Adrienne van den Beemt
Laura Miller Craig
Ana Maria DiLuigi
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
Sally Ours Kern
Sue Katz Miller
Susan L. Page
Environmental and Climate Justice Activists in Support of Roger Schlegel
Read the letter here signed by:
Janet Baldwin, Takoma Park Drawdown
Nadine Bloch, former NOAA Office of Education & Sustainability, 30+ yr Environmental Activist
Robin Broad, professor, Environment & Development, American U; board member, Earthworks
Gillian Caldwell, former executive-director, 1Sky – a coalition of over 200 climate action groups
John Cavanagh, director, Institute for Policy Studies
Paul Chrostowski, environmental consultant and author of over 100 scientific papers
Colleen Cordes, former outreach director, The Nature Institute; former Tree Commission chair
Jimmy Daukas, senior manager at national farmland protection non-profit organization
Karen Elrich, co-founder TPSS food co-op, member Climate Action Coffee
Robert Engelman, former president, Worldwatch Institute
De Herman, Jewish Earth Alliance, Takoma Park Drawdown, Climate Action Coffee
Ferd Hoefner, senior policy director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Stuart R. Gagnon, former environmental librarian
Robert Goo, national expert on stormwater and federal agency employee
Byrne Kelly, sustainable landscape architect & environmental planner
Joseph Klockner, LEED accredited professional in building design & construction
Jessica Landman, environmental lawyer; former chair, national Clean Water Network
Diane MacEachern, founder, BigGreenPurse.com
Denny May, former chair, Blair Road Community Garden
Charlotte Schoeneman, community builder, lighting activist
Betsy Taylor, Montgomery County Climate Workgroup, former Chair, 350 Action
Michael Tabor, Sustainable farmer, community activist
Barbara Whitney, Takoma Park Climate Action Coffee
Steve Whitney, Takoma Park Drawdown
Endorsement from Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
As a 40-year resident of Takoma Park who has had the privilege of representing this wonderful community for many years, I’m proud to endorse my friend, Roger Schlegel, to be our next mayor.
There are two primary reasons why I’m supporting Roger:
First, Roger will put Takoma Park’s fiscal house in order. There will be no tax increases during the pandemic, and our city budget will be clear, accountable, and fiscally responsible when it comes to how our tax dollars are spent on services for our community.
Second, Roger will be a strong defender of the Takoma Park Food Co-Op, one of our most important and successful locally-owned businesses. Sadly, the Co-Op is in danger of being forced to leave Takoma Park because of an adjacent development project. Roger will ensure that the interests of the citizens — not the developers — are prioritized, and he will work to protect this incredible community asset.
His pragmatic vision, approach to governing, and experience as a respected leader within our community make him uniquely suited to lead our city as our next mayor. I’m proud to stand with so many of our neighbors in supporting Roger’s campaign. I hope you join us in voting for him on November 3.
Why I support Roger Schlegel for Mayor
by Mike Tabor
I feel it is time for a transition of leadership at the top. Different times call for different types of leadership. For the past 5 years, Kate Stewart led the council and accomplished a lot of good things. She is extremely likable and her commitment to Takoma Park is unwavering.
However, in these 5 years, many bold strategies have been presented addressing the environment, housing, diversity, equality, etc., but the results have been to me less than forward moving. The Mayor has had all these years to carry out her agenda and during the most recent debate with Roger Schlegel, is still proposing many of her unfulfilled agenda.
In order to tackle the central issue of systemic racism and the accelerated climate emergency, a deep evaluation of how our local government operates needs to be done. An incumbent is not always capable of major shifts. The Junction development is a good example of this “business as usual” approach to the current administration.
Roger Schlegel seems to have a vision for how our local government ought to function that can lift us out of the stuck place it is in to move forward with new eyes. While Kate presents a good package of ideas, Roger is committed to be a different kind of listener. For example, he wants to revamp how council meetings are held to ensure that there is real dialog and real collaborative-decision making among the leadership and the community. The meetings I’ve been to are useless where community members, very articulately and passionately voice their views and come away feeling their words fell on deaf ears. He also has good ideas about re-distributing and cutting the budget.
