Issues

Smart Growth
I will work with city leaders and communities to help ensure economic vitality, walkable neighborhoods, and safe vibrant spaces for our families to enjoy. New developments should support and attract small businesses, preserve open space, and promote environmental sustainability while preserving the character of Rockville. I will also help to ensure that we leverage existing assets and plan for continued evolution of our city while preserving the adequate public facilities ordinance which protects our way of life. We want growth in Rockville but we have to be smart and about how we execute that goal.
Strong Schools

Schools are a major part of what makes our communities great. Countless families have shared that they moved to Rockville because we have some of the best schools in the county. However, the City Council currently doesn’t have a mechanism to regularly engage with our communities. As a member of the City Council, I will help to ensure that we engage the thousands of students and families that make up our community and that we advocate on their behalf. I will also work to ensure that there is coordination between the city, county, and Board of Education to better plan for growth and school capacity, to advocate for the needs of our communities, and to meet with our local school leaders.

As a Cluster Coordinator, MCCPTA Board member, former PTA President, VP of Programs, and delegate, I have helped to support the development of a brand new school, Bayard Rustin Elementary School, serving as a leader on the boundary study, school naming, principal selection, and PTA development. I have worked to relieve overcapacity across other elementary schools in Rockville as well.

Schools are a competitive advantage for Rockville and we need to be sure we protect that value as we grow and evolve as a city.

Rockville Services
City services are an important part of the character of Rockville. Our libraries, local transit, civil servants, and holiday events and festivals are an important part of what makes us a community. I will work to ensure that we preserve and even modernize Rockville’s services. From summer camps to senior support, these services need to evolve with the needs of our citizens and the changes in our society. The evolution of technology has improved our ability to interact, inform, and transport our neighbors in need and I will work hard to make sure the services we offer optimize those capabilities.
Rockville Town Center

The Rockville Town Center is an essential part of the vitality of our city. It is a nexus for our neighborhoods, businesses, and families. I believe that we can do more to help support small businesses in the center. The revolving door of retail and restaurants in an out of the center have made it hard for customers to establish buying patterns that would support the long-term patronage necessary to stabilize the center. Instead, customers flock to other retail and restaurant centers with more established tenants. I will work directly with our business counterparts and also with surrounding community organizations to figure out ways to improve the strategy for the town center. I will also find more ways the community can better support the businesses there or yet to come. I have already arranged a number of well-attended community outings at the center, in support of community organizations, and intend to scale those efforts to accomplish even more in the future.

Inclusive Community Engagement
Rockville is the 9th most diverse city in the U.S. and that diversity should be reflected in our community engagement as well as our electoral process. I will work to ensure that Rockville is a place where all can thrive regardless of race, class, gender identity, and sexual preference. I will push the council to go even further beyond the walls of City Hall and to strengthen relationships with parts of our community that have historically been less involved in our city. I truly believe that the to create the best Rockville is to get everyone at the table sharing their ideas and pushing us towards greatness.
Economic Development
It is wonderful to be able to work and live in the same community. Unfortunately, that is becoming harder to accomplish in Rockville because of the industry leaving the area. Biotech, in particular, has moved away from the Rockville area and the commercial vacancies are becoming an issue for the city. As a marketing executive in the Biotech space, I know firsthand the industry that is leaving Rockville and how to bring it back into the area. We should also bring other types of industry into Rockville. Given our location and metro access this the perfect location for businesses to thrive.

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Authority: Friends of Monique Ashton; Mathew McCormick, Treasurer