Let’s Do This!

I’m running for Rockville City Council, and together we’ll do great things!

Let’s move our world-class, 21st century city forward together through leveraging our cultural, historical, arts and environmental resources while identifying pathways to new ones.

Let’s work together to move beyond traditional models of development and emphasize innovation and meaningful place making in Rockville to better welcome new neighbors and retain the ones we already have.

Let’s build bridges between our neighborhoods, physically and socially, so we move forward together as a unified community, celebrating our diversity, inclusive of all.


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It Takes a Village

Essential to the diversity we are rightly proud of in Rockville is the inter-generational nature of our neighborhoods. I am proud that I helped establish our Village several years ago with a very insistent mentor and friend.


East Rockville’s first Village holiday party was fun for all ages.

Today at the Rockville Senior Citizens Commission’s Candidate Forum, one of the other candidates brought up my friend and mentor, who needs a little more help than she did several years ago, and inadvertently described my son and some of the things he helps her with. I’m glad he appreciates my family’s commitment to service. The pairing of teenagers with senior neighbors is one of the best things that a Village can do for a neighborhood. I see the self-esteem my son has developed in part because he knows how impactful it can be to help others, and having an older friend makes him feel like a real community member. I know their visits do her good, as well, and not just because her lawn gets mowed or her snow shoveled.

Some of the specific ideas I shared this morning at the Senior Center are things we can do to foster inter-generational diversity so that we’re caring for one another at every age.

Things like:

  • Encouraging job sharing between teenagers and seniors who want a part-time job. School has become so demanding it can be hard for kids to have a job, so why not share a part-time position with a senior who can mentor them as they enter the work force.
  • Advocating with MCPS to offer yard work for seniors as a P.E. credit as other districts around the country have done.
  • Offering service-learning hours through the neighborhood Villages.

The City of Rockville is rightly committed to diversity, and that commitment should be reflected in how we translate diversity into inclusion both within the senior population and between the senior population and the broader community. Diverse needs don’t end at 60, and our seniors continue to have much to contribute to Rockville.


Rockville Forward Coalition at the Senior Citizens Commission public forum on October 10, 2019.

What I’m reading:

Bliss, Laura. “7 Reasons Why Aging Riders Need Better Transit.” CityLab, 4 Aug. 2017, www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/08/older-people-will-need-much-better-transit/535806/.

Goodyear, Sarah, et al. “What Does ‘Livable’ Mean to Older Americans?” CityLab, 15 May 2014, www.citylab.com/solutions/2014/04/what-does-livable-mean-older-americans/8968/.

Henkin, Nancy, and Emily Patrick. “Intergenerational: Grantmakers in Aging.” Intergenerational | Grantmakers in Aging, Grantmakers in Aging, https://www.giaging.org/issues/intergenerational-strategies/.

#voterockville

The ballots are out! Rockville is making history as the first city in Maryland to launch a vote-by-mail election.

Ballots back in the box same day! #voterockville @rockvilleforward!

I’m proud of our City, and I’m especially proud of my campaign. I had some of the best people I know helping, and we’ve run a very tight, fiscally responsible campaign. I made it clear to my friends and supporters at the beginning that I wanted a super-local, no outside political groups or non-profits with political affiliations campaign that respected people’s hard-earned paychecks and limited time. We did exactly that. We ran a campaign about issues focused on elevating our shared experiences and enhancing our quality of life.

I’m asking that you vote for me so that we can move Rockville forward, together.

Please return your ballots no later than November 5 at 8 p.m! If you haven’t mailed it by October 29, I strongly encourage you to take it to City Hall, 111 Maryland Avenue, and return it to the silver vote-by-mail drop box in the parking lot.

For fun, post a photo of yourself on Facebook and use #voterockville, @suzan4rockville1, @rockvilleforward.

I’ve loved meeting so many of you, and I hope we keep in touch beyond November 5!



King Farm Chronicle Election 2019 Issue, page 16: http://www.kingfarm.org/picture/188october_king_farm_chronicle_2019.pdf

Twinbrook Community Association Questionnaire: https://www.twinbrookcommunity.org/suzan-pitman-2019

City of Rockville Candidate Page: https://rockvillereports.com/suzan-pitman/

We All Walk on the Same Sidewalks

Rockville elections are non-partisan and, when we’re at our best, driven by a sincere desire to serve the City and its people, not by adherence to an ideology.

The National League of Cities lists “Cooperation between elected officials belonging to different parties is more likely,” as a positive thing about non-partisan city councils. While our priorities might be guided by one set of beliefs or another, local governance should be about elevating the daily lives and shared experiences of each of us, and all of us together.

Non-partisan elections require candidates to talk about who they are through sharing a vision and a plan for implementing the needs of the City, rather than just saying, “I’m this party’s candidate” and allowing assumptions to be made based on broad brushstroke definitions.

The number of times I’ve been asked about my political affiliation while talking to voters across the City is notable. Even when I mention that Rockville elections are non-partisan, there seems to be a pressing desire to know. So I answer directly, and try to steer the conversation back to our sidewalks and streets, our parks and our growth.

I heard from a neighbor a couple of weeks ago that one of the county-level political parties has endorsed a City Council candidate. There is also evidence that special interest groups associated with a political party are ready to bring in resources from the county and state to support certain other candidates. The spirit of non-partisanship and cooperation across all divisions for the good of the city we love might be sacrificed in favor of a “win at any cost” approach to our local election. More than any other issue, this strikes at the heart of the question, “Who are we, and who do we want to be?”