Blog Posts

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Anne Arundel County Council

    The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment. The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed seven candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.
     
    This is the latest in a series of emails that focus on each individual candidate. In this edition we will introduce you to Lisa Brannigan Rodvien, the Democratic candidate for District 6, Chris Trumbauer’s District. Chris is barred by term limits from seeking another term. District 6 covers Annapolis Neck. Find your County Council District here.
     
    MEET LISA RODVIEN
     
    ​I am running for Anne Arundel County Council District 6 to help improve and protect the quality of life for ALL of our county’s residents.  We are privileged in Anne Arundel County to be part of an amazing and diverse community set in a beautiful and unique landscape on the Chesapeake Bay. In recent years, however, the fast pace of development in our county has strained our county’s schools, our infrastructure, and environment.  As we update the county’s General Development Plan in 2019, I will advocate for a transparent and inclusive process that gives all stakeholders a seat at the table and that ensures finite and fragile environmental resources are treated with great care. 
     
    I will also work towards ensuring that our public schools provide excellent education for ALL children so that today’s young people can have prosperous futures right here in Anne Arundel County.  Furthermore, I will work towards improving the availability of mental health resources in our county for people of all ages.  School counselors in AACPS are currently tasked with serving as many as three times the number of students recommended by national organizations.  The number of mental health care providers for adults, even those with insurance coverage, is insufficient to serve the needs of our community.  Expanding access and availability to mental health care in our community will be a critical component in stemming the addiction crisis. 
     
    Finally, I will work to create an county that is welcoming to immigrants and does not create undue fear for those who are simply working to live peaceful and productive lives in our county.
     
     
    LISA NEEDS OUR HELP
     
    You can find out more about how to contribute to and get involved with LISA’s campaign at www.lisarodvien.com.
     
    Please join us in supporting Lisa on Thursday, September 6th at the Quiet Waters Park Blue Heron Center from 6 until 8 pm.
  • Real Solutions to Climate Change

    By: Dannielle Lipinski

    Do you remember moving into your first apartment? I loved that feeling of independence. Along with finally being able to sort the recycling and start a compost pile that my roommates hated, I remember looking at our energy bill wondering how we can start to be a part of the clean energy revolution and fight climate change as consumers.

    I had already convinced the roomies about energy-efficient lightbulbs and turning off the lights. However, when I talked about solar panels and wind turbines, they immediately shut me down. Now that I’m all “grown-up” and some of my “roommates” are my young son, a turtle, and a rambunctious dog, I can make a few more choices about my energy usage, not to mention still drive everyone crazy with compost ideas, rain barrels, and a garden that has grown a bit wild.  

    Through my work at Maryland LCV, I’ve worked on landmark legislation that helps all Marylanders combat climate change. In 2015, the General Assembly passed a fantastic law called the Community Solar Act (HB 1087). This is the pilot program that really changes the way we think about solar energy and who can benefit from its increased usage.

    Homeowners who have looked at solar and determined that their living situation cannot support solar panels, they can still benefit from solar power. In addition, the law expands the benefits of solar to renters, churches, and others who have not been able to participate before.  The great thing about community solar is that anyone and everyone can join in. In states like Minnesota and New York, community solar has really taken off.

    And now it’s Maryland’s turn. With community solar, you can “share” the power generated at a nearby solar farm. You have the option of paying no upfront fees. There are no rate hikes and no surprises. Simply put, community solar is the wave of the future. Your solar will come from a local site within Maryland and you’ll be helping Maryland grow in solar energy.

    Look into community solar today, and you can convince your roommates to take the plunge and join the clean energy revolution! Please check out the links below for more information on opportunities to sign up:

    Neighborhood SUN:

    https://neighborhoodsun.ourpower.solar/join/index.cfm?sub=location&aid=CarolynRicketts

    Solar United Neighbors: https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/maryland/learn-the-issues-in-maryland/community-solar-in-maryland/

    Here is more information about the Community Solar from the Public Service Commission: https://www.psc.state.md.us/electricity/community-solar-pilot-program/

  • Three Leaders to Inspire You

    You’ve heard about the blue wave, you’re experiencing the heat wave, and you know there is change in the air. I am excited about what we are seeing all across Maryland- a Green Wave. Last month’s primary election was an affirmation of what we’ve known here at Maryland LCV all along- people want leaders who will stand up and protect the environment.

