Maryland leaders met at the state capitol to discuss the Maryland Chapter of the Local Leaders Council.
Elected officials from towns and counties across Maryland gathered in Annapolis on November 8, 2013 for the first Advisory Board meeting of the Maryland chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. The Council’s Maryland chapter, a joint effort of Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland, will foster collaboration among leaders in Maryland and promote state-wide smart growth issues.
Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, kicked off November 8th’s meeting. “The Maryland Chapter is about recognizing that even in the face of national discord, with strong leadership and sound policymaking, we can grow and strengthen our communities by starting at the local level, from the ground up,” he remarked.
Dru Schmidt-Perkins, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Maryland, emphasized the collaborative nature of the chapter. “The program aims to help local officials work smarter and know there are friends out there they can reach out to on these issues. We want to support you and help you work more effectively.”
During the meeting, the Maryland Advisory Board laid out the goals of the chapter, discussed policy priorities and shared individual perspectives on why better sustainability, economic development, land use and transportation policies are important to their communities.
“I ran for elected office because I wanted to be the one who was helping to make the decisions about how my County was going to grow in the next 10 years,” said Chris Trumbauer, Anne Arundel County Councilmember and Chair of the Maryland chapter Advisory Board. “The value that I see in the Maryland chapter is it will give us the tools and help us make the connections to implement policies that will better our communities.”
“I find a lot of strength in a group such as this,” added Mary Ann Lisanti, Harford County Councilmember. “In talking with other local leaders from across Maryland, you find that your growth and development challenges are really not that different from anyone else’s challenges.”
The Council’s Maryland chapter Advisory Board is comprised of 10 elected leaders from central, southern, western and eastern Maryland communities. The Board provides strategic direction and support to Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland on the structure and growth of the new network.