Takoma Park City Council, Ward 5
Having a very busy “to do” list, since being elected the first time in as the representative for Takoma Park's Ward 5 in July 2012, Jarrett’s vision and priorities for its 3,000 constituents remain clear. His priorities continue to be focused on education, healthcare, civic participation, fiscal prosperity, and green communities.
If you need help with healthcare, rental assistance, low cost internet or a computer, please contact me. I am here to help #ThriveinWard5
STRONG LEADERSHIP FOR TAKOMA PARK
Jarrett K. Smith was elected as the City of Takoma Park's, Ward 5 Councilmember in a special election in July 2012. Since then, Councilmember Smith has been a whirlwind of activity pursuing life’s endeavors and prioritizing important issues not only to Ward 5, but to the entire city of Takoma Park. He has marked and documented accomplishments that demonstrate his unwavering commitment to his constituents and what is one of America's most unique communities...
Jarrett's positive spirit is infectious in that anyone spending merely a moment of time with Councilmember Smith is left feeling as though they want to stand taller, hold their chin higher, are ready to pay attention, and lastly get involved. With participation as his mantra, Councilmember Smith has been very successful in executing programs that directly impact his “care abouts”; from securing funding for the Flower Avenue Green Street Project and becoming a "smart growth" advocate, to instituting a Summer Literacy Program (now in its 8h installment), to food pantries, and bringing leadership the development of Takoma Junction which is a major mixed use project that will bring economic development to Takoma Junction. By running for re-election in 2015, Councilmember Smith is seeking the opportunity to continue "participating" as a leader for progress.
Councilmember Smith’s priorities include:
-- Voting & Civic Participation,
-- Fiscal Responsibility,
-- Green Communities, and
While these priorities are not new, Councilmember Smith’s approach is wholistic and they can be seen in all of the programs he has developed and supported. When planning his strategy for execution for many of his projects, Jarrett’s discussions aren’t limited to the political community. Whether its taking in a baseball game, a cup of coffee, or something as simple as a Metro station platform discussion, Councilmember Smith is an active listener. He realizes that obtaining participation requires his own participation. Therefore, with unrelenting tenacity Jarrett listens directly to his constituents often spending time over lunch, dinner, email, texting, via Facebook, Listservs, or Twitter to ensure he is gauging everyone’s perspective.
Over the past 4 terms, Ward 5 and Councilmember Smith has accomplished a great deal, therefore, we should continue the momentum!
Thank you for your participation and visiting.
When I was first elected, I met Takoma Park Councilmember Jarrett Smith at a reception held in Annapolis during opening day for the General Assembly. Since that time, we have worked together to evolve our bordering communities and we have become friends. He helped me connect with MAN-UP which stands for Making a New United People which is a community created nonprofit mentoring organization for at risk youth and young adults ages 12-24 to achieve educational life success. Jarrett and I have worked on brainstorming ideas and ways to address the needs of both of our constituencies by working to bring the Lidl grocery store to the New Hampshire shopping center once Shoppers closed and various other projects. We constantly bounce ideas off of one another as to how to address some of the economic issues in our respective cities and how to continue to make our cities more attractive to live in locally. During all of my conversations with Jarrett, I am always impressed with his preparation and knowledge. I also know Councilmember Smith is a man dedicated to even growing the next generation because, I have spoken to his Prince George’s community college students where he lectures as an adjunct professor. It has been my honor to work quietly with him over these last six years as Councilmember Smith is the type of politician who moves quietly as he knows that many of his efforts are better kept quiet until he can declare victory. He is an intellectual. He is an honest man, and a man of integrity. He has the professional background, education, and skill set Takoma Park ‘s Ward 5 needs to continue to grow and flourish.
COVID Rent Relief Program
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Endorsement from Mike Tabor - Founder of Progressive Neighbors
To my Ward 5 and Takoma Park neighbors,
Every election cycle, I get calls from friends who know I’ve spent the last 20 years involved in local politics, asking who to vote for and what county and state-wide questions to support. Progressive Neighbors’ endorsements are below and you can find explanations for each decision on their website. JUFJ (Jews United for Justice - https://jufj.org/where-we-work/montgomery-county-md/) also has a good website explanation for their endorsements.
I want to be clear that even though my wife and I share an email this email is from me. While we agree on many things, we don’t speak for each other when it comes to elections. We are individuals.
And, the vitriol that appears in these listservs are often quite disturbing, making someone reluctant to share their thoughts and be attacked, something this on-line format makes so easy. I offer my opinion not to start a war of words among a group of folks, but because I have been asked. You can agree, disagree, but please don’t pick apart words and sentences in a broadcast email. This is just one person’s opinion. If you want to have a private conversation with me, let me know by email and we can set something up.
So, for Takoma Park, here are my endorsements:
Ward 5 City Council
Jarrett Smith, our current council representative, does not seek the limelight. For someone in political life, that is almost unheard of. Politicians are supposed to promote themselves. Otherwise, they appear to be doing nothing. So, while it is not characteristic of a politician, Jarrett has been quietly working on many issues of concern to Ward 5. He seems to put a lot of energy on one-to-one problem solving, that he doesn’t “advertise”. He is continuing to learn in the role and recognizes some short-comings, like the need to reach out to the ward with better communication. He is a quiet and modest public servant.
More broadly, he has been the courageous and strongest of the two lone wolves against the Junction as the plan has been presented. For those of you who have been following the project these past 4 years or so, the plan is not workable on so many levels, Jarrett recognizes that it is not right for our community. Further, he disapproves of the project because of the divisiveness and contention it has caused among neighbors.
Jarrett attended and spoken at regularly scheduled picnics (such as for the last 4 years in our immediate neighborhood with an "agenda" and speakers) and hosted a local debate/discussion with our D-20 delegates. He prepares for and represents us at regular Council meetings and sponsored the plastic ban ordinance, led the creation of Montgomery College Scholarship and our city's Fund Racial Equity policy that was unanimously adopted by this City Council. (According to Jarrett, measurable implementation hasn’t happened).
Jarrett was also instrumental in the paving of Flower Ave. with its better sidewalks and rain gardens, which, until he took office, was not a project envisioned by the Mayor or Council. In fact, they opposed it!
When a representative has been working for the ward and wants to continue to do so, supporting them is a way to say, please continue your work. Otherwise, why should a representative do anything if their efforts are not supported and acknowledged.
His opponent, Sawa Kamara’s, new to Ward 5 politics, visions are perhaps similar to Jarrett’s except I sense her support of the current Junction plan lacks the understanding of the totality of the opposition. Her questions about the plan seem to fall in line with, a few tweaks and all is good. It is surprising she is not standing more forcefully behind the Co-op since she is a former board member. Sawa’s outreach with her survey is a good thing but illustrates to me that she does not have an understanding of the issues unique to Ward 5. It is an every-issue-on-the-globe kind of survey.
Sawa’s organizing is impressive. Advocates and activists are needed on the “outside” advocating and organizing in the community and others are better suited on the inside under the constraints of a political structure. I feel her recent advocacy and activism in Ward 5 should be encouraged and once she’s become more involved and well-known, run for Ward 5 Council.
While I hope that any elected representative of our Ward will work hard for us, I feel Jarrett’s courage and quiet outreach where our community needs it most (which I suspect is why many of us do not hear more about what he is doing), continues to earn his seat on the Council.