First Voting, then Working, for the Planet

In the weeks since my prior blog (below), Marc Elrich was elected by a clear majority of voters as Montgomery County (Maryland) Executive. This former teacher and County Councilmember is an environmentalist and fiscal moderate who is positively geeky about good governance, sound science and program evaluation. His other strength is that he is a dedicated listener. And he will have held EIGHT listening sessions around the majority-minority county of over one million residents. That’s a lot of ear-time. I went to the first session and tonight will attend the final one. This is what I’ve prepared to say:

Good evening, CE Elrich and neighbors. I live and work in Kensington, am a member of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, a couple of miles away, and a former civic association president. I voted for the planet on November 6th.* I am here to start keeping a promise to do what I can to help stave off our climate emergency, but it starts with a question. what are your plans to implement Resolution 18-974, Emergency Climate Mobilization, passed on December 5, 2017?

You were the strongest ally of the MoCo chapter of The Climate Mobilization on the resolution, which -- I quote –"accelerates the County’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal to 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035 and calls upon the County Executive, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) to advise the County Council on “specific methods for accelerating the County’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.” 

As you may recall, The Climate Mobilization sent you a 12-page Transition Memo. We understand that the devil is in the details, whether for action by the County Council or, now, especially, by the County Executive, and TCM looks forward to meeting with you, soon.

How do we mobilize the county for the third priority outcome of your administration, A GREENER COUNTY? The transition memo from TCM provides implementation recommendations, including 18 for public, employee, and intergovernmental awareness and outreach. Wearing my volunteer hat as an OCP ethnic advisory group chair, I recommend using the volunteer groups to facilitate dialogue, education, and information-sharing across our diverse communities. They could also support the work necessary for re-orient organizational culture to a greenhouse gas reduction mindset.

I understand a new climate emergency advisory group or task force has been formed. Why not link it up with the OCP advisory groups to help implement the "Cross-Cutting Environmental Education and Outreach Montgomery County Government recommendations" in the  "Report of the Montgomery County Climate Mobilization Workgroup June 5th, 2018"? 

You get it. If we don't mobilize a county government-wide and all-resident/business-wide campaign, our climate emergency will turn to a climate disaster. Thanks for listening.  

Debbie Trent

20 December 2018


*November 4, 2018 —