“Marc Elrich, a two-term council member and former teacher, had the courage to break with his union allies when it made sense to further good governance. As the council’s leading in-house skeptic on development and the author of the county’s first minimum-wage bill, Mr. Elrich is anathema to many in the business community; however, he has also been the chief driver behind an ambitious plan to develop a network of dedicated lanes for fast buses, which would make Montgomery more livable for residents—and more attractive to employers.”

—The Washington Post, May 27, 2014



Getting to know Marc . . .

In 2013, Bethesda Magazine ran an article about Marc called “The Contrarian of the County Council,” referring to him as “Montgomery County’s most unconventional elected official.”  The article goes on to say “He is hard-working.  He displays a seemingly endless appetite for both constituent outreach and policy detail. He spent, for instance, countless nights researching transportation patterns in the county and mass transit options across the globe before spearheading a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system beginning in 2008 that some developers see as key to future growth.”  The article provides a lot of other insights into Marc’s views on good governance, his role on the Council, and his priorities for the future. Click here to read more and see below to learn more about his BRT proposal.

Things that matter to Marc . . .

Perhaps nothing defined Marc’s efforts in 2013 better than his introduction of legislation to raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County over the next few years.  According to Marc, “this one simple act will significantly improve the lives of the working poor in Montgomery County,” respecting their work and making them less dependent on support programs from the County.  To assure the success of his legislation, he initiated a regional agreement that included neighboring Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia. There was extensive coverage of Marc’s efforts in a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, Governing, the Washington Times, WJLA-TV,  Montgomery Community Media (mymcmedia),  and NorthJersey.com.

Rapid Transit . . .

Marc has also been a leader in the effort to make a countywide Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system a reality.  Faced with traffic projections showing future growth creating massive gridlock largely due to our heavy dependence on cars, Marc proposed a BRT countywide network to connect people from where they live to where they work and to link our three science centers (NIH, Great Seneca Science Corridor, and White Oak/FDA Science Gateway). Since introducing his proposed system in 2008, his ideas have garnered attention both locally and nationally – see coverage in the Greater Greater Washington blog, Reuters, and  Houston Tomorrow. In 2013, the County Council adopted BRT as part of the county’s transportation plan – see coverage by mymcmedia.org of this important event.   Marc understands that the challenge ahead is to build BRT while protecting existing communities and not overburdening taxpayers but he believes we can meet those goals.

Listening to Communities. . .

Marc is a champion of communities and constituencies across the county, working to ensure that, as the County grows, the concerns of current residents are heard and the quality of life is protected for both current and future residents.  He has taken the lead on key countywide issues, including the recent fight to save Ten  Mile Creek– one of the last best streams in the county – from devastating overdevelopment (see here);  pushing for legislation to protect our tree canopy and street trees; fighting back against Pepco’s outdated power grid and poor customer service; standing up against poor land use planning; extending protectionsto domestic workers;  supporting the efforts of a community seeking justice from the Park and Planning Commission;  and legislating against the deleterious effects of mega-gas stations. Marc was also the lone voteon council against the recently adopted Zoning Ordinance overhaul, based on his concerns about the burdens the changes will bring to existing communities and the shift in neighborhood commercial centers likely to result from zoning that allows increased heights and encourages residential uses.

Marc on the Issues . . .

For more on Marc and the issues, see this 15-minute video where Marc talks about BRT, land use and planning, science and technology in Montgomery County, and other local issues.