Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Petition to create 9 Montgomery County Council districts can now be signed electronically online

An effort to create better representation for residents on the Montgomery County Council has gotten a new jolt of energy. Nine Districts for MoCo, a grassroots organization, has been collecting signatures to place a question on the November ballot that would eliminate the At-Large seats on the Council. Instead, the Council would have 9 seats that each represent a smaller district of the county. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Elections has given the group permission to collect signatures online. Registered voters can now sign the petition electronically, through the organization's website.

The At-Large seats are seen as a way for developers and special interests to get 4 votes to override parochial neighborhood concerns. Needless to say, the Montgomery County political cartel is not pleased about the Nine Districts for MoCo effort. At one public hearing by the Charter Review Commission, four commissioners tried to prevent Nine Districts for MoCo Chair Kimblyn Persaud from testifying on a fictional technicality, before realizing they didn't have the votes to stop her from speaking.

I strongly endorse this effort. Unlike past proposals, this does not reduce the number of Council members in a County that is rapidly growing in population. What it does do is create smaller, more manageable districts, and Councilmembers who will literally be closer to their constituents and their neighborhood issues. 

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