Friday, March 12, 2010

Hopkins Hits Berliner in Announcement Speech

District 1 County Council challenger Ilaya Hopkins took a few swings at incumbent Roger Berliner in her kickoff speech last weekend. Let the bulls be released and the china be thrown to the floor!

Kickoff: Ilaya's Announcement from Hopkins for Council on Vimeo.

Here are some excerpts:

Our councilmember has been absent or ineffective on issues that matter most. And that means opportunities are missed and difficult problems are not addressed…

Education accounts for more than half of the county budget, but you can’t make good budget decisions for our schools without knowing what is going on, on the ground. For four years my opponent’s signature issue was the need for more Physical Education. BUT we recently had a building moratorium due to longstanding overcrowding in BCC cluster elementary schools. This is a distress signal for our schools. Overcrowding will have long term impacts at all levels: from elementary through the middle school and to high school. I have seen first hand the impact of overcrowded schools and will fight for the quality education our students and our communities depend on…

I’ve been working on BRAC – the Base Realignment and Closure act of 2005 that will bring part of Walter Reed to Bethesda Naval next year. There will be 2,500 new employees but a staggering half a million more patients and visitors a year and many will come by car. Four years into this process, my opponent is touting his “Sustainable Transportation Corridor” plan as THE solution to the BRAC problem. I have been working on this issue since the beginning and know there is no magic bullet. No easy solution. BRAC is happening, and it will impact our roads and neighborhoods, not ten years from now, but next year and the year after. We know that a letter to the Governor is not a plan, and press releases and photo ops are not community engagement. I began organizing our neighborhoods in the earliest days of the announced BRAC expansion to demand an integrated approach for a comprehensive long-term solution and we have seen REAL progress in getting the resources necessary to minimize the impact on our community. Together, through hard work, we can make this work for our community…

We must embrace change and shape it in ways that benefit our economy and community. We can do this by growing local businesses, growing green businesses and attracting new businesses that will create jobs we will need. In addition, the economic downturn has forced us to take a hard look at how we expend resources. The 2011 projected shortfall now tops $720 million. My opponent has yet to offer one solution to help solve this fiscal crisis. That’s not leadership. That’s the same old politics that got us into this mess.
You can read the entire transcript on Hopkins’s website.