    Over the past year, we endorsed 117 candidates around the state. On June 26th, 106 of them won their primary bid- a 91% success rate! We could not have done it without you, Dannielle. When these candidates win in November, we are excited to work with them from their first day on our environmental agenda that represents Marylanders in the General Assembly.

    But we are going against well-funded, anti-environmental interests this year so please make a generous gift today to help us>>

    I want to introduce you to a few of our endorsed candidates who won their primary bids:

    1. Sarah Elfreth for Anne Arundel County’s District 30 Senate Nominee: Sarah has spent her career engaged in some of Maryland’s most important battles: advocating for the Bay, strengthening our schools, and creating jobs. But throughout her efforts, she has never failed to put the voices of local residents at the forefront of her work and she will be an excellent Senator. (pictured on the bottom right)
    2. David Fraser-Hidalgo for Montgomery County’s District 15 Delegate Nominee: Appointed in 2013, David has been a clear voice for the environment. The awardee of our 2015 Legislator of the Year at our Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner, David pushed the envelope and was a lead sponsor and champion for the landmark legislation for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that eventually led to the incredible 2017 victory in banning it entirely in the state of Maryland. (pictured on the bottom left)
    3. Robbyn Lewis for Baltimore City’s District 46 Delegate Nominee: Robbyn is a public health professional, sustainability advocate, and community leader. She was appointed to the Maryland General Assembly in 2016. Community service is her priority and it shows in the legislation she sponsors and supports for Baltimore City and all of Maryland. (pictured at the top)

    Together, we can continue to advocate for strong environmental policy in Maryland and exceed our goals for smart climate policy, clean water, public health protection, and open spaces for every Marylander. With the right leaders in office, we can move the needle in favor of common sense legislation and regulations. That’s why we go through a strenuous endorsement process and publicize to the public who the environmental candidates are.

    Our work has never been more important. We’ve got big plans this year. Join us to be a part of the Green Wave spreading across Maryland and give today>>

  • We Stand with the Capital Gazette

    Written by Kristen Harbeson, Political Director on June 29, 2018
     
    I heard that the Capital journalists wrote today’s paper from the back of a pick-up truck. Wherever they wrote the copy, the paper was delivered on time this morning, with the kind of steely-eyed professionalism everyone should aspire to.
     
    We rely on the free press in the work we do at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. We count on them to educate Marylanders about the work of our government, as well as the activities of advocates like us - both for and against. They are our partners in educating you on the work of the General Assembly and they hold both us and the General Assembly accountable. You can trust us more when an impartial, fact-checking, professional free press supports what we say. The free press is an environmental concern.
     
    This is all to say that the heinous attack at the Capital yesterday was personal for us at Maryland LCV. Our hearts are broken for our friends and colleagues, and we are immeasurably grateful for their work.
     
  • Why Steuart Pittman? Eye on Annapolis

    Guest post by Bob Gallagher, Co-Chair of the Anne Arundel County Chapter of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters in the Eye on Annapolis

    The two biggest issues in the 2018 election for County Executive are likely to be education and the pace of development. The non-partisan Anne Arundel Chapter of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters endorses candidates based on which candidate will be better for the environment. Carefully managed development can result in gains for the environment. Poorly managed development can be devastating to the environment and to our quality of life. Poorly managed development can also impact schools, exacerbating over-crowded classrooms and straining inadequate school budgets.

    Both candidates for county executive, Steve Schuh and Steuart Pittman, have a broad grasp of environmental issues and have made commitments to better manage the pace of development. While Mr. Pittman’s promises are somewhat more specific and comprehensive, the determinative factor in deciding between them is credibility: which one is more likely to fulfill those commitments. We find Mr. Pittman more credible when it comes to managing development. We endorse Steuart Pittman.

