graphic of the Montgomery County Council Districts

Grassroots Group Wants To Abolish At Large Council Seats

A push to abolish all at large seats on the council is being led by some of the same people who spoke out concerning the county’s Charter Review Commission.

Concerned that so many of the nine council members live in and around the Bethesda-Silver Spring area, a group calling itself Nine Districts for MoCo seeks to put a citizen’s charter amendment on the November 2020 ballot that they believe would enable all areas of the county to be represented equally.

Currently, there are five districts and four at large seats on the nine-member council.

Residents throughout the county vote in the at large contests, and those who are elected can live in any part of the county. Only residents living in a district are eligible to vote in the five districts races.

According to Nine Districts, a large hunk of the county from Rockville to Germantown and Poolesville and Damascus have little voice on the council.

Removing at large seats “will guarantee smaller districts, more responsive representation and an avenue for your voice to be heard,” the group stated on its website.

Kimblyn Persaud, of Wheaton, is chair of the group.

Mark Lautman, treasurer, wrote in his biography on the Nine District’s website, “something is terribly wrong in MoCo” when one section of the county has the Metro, Purple Line and major highways but another section has “no one on the county council taking an interest in their welfare.”

The group currently is gathering signatures online. They have almost 5,000 now and hope to collect at least 15,000 signatures.

Only 10,000 approved signatures are needed to get it onto the ballot. It is common for groups to collect extra signatues in case some are disqualified.

According to its website, Montgomery County Civic Federation, Greater Olney Civic Association and the Town of Laytonsville support putting this issue on the ballot.

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.


One Response to “Grassroots Group Wants To Abolish At Large Council Seats”

  1. Avatar
    On June 23, 2020 at 6:54 am responded with... #

    Would like to sign petition

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