Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sierra Club Endorses Navarro

Following is the press release from the Sierra Club.

For Immediate Release

Contacts: David Hauck (301) 270-5826/ David Sears (301) 233-6690

Sierra Club Endorses Nancy Navarro

(ROCKVILLE, MD)- April 15, 2009 – The Sierra Club of Montgomery County is pleased to endorse Nancy Navarro in the District 4 County Council special election. She is smart, articulate, and will be a strong advocate for expanding public transit, directing future growth to areas well-served by transit, and promoting energy efficiency and other actions that will help Montgomery County address climate change.

Nancy Navarro, although not an environmental expert, demonstrates a good intuitive understanding of the key environmental issues facing the county. With many Master Plans coming before the County Council in the coming months, it is important to have someone like Ms. Navarro as a strong advocate for walkable communities, sensible growth, and environmental protection.

Ms. Navarro “gets it” that “going green” needs to serve all groups in the County. That means training workers for jobs in the green economy. It also means locating more employment opportunities in eastern Montgomery County to reduce the need for long commutes from the eastern portions of the county, where there is more housing than jobs, to the west where jobs outnumber homes. She understands that a renewed emphasis upon affordable and convenient public transit is vital for all, especially in places like District 4, which is population dense but transit poor, and particularly for low income commuters and others with few transportation options.

Ms. Navarro’s statements supporting transit-oriented, walkable communities are very strong, reflecting a good understanding of what is needed to move Montgomery County toward a more viable future: “As a councilmember, I will be a strong advocate for environmentally sound land-use decisions that promote transit over road construction and transit-oriented development over sprawl. This will be the first step toward pulling people out of cars and into mass transit, while channeling residents into walkable, transit-accessible communities and away from our auto-dependent lifestyles.”

District 4 is relatively poorly served by public transit. Nancy Navarro is outspoken in her support of expanded and improved transit. “If we are going to relieve some of the congestion on our roads and reduce our carbon footprint, we need to have a forward-thinking approach toward transportation policies that gets people out of cars and into mass transit as much as possible. That’s why, as a member of the County Council, I will prioritize transit projects over new road construction.” Her actions indicate that these are not just words. In December 2008, Ms. Navarro testified before the Maryland Transit Administration in support of the light rail option for the Purple Line. She also has publicly supported the Corridor Cities Transitway between Shady Grove and Clarksburg.

Ms. Navarro’s record on local action to address climate change is strong. While President of the Board of Education, she promoted energy efficient new schools that far exceed building code requirements. County schools are now installing solar panels on any properly-sited school at the time it is re-roofed and the school system is entering into long-term contracts to sell unused renewable energy into the grid.

We believe that Ms. Navarro will draw upon her expertise in the education arena to help others understand the importance of facing our environmental challenges. For instance, she told the Sierra Club that investing in energy efficiency is very much like investing in early childhood education: what you spend today pays for itself in future benefits and savings.

Her record as leader on the Board of Education shows she will be a coalition builder on difficult issues.

The Sierra Club encourages all District 4 voters who support smart growth, expanded public transit and strong local action to reduce the effects of climate change to vote for Ms. Navarro on April 21 in the Democratic primary election.

Sierra Club of Montgomery County •
103 North Adams Street • Rockville, MD 20850