Platform Q&A

How is our county democracy doing?

Not well. In Montgomery County a tiny number of primary voters from a single political party elects the County Executive and Council. This is a broken system. We need open primaries along with ranked-choice voting tabulation.

Is it true that only Democrats have been elected At-Large for more than 50 years?

It is! Many counties, cities as big as New York, the states of Alaska and Maine, and many other countries have non-partisan elections, multiple parties, open primaries or ranked-choice voting, where everyone's choices become important. Single party rule is by nature exclusionary. We need to change, and I have the will and experience, having been elected in a non-partisan city, to help make that change.

Are too few people representing our one million-person county?

When I was on the City Council in Takoma Park, I answered to 3,000 people, and got to know local issues well. There is no substitute. In Montgomery County, along with single-party rule we have twelve people elected to office. For the County Exec and At-Large that's one per million, and for Districts that's one for 157,000. This allows less than a bare minimum of constituent service and a paper-thin possibility of appropriate response. One answer is to take the Districts seriously and to give them a level of representation.

For example, can Silver Spring become a city? I'll gladly take your call when I'm on the Council, but imagine, if you live in Silver Spring or a bunch of other un-incorporated areas in the County like Aspen Hill, Olney, Bethesda and Burtonsville, that you had an elective body of your own where you could take your comments, troubles, and good suggestions to, and to talk out the issues that most directly affect you? I know how to make that happen.

How can we address a changing climate?

I've had experience with solar, with business, with government, and with green solutions. You can trust me to bring flexibility and daring action to address the enormous threat the earth's climate is bringing us. We can use the new general plan (called Thrive Montgomery 2050) to start and supplement it by attracting electric car companies and solar companies, promoting solar panels aggressively, increasing our self-generation goals, reducing car usage through CO2 tracking, switching to electric vehicles, cutting and taxing carbon and plastic, examining 'plastic to oil' technology, striving for zero-emissions, composting and recycling EVERYTHING, making the most of the Agricultural Reserve to provide local food . . . and more.

How can we reduce poverty and alienation?

The federal government has brought jobs that have helped Montgomery County grow over the decades. We are near the top of the heap on income, and this allows us to consider structural changes. I support the new county plan, which provides avenues to empower poorer people - particularly renters - and different cultures and races. Ideas include a re-casting of zoning restrictions, something I support.

Can carbon taxes give us money for social programs?

Yes. We can reduce pollution by taxing carbon - a thing we don't want - and using the income for education and other services - things we do want.

Can we become more neighborly?

Job 1: Get ourselves OUT of cars and ONTO our feet.
Job 2: Bring local services and businesses near to where we live.
Job 3: We can be more involved in the design of the places we gather to have fun.

Can we help people afford housing?

Yes. One way is to relax and reshape strict zoning codes to allow homeowners themselves to increase local density and create more places to live. In addition, let's promote development of some of the huge paved and underused spaces for affordable housing, offices, and small businesses to bring us closer to where we work.

Can young people run for office?

Yes. Run as a GREEN! We welcome you and will help you get on a County or State ballot for the next round. You can help deepen democratic values, meet lots of interesting people, and learn great lessons.

©2022 Friends of Dan Robinson, Sally Ann Rieger, Treasurer