    Mr. Schuh and Mr. Pittman both have deep roots in the county. They are comparable in age. They come from upper middle-class backgrounds with solid academic credentials. Mr. Schuh pursued law, finance and business before pursuing public office. Mr. Pittman worked for years as a community organizer before returning to manage his family’s 550 acre farm in Davidsonville where he founded a non-profit organization that enjoys  national stature. This is his first run for office.

    During his time as a community organizer, Mr. Pittman worked extensively on environmental issues. As president of the Maryland Horse Council, he created its first stewardship committee.  In leadership positions with the Soil Conservation District and Anne Arundel Farm Bureau he worked to build bridges between agriculture and the environmental community. Last year he worked with other community and environmental leaders to limit the excesses of an Agro-tourism bill championed by Mr. Schuh. Working with other community groups he has also been a leader in the effort to expand public participation in the next general development plan. He is committed to enforcing the GDP and other environmental laws, preserving forests and strengthening the stormwater program. He is a strong supporter of increasing open space and water access. He has committed to manage development in a sustainable manner better matching development with infrastructure improvements.

    These commitments are attainable and entirely consistent with Mr. Pittman’s actions over the past several years. We find them highly credible.

    As a delegate, Steve Schuh had a mixed record on the  environment. He scored 100 percent one year but had a  mediocre lifetime score. He voted for the bill that authorized counties to adopt stormwater fees and promised that he would support the stormwater bill pending before the AA County Council. When his opponent used it against him in the Republican primary, he did a 180-degree turn promising to repeal the bill. His efforts at repeal were unsuccessful.

    Following his election, Mr. Schuh appointed a land-use transition team dominated by development interests. During his first two years in office he spoke of the need to “kick start” growth. He supported a bill that gave developers millions of dollars in reduced sewer and water connection fees. He supported a bill that allowed developers to hire their own engineers to review and approve substantial parts of their development plans. During his watch, the county lost more trees than any other county in the state. Developers received record numbers of zoning variances and modifications. The Schuh administration sided with developers to transfer development rights from non-waterfront to waterfront property until the Critical Area Commission ruled it illegal. During each stage of the litigation challenging those  actions, the administration fought to deny environmental groups the right to participate.

    It is against this background that we have evaluated the several bills recently proposed by Mr. Schuh to manage development. In our view, those bills are helpful but will not have a significant long-term, limiting impact on development.

    In light of his record to date on development, we find Mr. Schuh’s recently professed commitment to rein in growth lacking credibility.

    Check out the article on Eye on Annapolis here.

  • Spotlight on the candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive

    Through his budget powers, veto authority and horse trading, the county executive has a significant influence over the work of the county council. While the current county executive has done some good things for the environment like preserving open space and enhancing public access to waterways, he has also encouraged an accelerated pace of development that has harmed the environment and out quality of life. That is why we have endorsed Steuart Pittman for county executive.
     
    This is the last in our series of emails introducing you to our endorsed candidates for county council and county executive for the 2018 elections.
     
    MEET STEUART PITTMAN
     
    Steuart Pittman was raised in a family that took preservation and responsible land stewardship very seriously. They have preserved for perpetuity a 500-acre tract in south county, the majority of which is forest.
     
    As a community organizer in Chicago, Steuart protested hazardous waste storage that was leaching cyanide into groundwater adjacent to public housing. As Maryland Horse Council president, he created a vibrant and progressive farm stewardship committee. As a board member of the Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation District he brought farmers and environmental advocates together to promote responsible management practices. 
     
    “This is not about politics,” he says. “It’s about passing on land and water to the next generation in better condition than we found it. That is our obligation as human beings.”
     
    Steuart has pledged as county executive to bring communities together around a General Development Plan for the next eight years that manages growth in a way that is fiscally and environmentally sustainable. He has pledged to work toward a no-net-loss forest conservation plan, and to aggressively enforce stormwater management, critical area, and septic laws. He will conduct an audit of recent development in the county to measure the long-term costs and benefits to taxpayers and the environment. That data will guide future planning.
     

    STEUART NEEDS OUR HELP

    You can find out how to get more involved in this campaign how to contribute here: https://www.pittmanforpeople.com or on Facebook at: pittmanforpeople. Join Steuart and his sister Polly for a wine fundraiser on June 9th at Polly’s spectacular Vineyards at Dodon.

