Monday, September 13, 2010

Oscar Ramirez's Central Committee Letter, District 17

My name is Oscar Ramirez and I am running for Central Committee in District 17. When you step into the voting booth on Tuesday, you'll probably want to have two questions answered. Let me try to answer those for you.

Who am I?

I was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in the Baltimore area (my family moved to Maryland when I was two years old). I attended Johns Hopkins. I have mostly lived in Silver Spring since 2003 but am now a proud home owner in North Bethesda with my wife Stephanie and our puppy, Dug. I am proud to say that Stephanie works in the White House.

I went to law school at GW in the late 90's with the intent to practice law when I graduated. The fall of my 3L year, however, I had one of those life-changing moments. It was November 2000. Like many people who are raised in immigrant families I was only peripherally involved in politics. I followed it on tv but never thought of politics as a career choice. As I watched the election results come in that November night - seeing the tv pundits call the election for Al Gore, then George Bush - I said to myself that the next time something like that happened, I wasn't going to be on the sidelines watching it on tv. I was going to be a part of the process. I was going to make a difference.

I then turned down my big law firm offer to look for a job in politics.

Why should you vote for me?

Since graduating from law school, I have worked in almost every facet of Democratic politics. I worked on the Hill for more than seven years for two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Joe Baca and Hilda Solis, and one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Al Green. I was Hilda Solis' Chief of Staff when she was nominated to be Secretary of Labor by President Obama. I worked with Secretary Solis at the Department of Labor as a political appointee last year. I now work in government relations.

Because my interest in politics arose from the 2000 Bush-Gore campaign, I have taken every opportunity to go campaign for Democrats in Maryland and around the country. In 2001, I worked for Mark Warner's gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. In 2002, I volunteered for Chris Van Hollen. In 2004, I was the regional field director for northeast Ohio for the Kerry campaign. In 2006, I ran the voter protection program for the Maryland Coordinated Campaign in Prince George's County. In early 2008, I volunteered my time in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Ohio, and Pennyslvania for Barack Obama. Later that year, I joined the campaign full-time as the Virginia Policy Director.

I have also been involved in fundraising for candidates, raising money for elected officials in Montgomery County like Nancy Navarro and Ana Sol Gutierrez and for candidates like Hans Riemer, whose campaign for County Council I am proud to chair. I have also raised money for Democratic elected officials and candidates around the country at the local, state and national level.

In Montgomery County, I am proud to have been the president of the Hispanic Democratic Club for the past 4 years. I have also been a member of the Young Democrats and served on the Central Committee representing District 18 for 2 1/2 years. I left the Central Committee in the Spring of 2009 when my wife and I moved out of District 18.

If elected to rejoin the Central Committee, I will continue my work to ensure that our Democratic Party reaches out to every segment of our county through voter registration efforts and outreach at community events. I truly believe our party is strongest when we have diverse voices at the table. I will also work to raise funds for the Central Committee so that, at a time when Democratic elected officials face strong challenges, we continue to have a strong Democratic Party.

I hope I can count on your vote on Tuesday, September 14th!