Climate Change Activists Seek $1 Million

A group concerned about climate change is asking the Montgomery County Council to include in the fiscal 2019 budget an office of climate emergency and $1 million for public awareness campaign to educate residents on climate emergency.

About 30 members of various groups gathered in the Council Office Building cafeteria and heard from three council members, each a supporter of environmental causes and each a candidate for county executive in the 2018 elections.

“Having been an advocate for these righteous causes, I will sit at the dais until about 10 o’clock tonight, listening to people ask us to spend more money and not raise their taxes,” Councilmember George Leventhal said.

Herb Simmens, a member of the group, said the advocates will not be offering potential cuts to find the $1 million they want.

“We don’t feel it’s our job,” Simmens said. He noted that the council noted in December there was a climate emergency. “They know where the money is.”

The meeting came about an hour before council members started its first of five hearings on the fiscal 2019 spending plan. Fiscal 2019 begins July 1.

In March, County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed a $5.56 billion budget, a 2 percent increase in spending that also cuts the property tax rate by about 2 cents to 98 cents per $100 valuation.

Thirty-four people had signed up to testify at Tuesday night’s hearing. About 20 people were wearing the blue T-shirts of the Montgomery County Quiet Skies Coalition, a group combating airplane noise at Reagan National Airport.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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