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Meet the Candidates

View all candidates’ remarks on the video of the October 23, 2017 Takoma Voice and Takoma Radio Candidate Forum, moderated by Eric Bond. Link to video.

Candidates for Mayor

Kate Stewart

It is an honor to be Mayor of Takoma Park. We have accomplished a great deal and laid the foundation for still more! Now more than ever, we must maintain what is special about our community and remain true to our values. To this end, we have proudly defended our Sanctuary City status and worked to keep ourselves a welcoming City that supports the rights of all people to live with dignity and respect. We have committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. We added a racial equity framework to the development of polices, practices, and investments to address racial disparities and begin to dismantle institutional racism. We created an affordable housing fund and piloted the Home Stretch program, a down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers. And, we are just getting started! I look forward to continuing the work we have begun together.  www.KateStewartforTakoma.com

Ward 1 Candidates

Peter Kovar

As a Councilmember, I’ve seen first-hand how Takoma Park rejects the cynical idea that government doesn’t work. I believe government can have a positive impact, and over the last two years I’ve focused on providing proactive communication with Ward One neighbors; addressing individual residents’ concerns; and seeking solutions to local challenges that avoid unnecessary divisiveness.

My priorities include making sure economic growth and development projects are compatible with our neighborhoods; promoting inclusiveness so everyone can participate fully in City life; keeping Takoma Park affordable for homeowners, renters and businesses; advancing sustainability by continuing our leadership on climate change at the local level; and improving quality of life through community-oriented crime prevention and more responsive local government.

I’d be honored to have the support of Ward One voters on Election Day so I can continue working collaboratively with residents to keep Takoma Park the unique, welcoming, diverse City we all love. For further information: www.peterkovarforcitycouncil.org www.councilmemberkovar.com

Ward 2 Candidates

Cindy Dyballa

As your Council member, I will bring values I believe we all share: an inclusive community–all ages, incomes, cultures, races;  a sustainable community (environment, energy, local economy); and effective and efficient, participatory government. l have proven skills developed with city committees, community groups, and my professional work: current Committee on the Environment co-chair, Recreation Committee co-chair, Takoma Foundation board, Dorothy’s woods organizer, and more.

I will listen carefully, engage all types of residents, broker consensus, and create practical solutions to our current challenges: affordable housing, policing, development, sustainability. I’ll expand outreach, host regular ward chats, share information, to be accessible to all parts of our ward.

Whether you’ve lived here 2 years or 20 or more, you deserve a Council member with the skills, relationships, and practical experience to represent you and work as a team to keep Takoma Park the special place that brought us all here.
Hear more specifics at: www.cindy4ward2.com and cindy4ward2@gmail.com.

Joe Edgell

Experience, accountability, responsiveness and strong commitment to you and Takoma Park; all essential councilmember qualities I bring to the job. I believe in building consensus and getting things done. I support a clean environment, safe routes for our children to school, accountable government, and thoughtful, careful use of your taxes.

As co-chair of the Task Force on Environmental Action, a city committee, our unanimous recommendation ensured long-term environmental protection. As chair of the Safe Roadways Committee, our unanimous recommendations made Takoma Park safer, ensuring better traffic calming and better access for all people, including the disabled, who walk, bike, or drive. And as organizer of the dog-park effort and an advocate for electric charging stations, I’ve shown my ability to break through the bureaucracy and get things done for our community.

I will continue working hard for you. Let’s make a difference, together. Vote for Joe Edgell on November 7th!
http://electjoeedgell.com http://facebook.com/electjoeedgell http://twitter.com/electjoeedgell

Ashleigh Nugent

I am running for Ward 2 City Council with a commitment to affordability, responsible development, social justice, environmental sustainability, and safety. I will provide a voice for all residents as we work to ensure that community planning and decision-making reflects the values, interests, and needs of our diverse neighborhood.

We live in a city at the forefront of progress – where a great idea impacts thousands and inspires other localities, and to continue, it is critical that our Council looks and feels like the community it represents. Currently, there are no female Councilmembers, and for Takoma Park to champion progress, the Council needs strong female leaders that can bring new perspectives and creative ideas to the conversation.

As a public interest attorney, and an advocate for underrepresented populations, I will bring a needed proactive, persistent, and passionate voice to the Council. You can reach me at ashleighforward2@gmail.com or through www.ashleighforward2.com.

Ward 3 Candidates

Kacy Kostiuk 

I have been active in the Takoma Park community since moving here seven years ago. I’m proud of our progressive values, diversity, environmental initiatives, art and music, and just plain “funkiness.” I want to do my part to maintain and build upon these values.

