Joint Endorsement for Jesse for Mayor From Councilmembers Shah and Brown

Joint Endorsement for Jesse for Mayor By Councilmembers Shah and Brown April 30, 2017 Mount Rainier’s government is in the midst of its most important transformation in more than a generation.  In the past year, we have begun the process of professionalizing City Hall.  This transformation will have a substantial impact on the quality of city services that our tax dollars support.  We need leadership that will support change, not stand in its way. As City Council members, we have seen up close how both Mayor Miles and Councilman Christopherson have reacted to, either in opposition or support of, the reform of our government.  We are endorsing Jesse Christopherson for Mayor because we have seen him to be supportive of change. He is in favor of professionalizing government, ending cronyism, and taking a new, more progressive direction in city government. Continue reading

Brentwood Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez Endorses Jesse Christopherson for Mayor

I am endorsing Jesse Christopherson for Mayor of Mount Rainier! As the Mayor of Brentwood, I have had a chance to work closely with Jesse on issues that connect our two cities. One of the most valuable assets to me in a leader is positive relationships. I saw Jesse’s commitment to collaborate with others (even when their opinions differed from his) when we served together on the PG County Municipal Association legislative committee. As chairman, Jesse was an effective leader who found consensus on the difficult issues that came before us. Continue reading

Green Team Chair: Jesse is the green choice for mayor

Mount Rainier Green Team Chair Endorses Jesse for Mayor For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Joseph Jakuta and I have been involved with Mount Rainier’s Environmental Protection Board and Green Team for the past six years. I am writing a personal statement concerning the mayoral race. We have two very strong candidates for mayor, both of whom care very deeply about the city and us Mounties and I personally enjoy working with. After lots of hard thought and talking with both candidates it is clear that Jesse Christopherson is my preferred candidate. Jesse wants a sustainable future for Mount Rainier and looks at the evidence to make this happen. When there was pushback from other members on the council about switching the city to renewable energy, Jesse saw that it would make us greener while immediately saving the city $10,000 per year and said we should move forward with the decision. Continue reading

Ward 1 Councilwoman Tracy Loh Endorses Jesse Christopherson for Mayor

Jesse Christopherson for Mayor Dear Neighbors, It’s been a few months since my resignation from the Mount Rainier City Council in order to support a career transition for my spouse to New York City. I’ve been watching Mount Rainier’s upcoming election with a lot of interest, in part out of curiosity over who might run for the Ward 1 seat I vacated. We also have our first contested mayoral race in many years, between two colleagues I had the chance to work with closely in my almost two years on council. After much reflection, I have concluded that it is imperative that our council have new leadership to support the many reforms that we have introduced at the staff and legislative levels in the past two years. These reforms cannot take root and thrive unless they have the support and energy that new leadership brings. With this in mind, I wholeheartedly endorse JESSE CHRISTOPHERSON for mayor. Continue reading

Lower taxes, better services?

Dear Colleagues: Over the past three years Mount Rainier property values have risen faster than in any other part of the county. As a result our budget has grown significantly. This puts us in the enviable position of having many options for improving services, building infrastructure, and creating incentives for economic development. On the other hand, higher property value assessments mean higher property tax payments. Many people won't notice that their mortgage payments have increased by $25-$50 per month, but those on fixed incomes may be facing tough economic choices. And, in addition to paying more to the city, it's widely expected that the county tax rate will increase by $.09 for FY18. 146 Continue reading

Dear Mount Rainier

Dear Mount Rainier, As my four-year term on the city council comes to an end I’ve been thinking about what it meant. What is different now because I was in those meetings? There are a lot of satisfying memories. There are regrets, too. Things left on the cutting room floor that should have been in the movie. At this particular moment I’m thinking about the city’s trajectory and my hopes for its future. City council work is mostly trying to make informed decisions on complex issues within tight deadlines. How the county’s zoning rewrite will affect the city and what to do about it, for example. Or how to feel out the balance between obstructing good development and making sure our taxpayers don’t subsidize a bad deal. There are moments of intense satisfaction when my ombudsman role makes someone’s life a little bit better or safer. Like when I can negotiate a rent break for a family in crisis. Or when my text message is the link between worn paint and fresh paint on the crosswalk in front of the school. Continue reading

Welcoming City / Sanctuary City

And by frequently, I mean ever. Mount Rainier is considering an ordinance that would establish policies intended to make our city welcoming to all, regardless of federal immigration status, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or national or ethnic origin. *What is a sanctuary city? A sanctuary city is a municipality with an official policy of partial cooperation or non-cooperation with federal immigration law and its enforcement agents. The exact provisions of a sanctuary policy vary from city to city. *Is a sanctuary city policy legal? Yes. Local jurisdictions have no legal obligation to assist with civil immigration enforcement, which is the responsibility of the federal government. A local decision to offer resources to federal immigration enforcement authorities is completely voluntary – and in effect lends local law enforcement resources to a federal role and responsibility. In fact, there is precedent for local jurisdictions being held liable in civil court for complying with immigration detainers because they do not require a warrant or probable cause. Continue reading

Dear Mount Rainier and other interested parties

Like most of you I’m shocked by the results of the presidential election. I don’t think I was under any illusions about national political conditions — I just underestimated the number of people who would actually pull the lever for the worst major party candidate for president in living memory. I have literally been pacing the house, my mind trying to get a grasp of what is going to happen and whether there is anything I can do. Here are some opportunities for local action and a few related thoughts. First of all, let’s never act like it’s normal and O.K. Continue reading

Gateway Community Organizing Committee 12/18/16

Come to the Gateway Communities Organizing Committee meeting on Sunday, December 18 from 4-6 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4112 34th St. Mount Rainier, MD. Join your neighbors to resist attacks on human rights and constitutional freedoms. Stand up to the harmful proposals of the incoming administration. Bring your ideas for community action. Refreshments and child care provided! Continue reading

If I Were Mayor, I Would...

Each year the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors’ Association (MMA) invite 4th grade students throughout Maryland to participate in a statewide essay contest: “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” This year, students are asked to include ideas for reaching out to all community members.