If you want to hear the candidates discuss various issues and meet them in person, various neighborhood and community groups are sponsoring forums throughout the city. These forums are public and everyone is welcome to attend. Some people have called these “debates” but with a baker’s dozen running for office, I regret they are going to be more like brief statements with no discussion (I’m not even sure how they’re going to fit everyone on stage).
At this moment (October 4 at 8 p.m.), here’s what I am aware of (it does keep changing and I’ll try to update this post through the comments, but there are no guarantees or warranties):
- Tuesday, October 7 at 7 pm: Legacy at Lincoln Park Homeowners Association at the Lincoln Park Community Center.
- Thursday, October 8 at 7 pm: West End at the Rockville Senior Center (televised, not confirmed)
- Tuesday, October 13 at 7 pm: Rockville Chamber of Commerce at the Legacy Hotel and Conference Center (televised, not confirmed). I will be unable to attend due to work-related scheduling conflicts.
- Tuesday, October 20 at 7 pm: Twinbrook Citizens Association at the Twinbrook Recreation Center (televised, not confirmed).
- Wednesday, October 21 from 7:30-10 pm: College Gardens Civic Association, Plymouth Woods Homeowners Association, and Woodley Gardens Civic Association at the College Gardens Elementary School (1700 Yale Place)
- Thursday, October 22 at 7 pm: King Farm Candidates Forum at the Saddle Ridge Community Center (300 Saddle Ridge Circle).
- Saturday, October 24 from 9:30-11:30 am: Rockville Central at the Thomas Farm Community Center.
- Thursday, October 29 from 1-3 pm: Rockville Seniors at the Senior Center.
Many people don’t know that in order to run for office in Rockville, you need to submit a petition signed by 100 registered voters who live in Rockville. Persons running for state senator or delegate don’t have the same requirement, so at first I was a bit puzzled and wondered why we had to jump through this hoop. Now that I’m in the process, it does make sense. If you’re running for public office, you need to be serious and have sufficient support from the community to place your name in the hat. It does require time, but much more time will be needed if you’re elected. Finally, it gets you out in the community–few people know one hundred people that meet the qualifications–and meet your fellow citizens. That’s what I’ve enjoyed most about the process.
My signature collection process has been very strategic. First, I privately asked people who knew me best and could offer friendly advice about the process and suggest how I could clarify my message. I then went public with a booth at the Memorial Day festivities downtown to meet a broad range of people (most of whom weren’t from Rockville, but it gave me insights into who visits and shops). Now I’m going door-to-door to various neighborhoods to meet registered voters, starting with my own neighborhood of Twinbrook. Here’s what I learned so far: Continue reading →