Category: General

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 Reaches $20,000 Threshold for Matching Public Funds

Brandy Brooks Reaches $20,000 Threshold for Matching Public Funds

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (March 09, 2018) — Brandy Brooks, at-large candidate for Montgomery County Council and community organizer, has reached the donor and financial thresholds to qualify for matching funds from Montgomery County’s Public Election Fund. The campaign will file for certification next week and is expanding the team to build on recent successes.

“This milestone is a shared victory for the hundreds of supporters who galvanized their networks to support my campaign,” said Brandy Brooks. “When we put people power into action, we are an unstoppable force creating a new vision for Montgomery County politics and policy.”

The Montgomery County Public Election Fund program is the first of its kind in the state of Maryland. Candidates participating in the program commit to accept contributions only from individuals, and the County matches contributions from county residents up to four times for the at-large race. To qualify for matching funds in the at-large contest, candidates must collect at least $20,000 in contributions from at least 250 unique Montgomery County residents. As of the annual campaign finance report filing in January, Brooks’ campaign had collected $9,573 from 212 Montgomery County donors.

Through a committed grassroots effort among the hundreds of supporters in the county and the surrounding area, Brooks raised an additional $11,500 from Montgomery County donors in two months. The campaign has raised $21,038 from a total of 358 county residents to qualify for matching funds and more than $32,800 overall from a total of 623 small-dollar donors. Qualifying enables the campaign to bring on key staff members and expand voter outreach capacity.

While Brooks is excited to file, she recognizes the challenges that some candidates are facing in this new system. “Even as we reach this threshold, we are standing in solidarity with candidates who have been disqualified from using the Public Election Fund,” said Brooks. “I would not be able to run for office without this vital system for shifting political influence from big-money donors to everyday people. We believe that immediate corrective action is necessary so that the Public Election Fund fulfills its promise of providing access for diverse candidates across Montgomery County to successfully run for office.”

Brooks is one of 38 candidates running for four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council. She has received major endorsements from the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, Progressive Maryland, and the Montgomery County Education Association. The Democratic Primary is June 26, 2018.

 

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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.

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

 
Brandy Brooks Receives Two New Major Endorsements

Brandy Brooks Receives Two New Major Endorsements

Progressive Maryland and Montgomery County Education Association Endorse Brandy Brooks

Brooks will appear on the Apple Ballot and continues to stand out as a “dynamic, passionate, and inspiring” leader in the at-large contest.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (March 09, 2018) — Brandy Brooks, at-large candidate for Montgomery County Council and community organizer, has received endorsements from Progressive Maryland and the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA). Progressive Maryland is a statewide advocacy organization promoting social, economic, and racial justice, with more than 120,000 members, supporters, and organizational affiliates. MCEA is the largest local affiliate of the National Education Association, representing over 14,000 teachers and education professionals. These are Brooks’ second and third endorsements, respectively.

“Brandy is a Progressive Maryland member and a former leader within the Montgomery County chapter,”  said Progressive Maryland’s Montgomery County chapter in their endorsement recommendation. “She now works with the Statewide organization to help train leaders in chapters across Maryland. Those of you who have had the opportunity to meet Brandy in person or to hear her speak already know what a dynamic, passionate, inspiring person Brandy is. A tireless advocate for the disadvantaged, Brandy has a unique ability to galvanize nearly everyone she meets.”

“MCEA is beyond excited to extend the Apple Ballot recommendation to Brandy Brooks,” said Nikki Woodward, Chair of the Political Action Community Engagement (PACE) committee and member of the Board of Directors for MCEA. “Ms. Brooks brings an excitement, energy, and breadth of knowledge regarding the needs of students, families, communities, and schools. We strongly believe the addition of Ms. Brooks and her wholistic and thoughtful priorities and policy ideas will ensure that all learners will have access to a high quality education and enrichment opportunities.”

Brooks, a Democrat, is Progressive Maryland’s Leadership Development Organizer as well as a member. Brooks also has several years of experience teaching in higher education, and has been an instructor or guest lecturer at the Boston Architectural College, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, MIT, Suffolk University, and Tufts University. She received the endorsement of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America in January.

“It is a tremendous honor to be endorsed by these progressive champions in Montgomery County,” said Brooks. “Progressive Maryland has been my organizing home and where I have developed as a leader and a powerbuilder. It means so much to have the support of my colleagues in Montgomery County and around the state. And the time and energy MCEA members devoted to this endorsement process so clearly illustrates what our county’s teachers demonstrate every day: their passion and commitment to providing the best education for the students of our county. I’m proud to work alongside such exceptional advocates for Montgomery County’s families and communities.”

Brooks is committed to fair elections and is participating in the new public financing system in Montgomery County. The campaign is preparing to file for certification of matching funds this month.

The Democratic Primary is June 26, 2018.

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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, Progressive Maryland, and the Montgomery County Education Association. She is an activist, educator, facilitator, and designer who has spent more than 10 years working on social and environmental justice.

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

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.

Brandy Brooks Receives Distinguished Alumni in Service Award from The Boston Architectural College

Brandy Brooks Receives Distinguished Alumni in Service Award from The Boston Architectural College

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (January 15, 2018) — The Alumni Board for The Boston Architectural College (BAC) named Brandy H.M. Brooks as their 2017 Distinguished Alumni in Service award recipient. Ms. Brooks is a grassroots organizer and at-large candidate for Montgomery County Council.

The award is “given to a BAC alumnus who serves their greater community by advocating for social, environmental and/or policy change … [they] influence and empower others through design at the local, regional or global scale.” Brandy Brooks received her Bachelor of Design Studies from the BAC in 2006 and has spent more than 10 years working on social and environmental justice. She also holds a Master in Public Administration from Suffolk University. She served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Zoning Advisory Committee, and the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee for the City of Somerville, MA. Ms. Brooks was the founding executive director of the Community Design Resource Center of Boston, served as the Greater Boston Regional Director for The Food Project, and currently works as the Leadership Development Organizer for Progressive Maryland, a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization promoting social, economic, and racial justice.

Ms. Brooks will receive the award in person at a ceremony on Wednesday, January 17.

“My experience at the BAC as both a student and an educator taught me how to apply design thinking to the pressing issues our communities face,” said Brooks. “Nearly 15 years of community and public service have grown out of that learning, and I’m honored to have my work recognized by my fellow alumni.”

Brooks is committed to fair elections and is participating in the new public financing system in Montgomery County, Maryland.

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Brandy Brooks is a public election fund candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large.
To learn more about Brooks’ campaign go to www.brandy4montgomery.com.