean energy initiatives. Even while protesting in the streets, social and political movements have worked within the Party to expand civil rights; promote opportunity, equal rights and justice; and protect the environment and public health.
We need a strong Democratic Party to unite the country around an agenda that restores compassionate and thoughtful dialogue, strikes the right balance between the public and private sectors, promotes sustainable and inclusive development, and provides effective democratic governance. Montgomery County Democrats can help lead the new "blue wave" of positive political energy.
BUILDING A STRONGER DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR ALL OF US:
Strengthening the party organization, rather than supporting only individual candidates, can be a force-multiplier. By participating in a vibrant party organization, we can increase voter registration, turn-out, and ongoing civic engagement. I plan to energize the Party through a grassroots organizing strategy that builds upon a network of activists and increases public participation in the development of the party's agenda.
As of March 2018, there were 644,000 registered voters in the county, of whom 377,811 are Democrats, 114,210 are Republicans, and 142,806 are unaffiliated (independent). Less than half of all registered voters (45%) cast votes in the November 2014 gubernatorial general election. Less than 18% of registered voters voted in the 2014 primary. Increasing Democratic turn-out in our county by 15% could make the difference in electing a Democratic governor.
Montgomery County is the most populous county in Maryland. With more than 1.04 million residents, it is larger than Baltimore, Washington, DC, and five states. Our size and access to Washington can make our liberal approach to governance a model for the country. Working together, we can do our part to put our country back on track.