Issues.

The issues raised by the County residents I meet will drive my agenda. But here are some long standing issues that I am ready to find solutions for the residents of Montgomery County.

Montgomery County needs more affordable housing to keep pace with our County’s economic growth. The Montgomery County Planning Board found that the housing stock is short by 20,000 homes for residents earning less than $29,000. In 2015, nearly 4,000 low-income residents were on the waiting list for rental assistance. Every resident needs a home. Affordable housing for Montgomery County residents is a right, not a privilege.

Montgomery County residents face the inconveniences of traffic congestion and an unreliable public transportation system everyday. The unpredictable traffic delays hit our low-income families particularly hard. These residents often have jobs with strict lateness policies, and for workers with young children, disruptions due to commuting inconveniences can make child care particularly challenging. This isn’t just frustrating for our most at risk communities, but in many cases -it’s the difference between a parent working and abruptly losing a job to support their children. County government must step up and tackle this problem for communities being adversely affected by poor traffic conditions, and the unreliable public transportation system.

Job opportunities should be accessible regardless of which side of Montgomery County residents chooses to live in. I want to keep Montgomery County as the economic engine of Maryland. This requires making meaningful investments into our communities, public education system, and job training programs to increase wages, and attract good paying jobs for our County.
Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system is undergoing challenges like never before. Student enrollment has skyrocketed, and the needs of the diverse student population are ever changing. MCPS is well known for having some of the top performing schools in the nation. But the student achievement gap continues to widen between our schools. This is unacceptable. Our County has hired some of the best educators in the country, but they need to be equipped with the right resources to ensure every child gets the quality education they deserve.
Montgomery County is home to four out of ten of the most diverse cities in America. As a refugee who escaped a war torn country, I understand the enormous positive impact that local government and its people can have when diversity is valued. The 42% increase in hate crimes we saw in 2016 is unacceptable; we must prevent more crimes from happening in the future. That’s why I became a founding member of Communities United Against Hate-Montgomery County; to engage our community and combat the rise of hate crimes in Montgomery County. I will be a voice for all County residents who may feel marginalized or disenfranchised in their own communities.