I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where my family was active in the civil rights movement. The struggle to get equal schooling and equal rights was one that shaped who I am today.

Given the lack of state and federal leadership on this issue, it is more important than ever that the county executive of Maryland’s largestcounty be a leader in promoting the importance of diversity. We are now a minority-majority county and I will support programs that protect the growing multicultural nature of Montgomery County. This effort includes welcoming immigrants, ensuring appropriate training for our first responders and other county employees, providing language access and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) services and, most importantly, closing the achievement gap in K–12 education.

Relevant to diversity, I am the only woman running for county executive. Women look at issues differently than men. This is a time when we need a new perspective.

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