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No endorsement for Prince George’s County Council at-large

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2018 marks the primary time Prince George’s County residents are electing two at-large representatives to the county council. Sadly, not like in the county govt's race the place there are much more glorious candidates than could be elected, we really feel that the candidates operating for at-large this 12 months aren’t more likely to take progressive stances on growth, urbanism, transit, and different good progress points and/or produce other occasions within the current previous which make us reluctant to endorse them. Subsequently, we’re not endorsing anybody for these seats on this cycle.

We heard from 5 candidates

5 of the 9 candidates responded to our questionnaire: present District 9 council member Mel Franklin, former state delegate Gerron Levi, very long time county worker Calvin Hawkins, and newcomers Julian Lopez and Jonathan White (who has withdrawn from the race).

Solely Franklin and Levi have monitor information in elected workplace. Levi appears to lean towards insurance policies that GGWash readers would help, and he or she is an knowledgeable on housing coverage, however her positions on the problems mirror a restricted engagement with the small print of most different points. To questions on highway security and transit, she responded by saying she didn't know a lot about it, and in a couple of circumstances it didn't seem like she'd even learn the query fastidiously. That doesn't essentially imply she'd be a foul councilmember, but it surely actually doesn't give us the premise to say she'd be one both with an endorsement. We additionally be aware that within the state legislature, she was an lively opponent of same-sex marriage.

Franklin fares finest, typically favoring mixed-use, walkable, transit-oriented growth, particularly calling out the necessity to enhance the “woefully insufficient” county bus service, and supporting transit investments akin to Southern Maryland Fast Transit as a substitute of freeway growth. Conversely, Franklin at present opposes ADUs and helps together with an up to date model of a controversial growth course of now generally known as election within the new county zoning code. He additionally personally intervened to permit extra sprawl within the Brandywine space, after the council had slapped a moratorium on it.

We’re additionally notably involved by Franklin’s responsible DUI plea final 12 months. Whereas no one is ideal, transferring violations that endanger others (Franklin injured two individuals in one other automobile), particularly because it was not his first transferring violation, matter. Franklin referred to as the crash an “accident,” regardless that it was in reality immediately brought on by his decisions. Prince George’s County is the most harmful place within the state of Maryland for pedestrians and cyclists, and this received’t change with out management that has an actual imaginative and prescient about ending the dominance of automobile tradition.

Calvin Hawkins was on the heart of a significant sexual harassment declare paid out by the county whereas he was working in one other county workplace. We do be aware that Hawkins helps increasing the county’s bus service and actually, throughout his time with the Division of Public Works, labored to increase the system in its early years. He additionally flagged Governor Hogan’s freeway growth proposal as a case of induced demand that might shortly fail county residents pissed off with their commute, opposes the inclusion of the election course of within the zoning rewrite, and helps regulated ADUs as a result of “everybody wins.”

Among the many remaining candidates, Lopez is a powerful proponent of freeway growth and his ideas on housing, financial growth, and supporting transit and different mobility choices didn’t make for a coherent coverage outlook. White (who will not be longer a candidate) had first rate ideas on housing coverage and helps ADUs, however is in favor of Governor Hogan’s freeway growth proposal and total had restricted responses on site visitors, security, and financial growth within the county.

Thanks, however no thanks

Given the above, Higher Higher Washington declines to make any endorsement within the Prince George’s County Council at-large race. This election represents a big missed alternative for the county to maneuver in a greater course on good progress points, and reveals how far county leaders (and people who wish to be) should go in turning into knowledgeable advocates of those insurance policies.

It’s also disappointing as a result of some races, together with county govt and no less than one district race, are overflowing with glorious candidates. We want a number of the ones we're not endorsing in these races had run as a substitute for at-large. Maybe they may in 4 years.

Prime picture: Sprawl growth in District 9 of Prince George's County. Picture by Chesapeake Bay Program licensed below Inventive Commons.

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