Sunday, February 21, 2010

Valerie Ervin's Statement of Support for Hans Riemer

Council Member Valerie Ervin gave the following statement of support for Council at-large candidate Hans Riemer at his campaign kickoff rally yesterday.

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Four years ago Montgomery County had a healthy economy, a thriving business community, low unemployment, and a strong tax base. Today we are faced with the highest unemployment rate in a generation, a $600 million budget deficit, declining home values, and no relief on the horizon. Four years ago, Hans Riemer and I were opponents in the District 5 primary race for an open seat on the county council. In 2006 we didn’t have many differences of opinion on the important issues that faced our county. Today Hans and I agree more than ever that the county needs new leaders with new ideas, leaders who lead by example and who are not afraid to forge a new path.

I am here to lend my support to Hans Riemer for County Council at-large. He has demonstrated his commitment to this community by his work on smart growth and transit issues, on senior issues, and on organizing young people to participate in the electoral process. The Democratic Party must renew its commitment to prepare our nation for the future. Who are the leaders of tomorrow? Here in Montgomery County we are blessed by a large and growing group of fresh, innovative, smart and exciting voices on the horizon. Many of them have lent their names in support of Hans Riemer and some of them are here today, names like Oscar Ramirez, Shirley Rivadaneira, Karla Walker, Jackie Lichter, Dan Hoffman, Adam Yalowitz and others. Hans Riemer represents a new and growing base of young people, immigrants, transit and smart growth activists, environmentalists and many disenfranchised voters who have lost faith in the status quo.

I believe that we have an opportunity to organize and galvanize more people than ever around the most important issues facing the county in this election cycle than ever before. Issues like how will we strengthen our tax base, how do we attract jobs and promote transit oriented development, how do we do all these things and at the same time prevent sprawl and promote farming and agriculture? I know that Hans is up to the challenge. Hans's experience as the director of Rock the Vote, as the Youth Coordinator for the Obama campaign, his current work at AARP and his advocacy on transit issues sets him apart as a candidate who understands issues that transcend age, race and class.

So if you feel the same energy I do, the same urgency I do, the same passion I do, the same hopefulness I do, then you will join me in supporting Hans Riemer for County Council. I’m very excited about the future.