I am a former member and chair of the Safe Roadways Committee, volunteer for Let’s Play Takoma, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, international education professional, and parent of two small children.

As a city councilmember, I would increase community engagement; create a more walkable, safe community; grow the city in a responsible, directed way while promoting affordability; and build a more equitable and inclusive community.

Together, we can build a positive future for our city. Let’s collaborate to find innovative ways to maintain our history and unique character, while doing more to ensure we build a community that is truly equitable, thriving, engaged, environmentally responsible, and diverse. www.kacyfortakomapark.com kacyfortakompark@gmail.com facebook.com/kacyfortakomapark twitter.com/kacykostiuk

Ward 4 Candidates

Terry J. Seamens

I feel fortunate to have been part of bringing improvements to city services through the years since I joined the City Council in 1999. I look forward to continue serving city residents for another 3 years. I will work with my colleagues to bring sensible development to our business districts, while maintaining the small town character of our city. I will seek more ways to strengthen services for our youth so the city continues to have strong leaders into the future. I look forward to the campaign season and the community discussions of how we can continue our history of being a progressive, engaged and caring city. Thank you for your support and involvement.

Ward 5 Candidates

Amee Bearne

My husband and I moved to Takoma Park six years ago because of its progressive ideals, diversity, and social consciousness. We also loved the farmers market.

I have been an active member of the community. I worked as the planning intern for the City, sat on the County’s Transit Advisory Board, and was a Takoma Junction advisory committee member.

As a renter I know how it feels to be forgotten. I organized a tenant association and host movie nights for the community so that everyone feels welcome.

As an urban planner and historic preservationist I know how to build community while respecting the history of a place. Working for CHEER, I continue my commitment to increasing the health and stability of families in Ward 5.

I will work to make Ward 5 a cohesive community, one in which we know our neighbors, we ask for help, and we work together. Website: www.ameefortakomapark.com Twitter: @ameebearne Facebook: @ameefortakomapark Instagram: @ameebearne

Jarrett Smith

A graduate of Howard University in 1994, Jarrett was raised by parents who served the United States as career military and career government employees.  Jarrett is running for his 4th Term on Council.  Jarrett was involved with the Takoma Park community before his tenure as a councilmember.  From being Chairperson of the Commission on Landlord Tenant Affairs until his election to City Council in 2012, to being on the Washington Adventist Hospital Land Use Committee (WAHLUC).

Accomplishments this Term:
 Secured $1M Municipal Bond funding for the Flower Avenue Green Street;
Passed the first Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance in Maryland banning plastic bags and advocates alternatives;
President, Maryland Municipal League, Montgomery County Chapter;
Passed first legislation on measuring the Racial Equity impact in Maryland; and 
Led the creation of a Montgomery College Scholarship Fund for the city of Takoma Park.

 Councilmember Smith is married and a devout Roman Catholic.

Ward 6 Candidates

Talisha Searcy

Hello, my name is Talisha Searcy and I want to be your next Ward 6 Takoma Park City Councilmember. As the former President of the New Hampshire Gardens Community Association, I learned that it takes residents and city staff working together to get things done. I look forward to listening and learning from all Ward 6 residents about what you would like to see in our community. Most importantly, I want to turn your WANTS into REALITY by developing strategies to:

  • Champion the redevelopment of the Takoma Park Recreation Center.
  • Drive smart economic growth in the Takoma/Langley business district.
  • Prioritize the development of high quality affordable housing in Ward 6.
  • Fight for lower taxes.
  • Ensure state, county, and city coordination.
  • Manage the impact of Purple Line construction on Ward 6 residents and businesses

Vote for me. Together, we can create the change needed to move Ward 6 forward. Contact Information:  TalishaSearcy.com, Talisha@TalishaSearcy.com

Jason Small

I have lived in Takoma Park for over a decade, the past nine years in Ward 6 with my wife and now our two sons.  I moved here because I appreciate the kindness and civility of the community. There are so many sincere and authentic people, mixing cultures and characters to make this place Groovy.  More than any other reason, I am running because I would like it to stay that way.  Ward 6 is the economic engine of the city, and the centerpiece of its diversity.   I am well equipped to represent both the changes that development will bring and the legacy that makes us special.    In these times where our way of life feels under attack, and the world has become an uncertain place for so many, I want Takoma Park to remain a place that values all of us.  Dream big — vote Small. smalljb@gmail.com Facebook @dreambigvotesmall

Election 2017 Sections