Montgomery Hills has a myriad of physical challenges: too many vehicles, not enough pedestrian infrastructure, absentee landlords, and on and on. Change is tough to come by because of our fractured and complex political landscape making it difficult for any one politician or jurisdiction to effectuate change.
The State of Maryland controls Georgia Ave., which is the dividing line between Maryland Legislative Districts – District 18 Delegates (Ana Sol Gutierrez, Jeff Waldstreicher, Alfred Carr) whom represent the west side and District 20 Delegates (Sheila E. Hixson, David Moon, Jheanelle Wilkins) whom represent the east side.
In District 18, Al Carr is the only incumbent running for re-election. There are seven other candidates: Ron Franks, Mila Johns, Helga Luest, Leslie Milano, Joel Rubin, Emily Shetty, and Jared Solomon. In District 20 two incumbents, David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins, are running for re-election. There are five additional candidates: Fatmata Barrie, Lorig Charkoudian, Malik Lendzondzo, Darian Unger, and George Zokle.
Maryland State Senate District 20 is represented by Senator Will Smith and he is running unopposed.
Montgomery County wields control over the space beyond the roadway. Further, the State generally solicits county input regarding state road design and funding decisions. The County controls land use through zoning and can influence development (or the lack thereof) through incentives, grants, and other economic development measures.
Montgomery Hills sits squarely in Montgomery Council District 5 represented by Tom Hucker. Montgomery Hills is also represented by four At-Large Councilmembers: Hans Riemer, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, and Marc Elrich. Councilmember Floreen is not seeking re-election. Councilmembers Leventhal and Elrich are running for County Executive, along with four additional candidates. Councilmember Hans Riemer is seeking reelection in a field with thirty-three contenders for the four At-Large seats.
Your vote can help us realize a brighter future for Montgomery Hills! Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills is not formally endorsing any specific candidates, but there are a few characteristics we hold above others.
First, fairness and inclusiveness. Georgia Ave should be a complete street that accommodates all users: vehicles, pedestrians, strollers, wheelchairs, and bikes. Montgomery Hills can continue to be a place that welcomes small local businesses: ethnic restaurants, specialty grocery stores, international coffeehouses. Second, competence navigating the legislative process, working effectively with regulatory agencies, and understanding the business community. It will take all these skills to transform Montgomery Hills. Third, a resoundingly champion for smart growth who encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing options, and transit accessibility to the Forest Glen metro and improved bus access. Last, someone with a vision who can imagine an improved Montgomery Hills and has the determination to see that vision effectuated.
We have contacted every relevant elected official and candidate to ask their position on Montgomery Hills. Below are are some quotes from the state candidates in support of our effort to #FixMontgomeryHills.
Contact us to help us succeed!
Maryland State District 18
I am in full support of the Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills’ grassroots efforts to advocate for improved pedestrian safety and a more vibrant commercial area in Montgomery Hills and nearby areas! MD District 18 Delegate Al Carr
After becoming a Montgomery County homeowner, my attention turned first to getting a four-way stop on my corner, to prevent cars from using my quiet neighborhood street as a cut-through and occasionally ending up on my front lawn. Shortly thereafter, I was drawn to the Montgomery Hills effort with Adam Pagnucco, to fix the “Intersection of Death” at Georgia and Forest Glen and was made aware of the extremely serious problems besetting that small gem of a community. Efforts on the county and state levels over the past decade have been grossly inadequate — now is the time to push to make Montgomery Hills a walkable community again. Dana Beyer, Candidate for MD District 18
In Montgomery Hills, Georgia Ave is clogged with traffic, and presents safety hazards during rush hour with poor signage for shifting lanes. People feel unsafe walking or biking along this corridor. I fully support state funding to redesign the Montgomery Hills portion of Georgia Ave to be more walkable and safer all around — for pedestrians, for bikers, and for drivers. Leslie Milano, Candidate for MD State Delegate District 18
I frequently commute via the Forest Glen metro station and lived a couple blocks just south of Montgomery Hills when I first moved to Montgomery County. I am personally aware of the pedestrian safety and traffic challenges along Georgia Avenue, as well as the critical need to improve the business district. I have hope that with the current plans to redevelop the area, SHA and our County can and will work closely with the community to ensure that the community’s vision of safer streets to walk, bike and drive and a revitalized business community are achieved. I am proud to share that I am the only candidate for Delegate in D18 that has received a perfect score on the Action Committee for Transit scorecard, demonstrating my commitment to fighting to improve our public transit options and walkable communities throughout our region. If elected, I will work closely with SHA and members of the Montgomery Hills community. Emily Shetty, Candidate for MD District 18
As a person who uses the Georgia Ave corridor daily, I fully support the efforts to make the Georgia Ave corridor in Montgomery Hills more pedestrian and bike friendly. Additionally, I support replacing the antiquated left-turn technology currently in place with a camera based system which will help reduce overall congestion. Implementing these changes will make Montgomery Hills more accessible, enjoyable and (most importantly) safer for all. Ron Franks, Candidate for MD District 18
As an elected Council Member in the Town of Chevy Chase, I see firsthand the impact of development on our community’s quality of life. That’s why I’m a strong proponent of including community organizations, like the Friends of Forest Glen, at the front end of transportation planning. Development should be sustainable and put people first for our region to thrive. I’m also concerned that the Hogan Administration has broken its mitigation commitments to communities like Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills that are located adjacent to major transit projects. The result has been a decrease in pedestrian safety and negative impacts to local businesses. The House of Delegates can do much more to address these shortcomings and to hold Governor Hogan’s feet to the fire, so that developers live up to their commitments. We need accountability, and that is what I intend to deliver. Joel Rubin, Candidate for MD District 18
MD State District 20
The redesign of Georgia Avenue Corridor in Montgomery Hills is critical to the safety and the economic vitality of this area. The intersections throughout the corridor pose significant danger, and the existing conditions create a vehicle-dominated environment that is untenable for our local businesses and residents. District 20 State Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins
I fully support the community vision to make Montgomery Hills a vibrant, walkable community, with thriving locally-owned businesses. Doing this will require that the State Highway Administration make considerable improvements to Georgia Ave, working in conjunction with the community and the County. As your delegate, I will be a champion for these changes, keeping this issue front and center for SHA until we get the necessary improvements made. I will also fight to prevent the widening of the Beltway and to have those funds, instead, invested in better public transit to relieve congestion, and in making communities more bike and pedestrian friendly. Lorig Charkoudian, Candidate for MD State Delegate District 20