Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I Really Know Marilyn Praisner

By Alison Klumpp.

I was very disappointed when I read George Leventhal’s blog entry about my mother, Councilmember Marilyn Praisner. George may have worked with mother for some years but I am at a loss when he says he knew Marilyn Praisner best. Marilyn Praisner was my mother for thirty-eight years. I was there at the beginning of her political career. I was there at the end.

My mother's legacy is one of dedicated constituent service and fiscal prudence. She looked out for the taxpayers of this County, not just in difficult times, but every year. She was also known for “doing her homework.” Below I have included Marilyn Praisner’s biography that was on her Council website. You be the judge.

My mother and Nancy Navarro were both members of the Board of Education. That is where the comparison ends.

In my opinion, the only candidate that matches my parents’ legacies is Ben Kramer. He has already earned the reputation of working for his constituents and being there for them – a reputation that his opponents have not earned.

Ben Kramer has proven himself in Annapolis. He has the expertise on issues that affect us all, not just education. He knows how to advocate for our transportation, health care, public safety and quality of life needs that we have come to respect in Montgomery County.

I live in District 4, I am a voter in District 4 and the candidate who will do the best job for all of us is Ben Kramer. The only person who will continue the legacy of leadership, independence and integrity is Ben Kramer. Montgomery County deserves the best... District 4 deserves the best... the best is Ben Kramer.

Biography, County Council Member Marilyn Praisner

Marilyn Praisner is the longest serving woman ever on the Montgomery County Council. As the immediate past Council president, she is in her fifth term representing District 4. Praisner also served as Council president in 1993 and 1997 and as vice president in 1992, 1996 and 2006. Praisner chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and serves on its Management and Fiscal Policy Committee.

As a Councilmember, Praisner has taken the lead on a variety of issues, including child care, technology the environment, private-public partnerships and fiscal policy. She sponsored the County’s Rainy Day fund, which has garnered high marks from the bond-rating agencies, co-sponsored the Economic Development Fund which has helped attract quality employers to the County, spearheaded special protection areas (SPA) to protect stream valleys in the County, including the Upper Paint Branch, and established the County’s Technology Innovation Fund to modernize County government technology to serve citizens better. As a member of the Board of Education (1982-90), Praisner lead efforts to reduce class size, expand counseling to elementary schools and add dedicated space in schools for day care and health services. She initiated the Baby Steps Program, which screens at-risk newborns and links families to County services.

A county official known for her national leadership on technology and telecommunications issues, Praisner has represented local government across this country at numerous technology conferences and public safety communications, cable television, the siting of cellular towers, and rights-of-way management. She has represented local government on public safety communications committees including the National Task Force on Interoperability (Vice Chair of Governance Subcommittee) and the Federal Government’s Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) program. She currently serves as chair of the Executive Committee for SAFECOM, a Department of Homeland Security high priority initiative established to help local, tribal, State and Federal public safety agencies improve public safety response through effective interoperable communications. She is a Maryland Vice Chair for CapWIN (Capital Wireless Integrated Network), a public safety communication system for the Washington Metropolitan Area. A member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties (NACo), she served on NACO’s Homeland Security Task Force and was four times chair of its Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee. Praisner is chair of TeleCommUnity, a national organization created to support local government telecommunication interests on Capitol Hill. For six years, she served as Vice Chair of the Federal Communications Commission’s Local and State Government Advisory Committee.

Praisner is a past president of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo). She also represents Montgomery County on its Legislative Committee and chaired its Education Committee.

She was a member of the Board of Education (1982-90) and twice served as president (1984 and 1987). She was president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, Chair of the Northeast Region for the National School Boards Association, and president of the National Federation of Urban-Suburban School Districts.

Long known for her advocacy on children’s issues, Praisner has served as Second Vice President of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, on the National Governors Association Intergovernmental Workgroup on Children’s Issues, the Board of Directors of the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Executive Committee of Children’s International Summer Villages, Washington D.C. Chapter.

Before entering partisan political office, Praisner spent 16 years at the Central Intelligence Agency including service as an intelligence analyst, Branch Chief and staff member for the Deputy Director of Intelligence.

Known for her outstanding leadership on local as well as state issues, Praisner was named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of this area’s “Most Powerful Women,” and has been included in the Daily Record’s “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” three times. Montgomery County Business and Professional Women’s Club chose her as its 2000 “Woman of the Year.” She also received the Charles Willis Award for outstanding school board service from the Maryland Association of Boards of Education. The Montgomery County National Organization for Women awarded her its 2004 Leadership award.

A graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University with a degree in journalism, Praisner also completed the paralegal program at the University of Maryland. A 38-year resident of Montgomery County, she is married to Donald Praisner. They have three children and four grandchildren.


