Dalbin Osorio (Democrat)
New York born social worker Dalbin Osorio filed to join the race to replace out going District-1 Council member Roger Berliner last week.
Osorio said he decided to run for County Council because there needs to be more people who are the ground level and are personally affected by the issues facing the County representing people in local government.
“I noticed there was a lack of representation for people who had actually done the direct work that politicians and their policies usually impact,” Osorio said.
On education, Osorio said he believes the County should do more to partner with non-profits, such as the YMCA, that can offer extra-curricular programs or help tutor kids to close the achievement gap.
“I think that there is severe lack of linkage with the schools in county and the community based organizations,” he said.
Osorio said he supports “social justice” which includes better pay for workers and more affordable living for residents.
On raising the minimum wage, Osorio proposed going beyond the “fight for 15” and said he believes the County should raise the minimum wage to $18 per hour. Osorio said even if the County were to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour it would not be enough given the high cost of living.
Osorio said the minimum wage debate highlights an important issue for him when it comes to County government, namely that things are not done quickly enough. Osorio criticized the Council decision to fund a study to research the impacts of raising the minimum wage in the County.
Officials from the firm that conducted the minimum wage study later said the study was flawed.
Osorio called the study a waste of time.
Osorio also said the County needs to do more to lower the cost of housing, by possibly offering tax breaks to developers to build more affordable housing units.
“For me it’s about bridging that gap of affordable and sustainable housing,” he said.
Evan Glass (Democrat)
Former CNN news producer and current Executive Director of Gandhi Brigade Youth Media Evan Glass is now the 16th person to file their candidacy for County Council at-large.
Glass said he began to get involved in local politics while working for CNN when he co-founded of the Silver Spring neighborhood Association and was president of the Indian Spring Civic Association.
Glass said he started to become more politically active after left CNN.
“I was freed form the shackles of objective journalism and I immediately joined the board of Equality Maryland where I was able to fight for my civil rights as a gay man and promote marriage equality,” Glass said.
Glass said the lack of affordable housing in the County is one of the main issues for him, proposing the County needs to look at more creative solutions, such as letting developers use public land to build more affordable housing units. Glass also suggested there a “dying” malls and office parks that could make converted into housing.
Glass contends the issues in the County, education, traffic congestion and the economy are all interconnected and the Council needs to think “holistically” when finding solutions.
“We need to think holistically about how all these different issues affect one another,” he said.
Glass said he wants to increase the County’s capital improvement projects budgets to improve transportation infrastructure and Montgomery County Public Schools. Glass said, rather than raising taxes, the County should find way to promote economic development to increase revenue to pay for capital projects.
“I don’t believe there is an appetite to further increase our property tax, it’s why we need to look for alternative sources of revenue,” Glass said.