Kevin Harris for Council, District 5

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I'm running to rebuild trust between elected officials and citizens in my community.

 

Why I’m Running

I’m running as a Democrat for District 5 County Council because I see a bright future for our county. I believe we can make better informed, fiscally sound, data-driven decisions on key challenges facing our County – growth and development, traffic congestion, education, affordable housing, and environmental protection.

As evidenced by the recent vote on term limits, the great majority of residents feel disconnected from the current County leadership. Too many decisions in Rockville are made without our leaders actually listening to residents.  I will be a responsive leader who will truly listen to constituents and have an inclusive approach to policy-making that will bring all stakeholders into the decision-making process.

I’m a citizen candidate. I’m participating in the public financing system and will not accept contributions from developers or political action committees. My votes will be informed by conversations with my constituents who I will be elected to represent. My doors will be open to all.

The 4 main pillars of my campaign are:

1.     Rebuilding trust between residents and elected officials. When 70% of voters say yes to term limits, it’s a sign that there has been a loss of trust in their elected leadership.  I will do all I can to rebuild trust by listening and creating an inclusive policy-making process. One way of rebuilding that trust is to take big money out of politics to ensure that decision-makers are not unduly influenced by large corporate donors when making policy.

2.     Building a strong local economy that creates good paying jobs. Our County faces a $400 million budget shortfall over the next 6 years. It’s imperative that we focus our economic development efforts on building a strong local economy by doing all we can to grow and support the small business sector. Over 83% of jobs in Maryland are created by small businesses.

3.     Sustainable Development – Properly planned, sustainable growth is essential to our future. However, when it comes to development the pendulum has swung too far in one direction. I will support the appointment of planning board commissioners who will bring a neighborhood sensibility to the Board. I will ask developers how their projects will best contribute to our communities, and how they will pay their fair share to provide the additional transportation and education infrastructure needed to support their project.

4.     Concentrating on The Basics of Local Government – We need to refocus on delivering excellent core County services such as high quality schools, roads and public safety. I have worked tirelessly over the past 2 years to provide data-driven, cost-effective solutions to the transportation challenges we face on Route 29. If we cannot provide core services at a high level, we will be unable to retain and attract the residents and employers who are the fuel of the economy and form the fabric of our society. Overcrowded classrooms and roads that have not been paved for over 40 years are inexcusable in one of the wealthiest counties in the country.