Montgomery County Council - District 4 (Democrat) (1990-)

President (2007, 1993, 1997), Vice President (2006, 1992, 1996)
Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, Chair
Management and Fiscal Policy Committee
Member of the Health and Human Services Committee (1990-2002)
Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Outreach ( 1995 - )
Montgomery County Board Of Education (1982-90)

President (1984, 1987), Vice President (1983)
Maryland Association of Boards of Education, President (1988-89)
National School Boards Association, Northeast Region, Chair (1989-90)
Nominating Committee (1988, 1989)
National Federation of Urban-Suburban School Districts, President (1987-88),
Board of Directors (1982-88), Executive Committee (1984-89)


Member, Chesapeake Bay Executive Council Local Government Advisory Committee (2003-)
Council of Governments (COG)

Member, Metropolitan Development Policy Committee, Chair (2002)
Maryland Association of Counties (MACo)

President (2003)
First Vice President (2002)
Treasurer (1999); Secretary (2000); Second Vice President (2001)
Montgomery County Representative to Legislative Committee (1990-)
Maryland Public Safety Interoperability Governance Group (2003-)
Maryland Commission on Education Finance, Equity and Excellence (1999-2001)
MACo Education Committee, Chair (1992-98); Member (1999 -)
MACo Ad Hoc Committee on School Board/County Government Relations, Chair (1991-93)
Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) Review Panel (1997-99)
Maryland Business Roundtable Education-Professional Development Task Force (1995-97)
Maryland State Department of Education High School Assessment Task Force (1995-96)
Maryland State Department of Education Charter Schools Task Force (1996-97)
National Association of Counties (NACo)

Board of Directors (1997-)
Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee, Chair (2000-01;2003-2007);Vice Chair (2002);Telecommunications Subcommittee, Chair (2001-2002);Public Safety Communications Subcomittee, Chair (2007-)
Executive Committee, SAFECOM (2003-)
Executive Committee, Public Safety Wireless Network, (PSWN) (2001-2003)
National Institute of Justice Task Force Interoperability, Vice Chair (2001-2002)
Human Services and Education Steering Committee, Chair (1999-00)
Sustainability Leadership Team (2003-04; 2006-)
Education, Children and Families Subcommittee, Chair (1993-99)
Governance Task Force (2003)
Homeland Security Task Force (2001-2006)
Telecommunications Task Force, Chair (1999)
Economic Development Task Force (1999-00; 05-)
Millennium Committee (1998-00)
Membership Committee (1997-00)
Children's Initiative Task Force (1993-94)
Intergenerational and Aging Task Force (1995-97)
Federal Communications Commission

Local and State Government Advisory Committee, Vice Chair (1997-2003)
National Governors Association

Intergovernmental Workgroup on Children's Issues (1994-95)
County Elected Women of Maryland

President (1994-99)
Treasurer (1999-2003)
Maryland Democratic County Elected Officials

President (1994-95)
Secretary (1996)


Central Intelligence Agency (1963-68, 1978-89)
Intelligence Analyst, Branch chief and staff member for the Deputy Director of Intelligence


Douglass Society inductee, Douglass College Alumnae Association for distinguished public service (2007)
"The Joan Mann Life Service Award," District 14 Democratic Club
"Woman of the Year" Award, Montgomery County Business & Professional Women's Club (2000)
Ida Mae Garrott for Local Government Leadership, Allied Civic Group (2001-2002)
Maryland's Top 100 Women, Daily Record (1999, 2001 and 2006)
Maryland's Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence, Daily Record, 2006
Washingtonian Magazine, "Most Powerful Women" (1993)
Charles Willis Award for outstanding school board service, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (1990)
Women in Education recognition award (1990)
PTA Life Membership, awarded by the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (1984)


Olney Theatre Center for the Arts, Board of Trustees (1998-2006)
Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital, Board of Directors (1977-82)
Banneker Junior High School PTSA, President (1981-82)
Suburban Maryland Fair Housing, Board of Directors, Education Chairperson (1981-82)
Montgomery County Council of PTAs, Second Vice President (1979-80), Area IV Vice President (1977-79)
Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers, Board of Directors (1978-82)
District 14A Democratic Club, Board of Directors (1976-78)
Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital Citizens Advisory Committee, Board of Directors (1974-77; 1982), First Vice President (1974)
Calverton Citizens Association, Officer (1969-71)
Douglass College Alumnae Association, Washington, D.C. Chapter, President (1966-67)


Leadership Maryland, Class of 1996
Women's Advisory Board, Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (1988-)
Governor's School Construction Task Forces (1985; 1987)
State Superintendent's Commission on School-Based Administration (1985-86)
Montgomery County Drug Abuse Advisory Council (1981-82)
Galway Elementary School, Trustee (1972-78)
Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital Authority (gubernatorial appointment) (1976-77)
Montgomery County Public Schools Secondary Schools Task Force (1975-76);
Senior High Study (1977)
Executive Committee, Children's International Summer Villages, Washington, DC Chapter (1973-77)
League of Women Voters (1975-)
Girl Scout Leader (1967-69)


Resident of Montgomery County since 1967
B.A. degree (Journalism) Douglass College, Rutgers University
Completed paralegal program, University of Maryland
Married to Donald E. Praisner; three grown children, all of whom have graduated from Montgomery County Public Schools, and four grandchildren, two of whom live in Montgomery County and attend Montgomery County Public Schools