Ervin Resigning from County Council (Video)

County Councilmember Valerie Ervin

County Councilmember Valerie Ervin

Councilmember Valerie Ervin announced today (Dec. 10) that, after nearly a decade as an elected leader in Montgomery County, she will expand her work on policy issues that impact working people by becoming executive director of the Center for Working Families.

At the announcement, Councilmember Ervin was joined by Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin; County Executive Isiah Leggett; Council President Craig Rice, Councilmember Nancy Navarro; Mayor of Somerset Jeffrey Slavin; Metropolitan D.C. Council AFL-CIO President Joslyn Williams; president of SEIU Florida State Council and executive vice president of 1199 SEIU Monica Russo; and community leaders who thanked Ervin for her service to the County and congratulated her on her new position.

Ervin has long been an advocate for those who have no voice in the political process. She is best known for her work on issues including: raising the minimum wage; increasing child care subsidies for working parents; ensuring that prevailing wages are paid on construction projects; providing contract protections for service workers; expanding summer food and universal breakfast programs for children; and creating the first county-wide food recovery network in the nation.

As chair of the Council’s Education Committee, and as a former member of the County Board of Education, she has focused on major initiatives to close the achievement gap. Councilmember Ervin has also been a strong advocate for marriage equality.

At the press conference, Rice discussed Ervin’s commitment to public service and said, “Councilmember Ervin has been an ardent champion for working families and children in Montgomery County throughout her tenure on the Council. She should be commended for her leadership and advocacy for food recovery as sustainability, education equality, and workers rights. I want to thank her for making a positive impact and enhancing the lives of our residents.”

Navarro, a longtime friend and colleague said, “Councilmember Ervin has a stellar public service record, and Montgomery County residents are better off because of her vision, dedication and tenacity. Her contributions have made a permanent impact on the fabric of our communities.”

The Center for Working Families is a non-profit organization based in New York that seeks a more just world—one where jobs that pay a living wage are plentiful, health care is affordable, access to educational opportunities are abundant and retirements are secure.

“Becoming executive director of the Center for Working Families is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Ervin. “I was both surprised and honored to be asked to pursue these issues at the national level. After careful reflection and deliberation with my family, friends and supporters, I believe that leading this organization will enable me to have a greater impact on the issues I care about most.”

Ervin talked about her years as an elected leader and said, “I started my political career as a concerned mom who cared about the welfare of all of the children in our community, and this will never change. As I transition to a broader platform, my experiences in this community will serve me well.

“I appreciate the relationships that I have developed with many of you through the years and with elected leaders throughout the Washington Metropolitan Region. I also want to thank my colleagues on the County Council.”

Councilmember Ervin was elected to the Board of Education in 2004 and to the Council in 2006 and 2010. She served as Council president from 2010 to 2011. Councilmember Ervin will tender her letter of resignation on Jan. 3, 2014. Later in January, the Council will appoint her successor, who will serve until the Council’s current term ends on Dec. 1, 2014. Until Jan. 3, Ervin will wrap up projects she is working on for the residents of District 5. Her staff will remain in place.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the residents of District 5,” said Councilmember Ervin. “Thank you for allowing me to make a difference and for your ongoing support and friendship. Together we have accomplished great things, and I know that the best is still to come.”

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