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Anne Arundel County Council District 6

    The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment.

    The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed seven candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.

    This is the latest in a series of weekly emails that focus on one candidates each week. This week we will introduce you to Scott MacMullan, a Democrat running for County Council District 6 to replace Chris Trumbauer who is term limited. District 6 includes The Annapolis peninsula Sherwood Forest and Crownsville. Find your County Council District here.
     
    MEET SCOTT MACMULLAN
     

    The Chesapeake Bay is under tremendous stress due to excessive amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution. This stress is exacerbated by climate change. In District 6 we need to start acting as if tomorrow matters—and take a sustainable approach—by fighting for stormwater restoration projects, fighting to conserve our forests and fighting against unfettered development on the Annapolis Neck Peninsula.  

    As a native Annapolitan, growing up sailing the little bathtub boats, Optimist Prams, on the Severn River, I saw first-hand how pollution affects our health, welfare and our economy. Every day during the summer as a child, I would pull my boat out of the water and there would be a yellow scum ring around the waterline of the boat that I would wash off. In law school, I wrote an article about the Chesapeake Bay and climate change, and I quoted this young riverkeeper named Chris Trumbauer in that article. Inspired by Councilman Trumbauer, I have followed his career since and want to build on his environmental legacy.

    I am running for District 6 on the Anne Arundel County Council because I am committed to public service and want to improve people’s lives in my hometown. Indeed, I am fed up with how the County’s plan for development (the General Development Plan) is routinely not followed to the detriment of the people and their communities. Serving in a variety of capacities to our community, including working for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and being a member of the Scenic Rivers Land Trust Board, I have the depth and breadth of experience to be an environmental advocate for the people. As an environmental leader, I stand ready to guide the entire community into a prosperous future, work through any differences and to bring our community together. 

    SCOTT NEEDS OUR HELP

    You can find out how to get more involved in this campaign at www.electscottmac.com or Scott MacMullan for County Council on Facebook.

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Anne Arundel County Council District 5

    The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment.

    The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed six candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.

    This is the latest in a series of weekly emails that focus on one candidates each week. This week we will introduce you to Amanda Fiedler, the Republican candidate challenging incumbent Michael Peroutka for the Republican nomination in District 5. Mr. Peroutka has the worst record on the environment of any member of the Conty Council. District 5 stretches from Severna Park to the tip of the Broadneck Peninsula. Find your County Council District here.
     
    MEET AMANDA FIEDLER

    "My family has lived in Anne Arundel County for four generations. After graduating from Broadneck High School, I earned my BA from Salisbury University and went on to a career in media strategy for Republican campaigns across the country. I always knew I would raise my family here so that my three boys would experience all that this community has to offer. I have fond childhood memories of playing in the Severn River, crabbing on our community dock, and hiking through area woods. Our natural resources are one of the reasons our district is such a desired place to raise a family. Preservation of these resources is important to our future.

    My campaign evolved from my work in our communities, providing leadership on the issues that impact us most. For years I have testified at the county and state level on various legislation. I serve on two boards at our local hospital, and founded a non-profit that has saved hundreds of lives. I'm a member of our local Chamber of Commerce and serve as PTO President for a school of nearly 800 children. I'm not a career politician.

    The County Council decisions impact our lives on a daily basis. I believe we need someone who is engaged with the public, clear in communication and willing to work collaboratively on the issues. My record is one that has all of these important leadership skills.

    It's imperative that we work together to serve our community and ensure tax dollars are working effectively for our common goals and preserving the characteristics of our District that make it such a desirable place to live.

    I will work tirelessly to represent District 5, for my family and for yours."

    AMANDA NEEDS OUR HELP

    You can find out more about how to contribute to and get involved with Amanda’s campaign at www.voteforfiedler.com.

    Meet Amanda and our other endorsed candidates at the Anne Arundel Chapter’s fundraiser for the Anne Arundel elections. It will be on Friday, June 8th from 5 until 7 in Annapolis, more details here.

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Anne Arundel County Council District 5

    The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment.

    The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed six candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.