A good leader would recognize, when a proposed project, like the Junction proposal has created such divisiveness and contention in our community, and after so many years of trying to resolve the many many detailed issues in each reiteration of the plan, the plan is just not right. Instead, the council insists on over and over trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, and is blind to the voices in the community that are trying to tell them that the proposal is not suited for our community. Kate assured me that she was not spending time on the development because of more pressing issues raised by the pandemic, but that does not seem to be the case and the project is going forward with its next (failing) plan.
Roger has delved deeply into the Junction issue and can articulate why he feels this project is not suited for our beloved community. He is not opposed to improving the Junction but for a for-profit company to profit off our public land with a proposal that is not in the spirit of the needs of our community. The pandemic further has illuminated the need to re-think many on-going projects. The current council (with two exceptions) and the mayor do not seem to be disturbed by these revelations when it comes to the Junction.
The issues that Roger has studied and address include expenditures for buses, staff bonuses, decisions on increasing police funding while the crime rate is going down, accountability of staff, including the City Manager and some of her decisions, housing fund allotments, construction project decisions, project overruns and depletion of our reserve funds.
In the evolution of a community different times call for different kinds of leadership. My sense is that business will go on as usual with the current administration because it is comfortable, without a deep soul-searching and creative thinking of where and how improvements can best move our community forward.
Roger’s background as a teacher with a Masters in Public Administration with a focus on local governments and his 20-year deep commitment to Takoma Park, exemplified through his delving into his top priorities including climate change, affordable housing and racial equality, give him a perspective on how our local government could function more efficiently and effectively. He is not new to running for public office. He is soft-spoken, welcomes conflict and values all perspectives. It’s an honor to have him run for office.
There is some speculation that Kate has an interest in running for one of the seats coming up on the County Council. While elected officials often seek higher office (which in and of itself is not a “bad” thing), this would mean she would only serve half of her term if she won the County seat. I would like to know if that is something she is considering.
Roger has said publicly that he has no higher political ambitions than to serve as Takoma Park’s mayor.
I urge everyone, before deciding on the incumbent, to take some time to learn about Roger’s vision and then make a decision.
“Gathering the Faithful, and Swimming With the Sharks” Susan Alexander on Why We Need Roger
I’ve lived here for 27 years, and I have a Roger Schlegel for Mayor sign in my front yard. For many of those 27 years, I’ll admit, I didn’t think too hard about who was mayor. The office seemed somewhat quaint to me, requiring only someone who could effectively preside over discussions of dog parks and Halloween contest judging protocols. But, as I learned over the past few years as I watched the City be outplayed again and again by powerful outside forces, I was wrong about that.
Today, though a small city with a modest budget, Takoma Park is facing big problems. As development pressures, extreme weather, and economic uncertainties increase, the time for a ceremonial mayor is over. The City is facing the kinds of crises the likes of which it hasn’t seen since the 1960’s, when activists like future mayor Sam Abbott had to fight to keep Interstate 95 from carving up North Takoma, and the 1970’s, when residents in partnership with Government won a protracted battle to transform Montgomery College’s plans to demolish 22 houses in our own block 69 into the foundation for today’s historic district. Today’s serious issues demand serious leadership–a clear thinker able to tap constituents’ experiences and expertise to solve problems, an advocate who will prioritize citizens’ concerns over cultivating powerful allies, a unifier who really sees everyone in the City, someone who can transcend differences to revive our progressive soul and enable Takoma Park to realize its potential to be a beacon to other municipalities struggling with similar concerns.
For these reasons, and others which you can read about on this website, I am supporting Roger Schlegel for mayor this year. With a Master’s in public administration and 20 years spent working on community issues here and elsewhere, he’ll be equally good at gathering the faithful and swimming with the sharks. His website is a testament to how deeply he has already thought about the City’s problems.
Susan Alexander, Takoma Avenue