Tag Archives: Rockville Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce discussion at Rockville Community Coalition meeting

Andrea Jolly, executive director of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce (center) at the Rockville Community Coalition meeting.

At the April 5 meeting of the Rockville Community Coalition, Andrea Jolly shared that the Chamber of Commerce is becoming more active in local advocacy and that the Chamber cares as much about the community as it does business.  She’s the executive director of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, an organization that now claims 185 members, a dramatic turnaround from its nearly lifeless condition just a few years ago.  As examples of their reinvigorated stature, she noted the public stand they’ve taken on behalf of Pumphrey’s; the support for environmental causes that affect the community as a whole (such as the bag tax and storm water management fees); and the sponsorship of the Rockville Economic Summit.  She expressed her concerns that the community seems to be artificially divided between businesses and residents and while the Council claims to be business-friendly, their actions have indicated otherwise.  Most members of the Chamber are small businesses that are locally owned and operated and rely heavily on local residents as both customers and employees.  She also voiced a desire that there be good relationships throughout the community rather than irreconcilable differences–we may disagree at times, but we should always be willing to work together to solve shared issues.

During the discussion:

  1. she clarified the relationship with the Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (they attract and retain businesses but cannot advocate; Chamber provides ongoing services to its members and the current business community, can advocate for a business-friendly atmosphere).  She also mentioned that REDI may have a new executive director in place in May.
  2. she was unaware that the City didn’t collect Continue reading →

Candidate Forums?

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.

Hometown Holidays

Max van Balgooy for Rockville Council booth.For both days of Hometown Holidays, the annual street fair in downtown Rockville held over the Memorial Day weekend, I manned a booth to publicly declare my candidacy for City Council.  I was the only candidate or elected official at any level (city, county, or state) with a booth and one of two booths related to politics (next door was the Republican Womens Association).

The days were long and hot, but it was a great way to meet lots of people, even though the booth was a bit off the main axis of activity (I was one of two booths on Montgomery Avenue in front of the Regal Movie Theater; most booths lined Maryland Avenue).  When I wasn’t chatting with people, I was being entertained by live music from the “Montgomery Stage,” each day bringing three great bands (I was expecting at least one band that would cause me to grind my teeth for an hour, but really every band was top notch).

Here’s what I learned: Continue reading →

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