Take Back Our County 2018 - The Launch

Take Back Our County 2018 - The Launch

I want to thank the 300 people from every corner of Anne Arundel County who ventured to rural South County, parked in a field, road a hay wagon to a barn, and stood for two hours with nothing but hot cider, music from Weems Creek Jammers, and a vision of a better future to warm them. It happened on December 16, and we're sorry if you missed it.
The barn we stood in is a place where young Thoroughbred ex-racehorses learn skills that will land them jobs to secure their futures. We built it as a job training center for at-risk equine youth. Now it is the birthplace of Take Back Our County 2018.

The crowd gathers

The event was organized to launch my campaign for Anne Arundel County Executive, but I was just one person in that crowd. I was surrounded at one point by fifteen candidates for office, most of whom are new to politics. All of us were surrounded by all of you, and you were an impressive group.
We had the leaders of our local firefighters’, police officers’, and teachers’ unions. We had leadership from the County Democratic Central Committee and all of the local Democratic clubs. We had people from the Growth Action Network and the Alliance for Livable Communities. We had the groups that formed after the Women’s March and refused to stand down in the face of Trump’s assault on our values. We had farmers. We had riverkeepers. We had the newly elected mayor of Annapolis, two candidates for governor, and a sitting Congressman. We had the chair of our county’s Caucus of African-American Leaders. But most importantly, we had individual people who love this county and care about its future, and those people were Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and Greens, and plenty who prefer to have no label attached to their names, ever.

The 2018 Candidates
The 2018 Candidates

For those of us in the barn, it was hardly necessary to discuss what we meant by “Take Back Our County.” We all knew. But for the average county resident, the first question is “What is it we are taking the county back from?” Here is a start:

  • Elected officials who are funded primarily by development interests. We are tired of having our permitting rules bent to fast-track projects that add to our traffic, push our kids into mobile classrooms, pave over our land, and require expensive infrastructure.
  • Elected officials who hide from public input. We shouldn’t have needed a charter amendment on the ballot to require the county executive to hold public budget hearings, and we shouldn’t still be without community notice when a county council member attempts to upzone parcels for development.
  • A county council majority who elects as its chair a man who actively seeks to dismantle government institutions, including schools, because he thinks that they restrict his personal freedom. 
  • A county executive whose approach to governing rewards donors but keeps residents in the dark. Ask the Crownsville residents and Fair Board members who were shocked last month to learn of an unwanted $100 million stadium and sports complex at the county fairgrounds that, according to the developer, was a fulfillment of the county executive's vision.

I and the 300 people in our barn Saturday are tired of talking about what is wrong. We’d rather have a conversation about where we are going.

  • Putting Communities First means going to the eighteen neighborhoods of our county that wrote Small Area Plans during the Janet Owens administration. We will ask them to review those plans and tell us what they want to be in the future. Developers will be told that they need community support for their projects to move forward.
  • The new people coming into office view local government with respect. We believe that government can help community leaders and the private sector to solve problems, so we are passionate about making it efficient and effective. Our candidates have track records of removing burdensome regulations on local businesses, finding and removing wasteful government spending, and improving educational outcomes.
  • Home prices and rent have doubled in our county since 2000, public transportation is scarce, child care costs have exploded, and we all know where we stand on health care costs. These conditions are a burden on our people and a threat to local businesses that must hire and maintain employees. Our county’s desirability as a place to live and do business is putting us on the path of west coast cities where people move for jobs and live on the street or in shelters. Our incoming leaders aren't afraid to confront these issues.     

Take Back Our County 2018 is underway. Now it needs resources.

My opponent spent $2 million to get elected last time and will have more in 2018. We know we can beat him with $1 million, but we must raise our first $100,000 by January 10. That’s when the numbers go public and we show future donors that we are viable. Anything you can afford now will make that statement.
Please mail checks or donate online at this link.


Our candidates in attendance were:
County Council: Andrew Pruski (District 4), Allison M. Pickard (District 2), Debbie Ritchie (District 3), Dawn Gough Myers (District 5), Scott MacMullan (District 6), Lisa Rodvien (District 6), and James Kitchin (District 7). Pete Smith (District 1) was with us in spirit, but better occupied in his work for Toys for Tots.
Maryland General Assembly: Sarah Elfreth (Senate 30), Eve Hurwitz (Senate 33), Chrissy Holt (Senate 30), Sandy Bartlett (Delegate 32), Carmen Skarlupka (Delegate 30B), Pamela Luby (Delegate 33), and Tracie Hovermale (Delegate 33).
Anne Arundel County Sheriff: James Williams
Our distinguished speakers were:
Erin Pittman (Dodon Farm), Ross Peddicord (Maryland Horse Industry Board), Carl Snowden (Chair of Anne Arundel County Caucus of African-American Leaders), Gavin Buckley (Mayor of Annapolis), The Honorable Virginia Clagett (Past Delegate and County Council, and Treasurer of Friends of Steuart Pittman), Steuart Pittman (Candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive), Scott Travers (Pittman Campaign Manager), and The Honorable John Sarbanes (United States Congress, Maryland Third District).

Posted on 19 Dec 2017, 01:43 - Category: Campaign News

By Authority of Friends of Steuart Pittman, VIrginia Clagett Treasurer
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