As part of our election work, we’ve taken the time to aggregate information about the candidates in the Frederick City elections this Tuesday, November 7th. (Polls are open 7 am - 8 pm.)
The first section is a table of candidate details. We assembled it via the usual online searches, etc.
The second section represents candidate responses to a list of issues we sent to them for comment. The candidates had about two weeks to respond and there was no word limit. We are forwarding them unedited. Not all of the candidates responded, but all of them who did are included.
In many ways we view this exercise - as well as the election itself - as practice for the 2018 Elections (which are probably the most important of our lifetimes). As such:
We would like to ask that you not only vote, but commit to bringing AT LEAST one other person to the polls with you to ensure a maximum progressive turnout.
In the coming years, this kind of force-multiplication strategy will be critical to getting candidates of both parties to listen to your view on the issues that you care about.
Thank you for getting involved!
The FCP Leadership Committee
Section 1: Candidate Table
Section 2: Candidate Responses
Here is the email we sent out to candidates:
Greetings from the Frederick County Progressives!
My name is Nathan McCourtney and I lead the elections team for FCP.
Our membership has asked us to put together a comprehensive breakdown of candidates and their positions for the 2017 City of Frederick elections. As such, we've researched your positions on a number of topics and organized them into an email we'll be sending out to our 500+ members on Sunday, November 5th.
In order for our members to have the most accurate information on your positions, we'd like to give you the opportunity to directly respond to issues that matter to us. We will include your responses - without edit - in the email we send to our membership.
Thank you for devoting your time and energy to improving the city. Running for office isn't easy and we want you to know we appreciate your efforts.
Here is the list of issues our members have raised (please feel free to respond to any and all of them):
Aligning City Election Dates w/ County, State & National Elections
Black Lives Matter
Fight for 15
Single Payer Healthcare
Hargett Farm Park
Community Policing/Citizen Oversight
Increasing Voter Turnout
Here are their responses:
Alan Imhoff (R) :
Candidate for Alderman
Response for Frederick County Progressives Candidate Questionnaire
· Aligning City Election Dates w/County, State & National Elections
· Increasing Voter Turnout
This is my second highest personal goal as a candidate for alderman, the first being to consistently reduce the property tax rate. With the abysmal turnouts in our municipal elections, we need to think of possible innovative ways to increase voter participation. The simplest is to change to the Presidential Cycle as it has the highest voter turnout. The Gubernatorial Cycle has way too many choices for voters to handle and has a lower turnout than the Presidential Cycle. The City of Frederick by taking advantage of inclusion in the Presidential Cycle, has a minimal cost to budget for, rather than the $300,000 for this year’s election. Additionally, the Presidential Cycle has the advantage of use of our public school as polling locations AND for many voters leave from work to be able to vote. Should the City administration choose not to change to the Presidential Cycle or a non-partisan election, then both the Democrat and Republican parties should pay their pro rata share to put on a partisan primary. With only 3 out of 157 municipalities holding partisan primaries, Baltimore, Annapolis and Frederick a change is needed.
· Hargett Farm Park
As a member of the Board of Aldermen that approved the purchase of the Hargett Farm to provide a much-needed large parcel for a west side regional park in the City, I supported the purchase with the knowledge that it would take decades to fully develop. Similar as to what happened to create Baker Park. The area was so designated in the County’s Master Plan for a “regional park” back in the early 1980’s. Besides, by purchasing it the City could avoid having several hundred new homes increasing the traffic and overburdening the public schools in that area. The rush to build it out as fast as possible is just not realistic from a debt burden perspective. Over the next ten to twenty years, a measured financing program is more easily handled.
· Small Business-Friendly Legislation
Small business is the life blood of any community. It provides the most employment opportunities and is more resistant the national trends in economic swings. As easy as a large business can locate here, it can easily leave. Just look at Bechtel as an example. I would propose an incubator-like program to foster any small business in establishing itself and then provide second tier assistance to see it grow. Like the Frederick Innovation Technology Center, Inc. (a.k.a. FITCI) this new incubator would reach out to those wanting to start a business not in the technology field. The incubator would have a 3 to 5 year maximum to help start the new business, while the second-tier concept would be established to foster an atmosphere to see that business grow and want to remain in the City of Frederick.
Donna Kuzemchak (D):
· Aligning City Election Dates w/ County, State & National Elections –
This has been discussed during each term I’ve been in office, and each sitting Board of Aldermen decided to keep the elections as they are. I am always willing to discuss this issue.
· Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is a fight against systemic racism and inequality. I wholeheartedly support this movement.
· Fight for 15
We are a nation of immigrants; how can we even consider deporting Dreamers?
· Single Payer Healthcare
Healthcare is a human right. Without proper health care, there is no equality.
· ICE 287g
· Transgender Rights
I believe in equality for all. In 2014, the Board of Aldermen added gender identity to the City’s discrimination protections. I was proud to be part of the Board of Aldermen that added sexual orientation to the City’s discrimination policies early in the fight for equality for the Frederick LGBTQ community.
· Reproductive Rights
A woman has the right to decide what happens to her body. Period.
· Potomac Pipeline
· Hargett Farm Park
The Westside Regional Park will provide economic stability and expansion for the West side of Frederick. It will be developed over the next 20-30 years with public private partnerships. It should be a model for sustainable practices while providing both active and passive recreation for residents.
· Affordable Housing
Affordable housing is an intricate part of affordable living – an issue I continue to fight for. We are pricing middle and low income people out of the Frederick market, and I believe that is bad for all. Mixed income development is especially important in these days of division.
· Mass Transit
· Bike Services
· Municipal Wifi
Municipal Wifi is a brilliant idea. Education and knowledge are the roads to equality, and providing better internet accessibility provides better access to education and knowledge.
· Community Policing/Citizen Oversight
· Increasing Voter Turnout
· Small-Business-Friendly Legislation
A large majority of Frederick Companies are small businesses. I would like to provide tax credits to those all businesses that will hire city residents and provide them with education/training.