Category: Fundraising

Conventional Wisdom vs. Unconventional Women: Dolores Huerta

Conventional Wisdom vs. Unconventional Women: Dolores Huerta

The following is a reflection by Jayme Epstein as part of #TeamBrandy’s Conventional Wisdom vs. Unconventional Women series. Epstein is a resident in Rockville.

“Si se puede!  Si se puede! (Yes, we can!)” rings through the streets of America today ever since Dolores Huerta coined the term almost 50 years ago.  

Those words defined Huerta’s life, as a woman, an organizer, and an advocate for the rights of all people.  She is most famous for co-founding the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez, a role that was often downplayed because she was a woman.  Against all odds, not to mention big agribusiness and the government, Huerta built a movement, then devoted her life to raising up the voices and improving the lives of oppressed Americans, breaking race and gender barriers each step of the way.  

She founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation in 2002 to build local power and fight for justice in California’s Central Valley. Today, at age 87, Huerta continues to lead the organization and travels the country supporting candidates for political office and civil rights.  Accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, Huerta emphasized the power of organizing communities to fight for economic and social justice:

“The freedom of association means that people can come together in organization to fight for solutions to the problems they confront in their communities. The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today.”  

Unconventional women have organized their communities to secure economic and social justice for oppressed workers and citizens.  Will you contribute $10, $25 or $50 to Brandy’s campaign to challenge the conventional wisdom about political leadership in Montgomery County?

Get involved today by volunteering or hosting an event build a Montgomery County for all!


By Eric Guo [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Conventional Wisdom vs. Unconventional Women: Harriet Tubman

Conventional Wisdom vs. Unconventional Women: Harriet Tubman

In Preston, MD, there’s a tree that Harriet Tubman and her family passed by on the way to freedom.

The tree stands on one of the many Eastern Shore farms where Tubman and her relatives labored as slaves – not as farmers, but as loggers. While much of the forest shows the signs of having been clear cut more than once, this 200-year-old tree remains standing, a living witness to the courage of Tubman and those who escaped with her on the thirteen trips she made back to Maryland to free family members and friends after she had escaped herself.

Standing in that forest, you get a sense of how terrifying the escape must have been. But you also know that you’re standing in Tubman’s legacy: the farm is now owned by two black women who are partnering with two young black farmers to lead a resurgence of African-American agriculture in Maryland and across the country. Tubman risked doing what no one would have thought possible – and the power of that choice continues to echo through generations.

Tubman rescued “just” 70 people – a number that could easily be dismissed compared to the 4 million people enslaved at that time. Running a grassroots campaign for County Council might seem to be a small thing in the face of global environmental, economic and social challenges. But these seemingly small things have the power to transform our lives, and the lives of those who come after us.

The conventional wisdom about who holds power and makes decisions for our communities is no longer acceptable for our families, our communities, and our children.

When children have to march in the streets to make sure their schools are safe and free from gun violence, it’s time to challenge the status quo and demand effective gun control laws and end the stranglehold of the NRA on our gun policy.

When women are consistently paid less than men in every field, and women are underrepresented in politics at every level, it’s time to make sure we have reforms that create equity in the workplace and in politics.

When hardworking people cannot get affordable housing or ensure that their families are fed, it’s time to move away from a trickle-down housing and economic theory to create policies that benefit the people, not corporate and big money interests.

Unconventional women have won freedom for themselves and their communities. In this final week of March, as we celebrate the leadership of diverse people across our communities will you support Brandy’s campaign to challenge the conventional wisdom about political leadership in Montgomery County?

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.


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

#TeamBrandy PEF Update: Halfway There!

#TeamBrandy PEF Update: Halfway There!

It’s a moment to crank some Bon Jovi and say “Thank you!” — Our campaign is halfway to reaching the number of donors needed to qualify for the Montgomery County Public Election Fund because of the amazing people that join our campaign everyday!

Brandy and her team have deep conversations with folks about a vision for a Montgomery for All – and people truly believe in that vision!

We have 131 Montgomery County donors so far (we need 250 to qualify for the Public Election Fund). We’re excited to be over the halfway mark and we’d like you to celebrate with us by giving the campaign a HIGH FIVE – take 5 actions to help spread the word.

Can you give the campaign a high-five? Here’s how:

  1. Share why you support Brandy. We are collecting quotes and testimonials about why folks support Brandy. Feel free to post on social media (tag the campaign @brandy4moco) or you can email the campaign at [email protected] and we will post your story online for you.

  2. Ask two (2) people to donate $5 or more to the campaign. Every donation helps us get closer to qualifying. Our average donation is $38 so we want folks to give what they can – it helps get big money out of our politics so that the issues that matter most – your issues – are what our elected leaders focus on. Share our donate link

  3. Join #TeamBrandy SocialPower Team. We have a growing voice online and we want to give volunteers and supporters different ways to amplify what we’re doing. If you’re on social media, you can help share and send out content, share action alerts, promote events, sign petitions, and raise up other campaign related activities. Email [email protected] for more information.

  4. Connect a MoCo Resident. If you know someone that lives in Montgomery County, please tell them about Brandy’s campaign and invite them to check out Brandy’s website ( We like making new friends!

  5. Wear purple on November 28 – #givingtuesday. We’d love for you to wear purple on Tuesday, November 28 and volunteer with a community project in your neighborhood. You can wear a button, sticker, or t-shirt. Send a picture of yourself wearing purple to show your support for Brandy and give back to your community by volunteering at a local community center or organization. Sign-up for a reminder.

We are committed to creating a reflective democracy that challenges the status quo. It is going to take all of us to make it happen.  

I hope you will take a moment to high-five the campaign for reaching the halfway mark to qualifying for the public election fund.

We’re halfway there… but we’re not living on a prayer. We’re powered by the people!