Brandy Brooks Says “This Is How You Build a Truly Democratic Movement”

Brandy Brooks Says “This Is How You Build a Truly Democratic Movement”

At-Large Candidate Shows Strong Fundraising;
Calls Attention to Structural Issues with Politics and Campaign Finance

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (January 19, 2018) — Brandy Brooks, at-large candidate for Montgomery County Council, released the following statement regarding her campaign’s annual report:

“I am so proud to be running under the public election fund. My goal in running for office is to redefine what politics should look like in Montgomery County. Our first fundraising report shows we’re doing exactly that.

Public financing is a game changer for me as a candidate – but it’s also a game changer for Montgomery County residents who have been told their voices and their votes don’t matter. We are engaging new donors in new parts of the county on the issues that matter most to them: housing, jobs, transportation, and creating welcoming communities for all. We’ve been a fixture at places like the Crossroads Farmers Market in East County, engaging with middle-class and immigrant communities. And at house parties from Wheaton to Clarksburg, we’ve been talking with community members about our shared vision for a #Montgomery4All.

My first campaign finance report shows we are a grassroots campaign funded by small donors. We have over 400 donors who’ve supported our campaign. We are particularly proud of our average contribution amount – $37 – and that over 75% of our donors give $50 or less. Some are only able to give $5. But when I talk to people about how a contribution of $5 can be matched, their faces light up. We are connecting with working people and families in Montgomery County and across the country who want to see a candidate like them fighting for their interests as an elected official. This is how you build a truly democratic political movement.

In addition to our Montgomery County donors, I’ve drawn on my grassroots networks around the DC metro region and across the country to help me mount this campaign, in the face of a system that disadvantages women, people of color, people who don’t come from wealth, and people who aren’t political insiders. If democracy is truly for all of us, then our policies need to be for all of us, our elected officials should reflect all of us, and our systems need to work for all of us. It’s clear that our policies, our elected officials, and our systems do not treat all of us equitably. If we as progressives and Democratic Party members want more women and people of color represented in our leadership, we have to support them – and yes, fund them.

We commend Jared DeMarinis and the entire team at the State Board of Elections and the Montgomery County Board of Elections as they oversee the public financing process – when it comes to this system, all of us are first-timers. We also recognize the need to further refine this process so it doesn’t become yet another hurdle for candidates and communities already facing disadvantages. For our homeless brothers and sisters who want to contribute to the campaign but lack an address, we believe the system should work for all. For victims of domestic violence who want to donate but fear giving their contact information may harm them, we believe the system should work for all. And for candidates who don’t have a team of technical experts to guide them through the reporting system, we believe the system should work for all.

This is our moment to build a movement focused on people first. Our campaign is filled with the stories of many everyday people who made the investment to say yes to a new way forward. I am running because I believe that the time for that way forward isn’t someday – it’s right now.

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Brandy Brooks is a public election fund candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large. Brooks has been endorsed by the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America. She is an activist, educator, facilitator, and designer who has spent more than 10 years working on social and environmental justice. Brooks is the Leadership Development Organizer for Progressive Maryland, a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization promoting social, economic, and racial justice.

To learn more about Brandy Brooks, go to www.brandy4montgomery.com.

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