Category: General

Brandy Brooks Endorsed by State Senator Roger Manno and National Progressive Groups

Brandy Brooks Endorsed by State Senator Roger Manno and National Progressive Groups

Brooks named Bold Progressive Champion and is the most endorsed female candidate in the County Council At-Large Field of 33

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (June 22, 2018) — Brandy Brooks, Democrat for Montgomery County Council At-Large, has earned the endorsement of Maryland State Senator Roger Manno (District 19), People’s Action, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. These latest endorsements from local and national progressive leaders demonstrate Brooks’ commitment to building progressive power through community organizing. Brandy Brooks is the most endorsed female candidate running At-Large and would become the first ever Afro-Latina to be elected countywide to the council.

People’s Action, a national multiracial, people’s organization, recognizes Brandy’s commitment to the “From Protest to Power” Platform that she has supported as a candidate and a member of Progressive Maryland, an affiliate of People’s Action. The platform focuses on creating “real change in people’s lives” by building community power to “shape an economy and democracy that works for all of us.”

“We are excited to endorse Brandy Brooks,” said Laurel Wales, Deputy Director of Movement Politics at People’s Action.  “She will advance policies that will enhance the quality of life for everyday Maryland residents. We are proud to stand with her as she brings more communities into an inclusive democracy that works for all of us!”

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee named Brandy Brooks a 2018 Bold Progressive Champion. The committee recognizes candidates from around the country who are fighting for progressive priorities and looking out for the needs of everyday families. One hundred forty-seven candidates have been named 2018 Champions nationally –  including Danielle Meitiv and Chris Wilhelm, fellow candidates in the At-Large field.
“Our 2018 Champions across the country are committed to solving big problems affecting their communities,” said Marissa Barrow, a spokesperson for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.  “Selected for their bold vision, these candidates are highly capable leaders ready to make change.”

Earlier this week State Senator Roger Manno endorsed Brandy Brooks at Leisure World via Facebook Live, saying “we have a critical opportunity to elect strong progressive champions at every level of government who will fight for working people.” Brooks also endorsed Manno in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, citing his 12 years of progressive leadership in the General Assembly along with his experience working for three members of Congress.
The Primary is June 26.

###

Brandy Brooks is a public election fund candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large. 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.

Brandy has been endorsed by 18 local, state, and national groups including unions, progressive grassroots groups, and religious and immigrant advocacy organizations. She is the most endorsed female candidate in the at-large field out of 33 candidates.

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

PRESS RELEASE: ACT Scorecard Falsely Represents Brandy Brooks’ Positions on Transit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Michelle C. Whittaker, Brandy Brooks for County Council At-Large

[email protected] | 301-244-8845

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (June 8, 2018) — Misinformation regarding Brandy Brooks’ publicly available positions on transit are being shared in the Action Committee for Transit (ACT) scorecard. Brooks is setting the record straight to make sure voters across the county have truthful and accurate information to make their decisions.

The ACT scorecard claims to be based on several criteria including public statements, answers to questionnaires, and the candidate’s website. The rating does not reflect publicly available information regarding Brandy Brooks’ views on transit or housing. The Brooks campaign has attempted to work with ACT representatives to clarify the misinformation.

“The Action Committee for Transit is a dedicated group of volunteers who have been doing tremendous work on Montgomery County transit issues for many years,” said Brandy Brooks. “We share a deep commitment to a transit vision for our county that adequately serves our communities and reduces our reliance on personal vehicle travel. So it’s frustrating to find my positions misrepresented by ACT when we should be working together to build the community power we need to ensure strong transit investments.”

Representatives from ACT informed the Brooks campaign that her negative score was based on tweets where she emphasized the need for more focus on affordable housing development. They claim that Brooks’ concern about “trickle-down affordability”—the County’s over-reliance on luxury housing developments with a small fraction of affordable units to meet its severe affordable housing deficit—means that she does not support housing development near transit. This is demonstrably false.

Brooks has repeatedly stated her commitment to preserving and developing affordable housing near transit nodes, such as the Takoma-Langley Transportation Center that will ultimately become a Purple Line station. Additionally, Brooks has expressed her strong commitment to creating transit solutions for areas of the county that have been overdeveloped without supporting transportation infrastructure, such as Clarksburg and Damascus.

The campaign launched the “Correct the Record:ACT Scorecard” information page to provide voters and the media with accurate details on Brandy Brooks’ positions.

