Brandy Brooks Names Former Councilmember Virginia Onley and Student Organizer Avery Smedley as Campaign Co-Chairs

Leaders Affirm Shared Vision for an Inclusive Democracy

Avery Smedley, Brandy Brooks, and Virginia Onley
Avery Smedley, Brandy Brooks, and Virginia Onley

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (November 30, 2021) – Brandy Brooks, candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large, named former Rockville Councilmember Virginia Onley and student organizer Avery Smedley as co-chairs for Brooks’ campaign. Their leadership reflects the multigenerational needs of the county.

“I am honored to have the support of these dynamic leaders in our county who have organized on housing, school equity, and economic development,” said Brooks. “Virginia and Avery are grassroots leaders who bring a wealth of lived experience to the table.”

Onley and Smedley are part of Brooks’ BIPOC100 network, an impressive group of 100+ leaders and organizers of color who endorse her candidacy for office. The group includes current and former Montgomery County elected officials, state and local legislators across the country, leading national climate and environmental justice advocates, and local student and youth organizing leaders. 

“I’ve been impressed with Brandy’s solid commitment and action for working families across the county,” said Onley, a two-term Rockville Councilmember and advocate for affordable housing. “Her advocacy on housing justice is critically needed at this time in our county. I’m excited to help phenomenal, grassroots-centered Black women run and win. Our voices deserve a seat at the table.”

“Brandy is not only committed to listening to the voices of young people, she is giving us opportunities to lead in this space,” said Smedley, a student organizer who graduated from Albert Einstein High School and is now studying at Duke University. “As a young person, I’m tired of faux progressivism and teeny steps toward progress. Brandy truly wants systemic change, especially on issues most urgent to me as a young person of color in this county, like climate change, racial justice and economic justice.”

Onley is hosting an upcoming meet and greet on December 8th at 7:00 pm with former Gaithersburg Councilmember Yvette Monroe. 

Brooks was the first candidate to announce that she is running in the at-large race. As a renter in the county, she brings an essential perspective on housing and living wages for residents. As a longtime environmental justice advocate, she is committed to advancing environmental and land use policies that are rooted in equity and justice. If elected, Brooks would be the first Black woman and first Latina to serve at-large in the County Council’s 50-year history. 

Brooks is participating in the Montgomery County Public Election Fund and committed to accepting only contributions from individuals — no corporations or PACs. The maximum contribution is $250 per person. For the at-large race, the County matches the amount contributed by county residents up to four times. To qualify for matching funds, at-large candidates must collect at least $20,000 from at least 250 county residents. Brooks reached these thresholds quickly within a week after announcing her candidacy in February.

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