Montgomery County, Maryland is one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Yet, the County Council has traditionally represented only a fraction of the county's communities. Local elections matter and it's important to hold our representatives at ALL levels of government accountable to ALL our communities. That's why your Diversity Matters team decided to check out yesterday's County Executive Forum on Racial Equity and Immigrant Rights. This grassroots-hosted event raised questions to an all-white, mostly male panel of candidates that they may not usually have to face. The excellent moderators asked the panelists tough questions about discrimination in housing and zoning, dealing with distrust between police and communities, and how they would handle the Trump administration's aggressive ICE raids and targeting of undocumented immigrants. We are not endorsing any particular candidate in this county election, but were glad to see candidates pushed to consider what more they could do to reach out and engage the very large immigrant communities that have not had a strong voice in local government. Candidates were also asked how historical wrongs against the African American community, who have literally had their graves paved over by developers, could be addressed.
We felt all of the candidates could do much more to address these questions but hats off to the event organizers for making sure we were at the table. We encourage all our supporters to take a look at upcoming local events in your community, and bring your voice to the room.