###

Brandy Brooks is a public election fund candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large. 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.

Brandy has been endorsed by 18 local, state, and national groups including unions, progressive grassroots groups, and religious and immigrant advocacy organizations. She is the most endorsed female candidate in the at-large field out of 33 candidates.

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

 

 

On Establish Special Zoning for an Amazon Headquarters

On Establish Special Zoning for an Amazon Headquarters

Brandy Brooks’ Statement on ZTA 18-05 to Establish Special Zoning for an Amazon Headquarters

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

To the members of the Montgomery County Council:

My name is Brandy Brooks. I am a resident of Wheaton, an organizer with Progressive Maryland, and a candidate for County Council At-Large. As I’ve spoken with residents across the county during the past year of campaigning, one of the most common concerns raised in these conversations is the belief that our County government prioritizes the interests and profit of developers over any concern that residents have about their quality of life and the quality of our public services. By putting forth this zoning text amendment to meet the demands of one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, the County Council is demonstrating exactly why so many County residents believe that their government no longer represents them.

There are numerous studies and live examples from our region and our own county that make it clear that the public does not receive the promised financial returns from corporate and development tax incentives – and in fact, that local governments end up shouldering additional burdens in costs for infrastructure and public services that are generated by these projects. We see this already in the way that developments approved by the County Council have created unsustainable and unmanageable impacts on our roadways and public schools. But even if one were to believe the rosy financial forecasts from Amazon boosters, there is no doubt that the impacts of this development will be far beyond any previously approved single development project – which makes it completely ridiculous that the County Executive, the Planning Board, and the County Council would seek to shorten the review timeframe and eliminate steps in the review process that help both County officials and residents to assess and respond to an Amazon headquarters proposal.

As a resident of this county, I expect my public officials to put the public interest before the private interests of one wealthy resident and the company he owns. I see that my elected officials are very willing to make concrete promises to Amazon about the financial incentives they will receive and the special processes that will be created for them. Here’s what I don’t see: I don’t see my County Council, County Executive, state legislators or governor being concrete about the benefits that will come to the community and county I live in. I don’t see concrete promises about local hiring, or ensuring that all jobs at an Amazon HQ will pay living wages – including the security, clerical, maintenance and service staff required to support such an operation. I don’t see any concrete plan for dealing with the added pressures on affordable housing and school capacity that will come with an Amazon HQ – pressures on systems that are already at a crisis point. I do see a final willingness to make significant financial investments in public transit for our region – but I also wonder why Amazon was worth such a commitment, but those of us who already live and work in the county didn’t merit the same kind of investment.

It is time for our public officials to start putting the public first. I urge you to reject the proposed zoning text amendment, and go back to the drawing board to develop a process that respects the interests of residents at least as much as wealthy corporations.

Sincerely,

Brandy H. M. Brooks
1604 Constance Street
Silver Spring, MD 20902

Brandy Brooks Launches #TeamProgressive with Chris Wilhelm

Brandy Brooks Launches #TeamProgressive with Chris Wilhelm

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (May 11, 2018) —  County Council At-Large candidates Brandy Brooks and Chris Wilhelm will launch #TeamProgressive this Saturday, May 12 at the Takoma Park VFW Post 350. The day of action will include volunteer training and a rally, followed by area canvassing by each campaign.

#TeamProgressive will hold a series of Backyard Rallies – joint house parties and events throughout Montgomery County – to engage county residents in advance of the early voting period that starts June 14.

“We believe in a Montgomery for All,” said Brandy Brooks. “And that starts with making sure all residents have a voice in the policies that shape their lives. We have the opportunity to elect a Council that reflects our communities.”

“#TeamProgressive is more than just Brandy and myself,” said Chris Wilhelm. “It’s a vision for the county that is inclusive and stands up to corporate interests in our politics. We believe that every resident should have a strong team of elected officials working for them.”

Brooks, a community organizer with Progressive Maryland, and Wilhelm, an ESOL teacher at Northwood High School, are both candidates using the Public Election Fund program available to Montgomery County candidates. They share a vision for Montgomery County that includes addressing economic inequality, reinvigorating our democracy, fighting structural racism, and reversing environmental degradation.

