Brooks is preparing to request over $100,000 in matching funds
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (May 25, 2021) — Community organizer and housing justice advocate Brandy Brooks officially filed today to run for Montgomery County Council At-Large. Since launching her campaign in mid-February, Brooks has demonstrated extraordinary fundraising strength and broad backing across the county.“I’m excited to run to represent our County and I look forward to what our campaign will accomplish in the 399 days until the June 2022 primary,” said Brooks. “We are building an incredible movement of engaged community leaders ready to shape the policy decisions that impact our lives. We are centering the voices of people of color, poor and working people, immigrants, young people, and TLGBQ+ people – voices that have been marginalized for too long in the halls of power.”
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. Her campaign noted that, if elected, she would be the first Black woman and first Latina to serve at-large in the County Council’s 50-year history.
Brooks also noted the opportunities ahead for women to lead. “The fact that the majority of the candidates who have declared or filed to run for Montgomery County Council are women is a statement in itself. The disparity in representation on our Council is on the hearts and minds of many people. I’m excited about all the women who are ready to run, and I hope to see a significant transformation on our Council to better reflect a county that is majority women and majority people of color. We must envision a county where more people are supported to run and lead — including women, nonbinary individuals (who are not currently recognized on candidate filing forms), and working class residents.”
The campaign is preparing to file for matching funds at the end of June and anticipates an initial request of over $100,000, thanks to hundreds of small-dollar contributions from Montgomery County residents. According to Michelle Whittaker, campaign manager, the campaign has raised more than $45,000 from over 500 contributors, over two-thirds of whom are county residents.
“Brandy’s campaign is building local power and raising the voices of everyday people,” said Whittaker. “By June of this year, we will surpass our fundraising from the entire 2018 cycle, when Brandy ran a highly competitive campaign as a first-time candidate. It’s amazing to see how fair elections and our ongoing people-centered platform is shifting the way neighbors participate in local elections.”
Candidates participating in the Montgomery County Public Election Fund commit to accept only contributions from individuals, up to $250 per person. The County matches contributions from county residents up to four times for the at-large race. To qualify for matching funds, at-large candidates must collect at least $20,000 from at least 250 county residents. Proponents of public financing tout its ability to engage new voices in politics.
“I opened my very first bank account in February, and the first thing I did was donate to Brandy Brooks’ campaign. I am so thrilled to support Brandy,” said Avery Smedley, a resident of Silver Spring and a student at Albert Einstein High School. “She’s a huge proponent of racial justice, environmental justice, and economic justice. This is a really important investment for me, my community, and my future.”
Brooks is an Afro-Latina educator, facilitator, designer, and community organizer with 15 years of experience working on social, housing, environmental, and economic justice. In her 2018 campaign for County Council, she received endorsements from 21 local, state and national organizations. The Democratic Primary is June 28, 2022.