    This is the latest in a series of weekly emails that focus on one candidates each week. This week we will introduce you to Dawn Meyers, the Democratic candidate for District 5 running against incumbent Michael Peroutka. District 5 stretches from Severna Park to the tip of the Broadneck Peninsula. Find your County Council District here.
     
    MEET DAWN MEYERS

    "I have a lifelong commitment and record for making government work for its citizens. I grew up in Cape St. Claire and am a proud graduate of Broadneck High School. As the daughter of a firefighter and homemaker, I am the first in my family to graduate college. I received my undergraduate degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland at College Park and earned my Law degree and MBA from Tulane University.

    In 1996, my 15 year old sister was killed in a car accident by a chronic juvenile offender driving while on probation after 30 positive drug tests. This avoidable family tragedy taught me the real consequences of what can happen when government doesn’t work.

    My family and I worked to fix the issues that led up to my sister’s death. We encouraged DJS to coordinate with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to revoke licenses for risky juveniles. For some people, government is about politics and theories, but for me- it’s about results.

    It was with these values that I began my career working to help Maryland State government deliver better results for its citizens. As a policy analyst for the Maryland General Assembly, I analyzed billions of dollars in State environmental budgets looking for opportunities for efficiencies and improvements. I succeeded in eliminating duplicative government initiatives and uncovering wasteful spending. Today, I am the Director of Business and Finance for the Physics Department at University of Maryland at College Park and manage an annual budget of $50 million.

    With my husband of 17 years, we raise our children where I grew up, Cape St. Claire. We chose this community to have water access. Rapid development has impacted water and air quality, gridlocked traffic, and decimated our forests. I would like to see Anne Arundel County be smarter about its growth and be a leader in environmental restoration."

    DAWN NEEDS OUR HELP

    Join Dawn for a fundraiser at Cafe Mezzenote in Severna Park on Thursday, May 10th at 6:00pm.  You can find out more about how get involved with Dawn’s campaign at www.votefordawn.com and buy tickets for her event on her Facebook page Dawn Meyers for Anne Arundel County District 5.

    Meet Dawn and our other endorsed candidates at the Anne Arundel Chapter’s fundraiser for the Anne Arundel elections. It will be on Friday, June 8th from 5 until 7 in Annapolis. Watch for details.

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Anne Arundel County Council District 2

    The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment. The AA Chapter has endorsed six candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected. 
     
    This is the first in a series of weekly emails that focus on one of those candidates each week. This week we will introduce you to Allison Pickard, candidate for District 2. District 2 lies in the northern part of the county between Severn and Glen Burnie. Find your County Council District here.
     
    MEET ALLISON PICKARD
     
    Maryland’s natural resources are our greatest treasures and also an economic engine for our region. There’s never been a more important time to dedicate our efforts to clean air, clean water, and renewable energy sources. The health of our children, communities, and future is inextricably linked to the health of our local environment and resources.
     
    The combination of strong leadership, practical professional experience, and higher education have served me well as I pursue common-sense, results driven solutions to community issues. I have forged strong relationships with other leaders in the county through my work with PTA, the Board of Education, and the School Board Appointment Commission but the most significant work of my campaign has been engaging with thousands of neighbors in my district to really understand what is important to them. I, along with my husband Joe and 3 school age children call Millersville home. We share the concerns with our District 2 neighbors in Glen Burnie and Severn about strong public schools, safe streets, and smart growth. As a candidate for County Council, I bring a refreshingly pragmatic and results-based approach to policy decisions. 
     
    Reflecting on my life-long values, I remain committed to working hard and reaching out to all community members, business and labor leaders, elected officials, and community groups to make Anne Arundel County the best it can be.
     
    ALLISON NEEDS OUR HELP
     
    Join her at a meet the Family event: Fun, family fundraiser - Monday, April 23 at Gino’s in Glen Burnie. You can find out more about how get involved with this campaign at www.AllisonPickard.com or Allison Pickard For County Council on Facebook
     
    Meet Allison and our other endorsed candidates at the Anne Arundel Chapter’s fundraiser for the Anne Arundel elections. It will beon Friday, June 8th from 5 until 7. Stay tuned for details.