In this unprecedented local election with 33 democrats vying for 4 seats, Brandy Brooks has garnered the support of a diverse coalition of organizations at the local, state and national level – the most organizational endorsements of any female candidate in the race. Brooks and Wilhelm also share nine endorsements from progressive organizations, including MCEA, UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO, Progressive Maryland, Metro DC DSA, National DSA, Progressive Neighbors, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, and Jews United for Justice Campaign Fund.

Brandy Brooks’ endorsements include:

  • Montgomery County Education Association

  • UFCW Local 1994 Municipal and County Government Employee Organization (MCGEO)

  • Progressive Maryland

  • Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America

  • 32BJ SEIU

  • Jews United for Justice Campaign Fund

  • Democratic Socialists of America (National)

  • National Nurses Organizing Committee / National Nurses United

  • Progressive Neighbors

  • The American Women’s Party

  • CASA in Action

  • Montgomery County National Organization for Women (NOW) PAC

See endorsement list on Brooks’ website.

###

Brandy Brooks is a public election fund candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large. 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.

8 Weeks to Win for Workers

8 Weeks to Win for Workers

I was 10 years old when I started my first job – I was a delivery girl for a local newspaper in Reston, VA. I remember my mom driving our minivan in the early dawn light, dropping off papers to the apartment complexes in our neighborhood.

At 12, I started babysitting – becoming an important part of the childcare network for my neighbors. At 16, I was working as a waitress, helping to supplement the income my mother brought in as she raised four girls on her own.

I earned my Bachelor of Design Studies while working full-time at an architecture firm, and later worked my way through graduate school for my Master in Public Administration. Like so many students in our county, I spent my days at the office and my nights and weekends on campus or doing homework – or organizing with other students to improve campus life and get more support for student activities.

I’ve worked in architecture, nonprofits, IT, and as administrative staff. I’ve also been a nonprofit senior manager, supervising interns (paid), admins, program staff and farm workers. And the thing I’m most proud of as a manager is the way that I invest in, develop, and support my staff members: making sure they have the resources to do their jobs well; taking their feedback seriously and empowering them as leaders; and valuing their learning and professional growth.

Workers matter. Our organizations and our economy don’t run without us – so our labor must be properly valued and respected.

Throughout this campaign, I’ve been clear about my commitment to building the power of working people and protecting their rights and dignity. That’s why labor unions and their allies in Montgomery County and across the country have endorsed me, including:

  • Montgomery County Education Association – MCEA represents 14,000 teachers and educators in the Montgomery County Public Schools, and they are vocal advocates for education funding, educational equity, and ensuring that teachers can spend their time focusing on student growth and development – not paperwork and testing. Their “Apple Ballot” is considered one of the most influential endorsements in the county.
  • UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO – MCGEO represents almost 9,000 public and private employees across 400 different job types in Montgomery County, as well as Prince George’s and Allegany Counties – from bus drivers to librarians to park maintenance workers. From its inception, UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO has fought to protect workers’ rights, negotiate fair wages, and protect safety and security of workers.
  • National Nurses Organizing Committee/NNU – NNOC is part of National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the United States with 150,000 members, including more than 2,500 who reside in Maryland. NNU has been organizing for the rights and safety of nurses here in Montgomery County, as well as fighting across the country for universal health care, economic justice, and environmental justice.

We’ve also been endorsed by Progressive Maryland, CASA in Action, and Metro DC and national Democratic Socialists of America – all organizations deeply committed to economic justice who organize with workers and labor unions to achieve policy and electoral wins for working people and their families.

Today, we celebrate what workers can achieve when we recognize our power and stand together to fight for a better future. Organized workers have done what many people believed was impossible at the time – from an 8-hour work day and workplace safety regulations to campaigns for universal health care and a $15 minimum wage that are changing the political and policy landscape across the country.

But just as on that first May Day, there are those who want to suppress workers’ voices in favor of corporate control of our government and economy. The spread of so-called “right to work” legislation in many states and the Janus v. AFSCME case currently before the Supreme Court are direct attacks on the ability of workers to organize in their workplaces. While these efforts are framed as supposedly protecting the freedom of workers, they only benefit the employers who want to keep workers from defending their right to fair wages and good working conditions.

With 8 weeks to go until the primary, now is the time to unite around a vision for working people and working families in Montgomery County. I am fighting for a fair economy, affordable housing, transportation access, equitable education, and a democracy that works for all of us – that’s my vision for a #Montgomery4All. But I need your help to make that vision a reality. Join our movement today as a donor or volunteer – and let’s win for workers on June 26.

Photo Credit: AFL CIO