The Dernogalizer

October 29, 2009

UMD for Clean Energy’s Election Endorsements

The election phase of UMD for Clean Energy’s Green for College Park effort is winding down to a close.  Our political liaison Hilary Staver has an Op-Ed out in the Diamondback today releasing our endorsements.

Guest column: A ‘clean’ election

There are five days left until the College Park City Council elections, and if this year is like any other, chances are not many students would be voting. Traditionally, student turnout in these elections has been abysmally low: In 2007, fewer than 50 students at a university of tens of thousands took the time to cast their votes in the elections.

But this semester can be different. UMD for Clean Energy has been working on a campaign called Green for College Park. In light of the many developing or recently passed state and federal laws mandating renewable energy portfolios, energy consumption reduction standards and greenhouse gas reduction targets, we feel the near future is going to bring unprecedented levels of investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon technology. The regions that stand to benefit the most from this investment will be those with policies and programs in place to encourage it. We feel with the right leadership there is no reason why College Park cannot be a leader on these issues and a model for the county and the state.

The first step in this direction is to elect a city council that will make these issues a priority, and that is where we, the students, can do our part.  In order to gauge where each of the candidates stands on sustainability issues, UMD for Clean Energy has put together a platform of policies and programs that we have presented to each of the candidates for the city council. The platform includes, among other suggestions, a revolving loan fund to help College Park residents finance energy efficiency improvements for their homes, tax cuts to attract green businesses to the city and encourage existing businesses to decrease their environmental impacts, white roofs and LEED certification for new buildings and development projects, further development of biking infrastructure and better recycling practices.

After meeting with all the candidates and hearing their positions on the platform, we have decided to endorse the seven who we believe to be outstanding on these issues and  will do the best job of making College Park a leader. They support most — if not all — of the ideas on our platform, and many have a history of interest and advocacy in this area. We have posted complete information from our meetings with all of the candidates on our website (www.umdforcleanenergy.com) that I encourage everyone to explore, but the names are as follows: Mayoral candidate Andy Fellows; District 1 candidates Patrick Wojahn and Fazlul Kabir; District 3 candidates Stephanie Stullich and Mark Cook; and District 4 candidates Mary Cook and Marcus Afzali. We are not endorsing any District 2 candidates.

I implore you, if you are registered in College Park, take the time to vote next Tuesday.
Voting in these elections for candidates who are strong advocates for sustainability gives us a chance to invest in the future of not just the community around us but one small piece of our society at large.

We’ll be having a rally at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the sundial on McKeldin Mall to distribute information about where the candidates stand on our platform, and then we’ll be marching down to City Hall to vote. Please join us and cast your vote. Together let’s make this the year that counts.

Hilary Staver is the political liaison for the student group UMD for Clean Energy. She can be reached at hstaver at umd dot edu

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2 Comments »

  1. […] a part of that’s actively involved in this election.  The Diamondback has already given our endorsements and Green March to City Hall attention.  On election day, our march is plugged in regards to the […]

    Pingback by UMD for Clean Energy Endorsements Stir Things Up « The Dernogalizer — November 3, 2009 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  2. […] a part of that’s actively involved in this election. The Diamondback has already given our endorsements and Green March to City Hall attention. On election day, our march is plugged in regards to the […]

    Pingback by UMD for Clean Energy Endorsements Stir Things Up « It’s Getting Hot In Here — November 3, 2009 @ 10:57 am | Reply


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