MoCo elects first female majority Council


Hannah Lee

According to The Washington Post, the six female members include a Venezuelan immigrant, an adoptee, a first-generation Chinese American and a first-generation Jamaican American. Their specialties span finance, law and public health.

Samantha Cutler, News Writer

Six new female members and five incumbents were officially instated into the 20th Montgomery County Council on Dec. 6, 2022, which creates the first ever majority-female council. This is a significant increase from the last Council election in 2018, where just one female representative was elected.

Each of the 11 Council representatives either serve one of seven districts or work as an at-large member, whose responsibilities encompass the entire county. 

Sidney Katz is the county representative for District 3, which contains Rockville and Gaithersburg. He was elected to the council in 2014, and is currently serving his third term. His platform emphasizes small businesses, retirement policy, a dedicated funding source for the Metro, universal pre-K programs and career education policies in Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Students at Richard Montgomery come from all districts of Montgomery County, and yet not many know their Council representative. “I know Natali Faní-Gonzalez is my representative, but I’m not totally sure what her role is in the county government,” sophomore Libby Cooke said. Natali Faní-Gonzalez was one of the six newly elected representatives of the Wheaton/Glenmont area, who campaigned on the promise of making Wheaton’s streets safer for walkers and bikers.

The Montgomery County Council is responsible for approving land use plans and County Executive job appointments, compiling the county budgets, setting local and property tax rates, serving as the county’s Board of Health and many other tasks. The Council also operates several standing committees, including the Health and Human Services Committee, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and the Public Safety Committee. 

Marc Elrich serves as the Montgomery County Executive, and overlooks all county departments and services. He recently won his primary by only 32 votes against the same opponent from his 2018 primary, with similarly thin margins. Elrich and the County Council have had a tense relationship in the past, which caused difficulties with legislature appointments, but he has been optimistic about his relationship with the new Council. “I want to welcome all of our new councilmembers and the returning councilmembers, and I look forward to working with each of you for the betterment of Montgomery County,” Elrich said in a speech at the Council’s swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 6, 2022. 

Other notable appointments to the Council include Kristin Mink, the first Asian American to serve on the Council. Her platform emphasizes the importance of rent and eviction protection as she represents one of two newly created districts, from Four Corners to Burtonsville. Will Jawando, an at-large member who has been serving the Council since 2018, said in an article by The Washington Post that he is excited to see the Council revisit past issues like rent stabilization and progressive tax policies that he had to compromise on while working with the previous, more moderate, Council. 

“This is the most diverse and representative council in our county’s history. I look forward to the new and unique perspectives each of my colleagues will bring and the great work we will do to move Montgomery County forward, together,” at-large member and unanimously elected council president Evan Glass said in a press release.