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/

Do You Remember the First Time You Voted?

I was a sophomore at LSU in Baton Rouge when I had my first opportunity to vote. That year’s gubernatorial election featured a three-way race between incumbent Buddy Roemer, convicted felon Edwin Edwards, and KKK leader David Duke. Governor Roemer lost in Louisiana’s “jungle primary” and the choice was narrowed to Edwards and Duke, with Edwards, an early civil rights advocate, eventually winning in a landslide. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
Later, when Governor Roemer was a regular at the coffee shop I managed, I learned a few things from him that are as unforgettable as the first time I cast a ballot. As we talked about how to get a minor league baseball team to come to Baton Rouge and generally solved all the world’s problems, I noticed how much he cared about the people he had served and, for someone in their twenties who was unsure of what should come next, he gave me a sense of belonging to the broader community. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned over the years began with those conversations—success is measured by what you do for others, dignity stems from humility, and belonging starts with inclusivity. Governor Roemer reached out in a small way, but his welcoming and positive influence has impacted my life for over two decades.
The Together for Rockville campaign has one more project to accomplish—mailing a welcome postcard to newly registered voters. It’s a small thing, but by extending a hand to thousands of newly registered voters and including them in this election we make the Rockville community stronger.

Visit the “Join Us” page to learn how to make a difference.

Family date night at the poll. Matt’s been voting with us since he was in a baby carrier.

Why Run?

Bounce house safety check before the neighborhood kids arrive at the last East Rockville Neighborhood cookout.

On a late night walk home from the Pump House where we, the East Rockville Civic Association, had to work through some complicated issues regarding our neighborhood plan, I was really feeling the weight of it all, and questioning everything.

Bounce house safety check before the neighborhood kids arrive for the last East Rockville neighborhood cookout.

Were we doing the right thing? Was the process right and inclusive? Were we forgetting anything? Were we ensuring that the neighborhood maintained and even grew a more diverse housing stock? Were our (very few) historic and public places adequately protected? Was one of our neighborhood babies teething or did he have a cold? Did my neighbors around the corner order enough tile for their new bathroom? Did our “junior member” of ERCA get that scholarship to UPenn? I had all the worries.

Then I got to the corner about a half a block from my house and heard one of the most unmistakable sounds on the planet–one of my favorite neighbors laughing. I had to stop and smile at this deep, heart-felt sound that is so recognized and loved within our four-block radius and, as I stood there, I picked up the sound of children playing, and underlying that the low hum of adults deeply engaged with one another in conversation.

I remembered something in that moment–it’s not about the buildings, it’s about the people inside the buildings, and I don’t get up every morning looking forward to more meetings and firing off more e-mails to the City, I get up every morning because the community that the people of Rockville have built is worth working and fighting for.

By the time I walked the half a block to my house, I knew I was going to call the Mayor, who had been waiting patiently for an answer, and tell her yes, that I would run with her in the 2019 election. Everyone in Rockville deserves to have someone at City Hall who finds them inspiring, and I’m grateful for the reminder and the opportunity.

Here’s what we’ll do:

  • Commit to a community-based, people-centered approach to development.
  • Be better partners to our school community through creating and supporting an Education Commission that gives Rockville a stronger, unified presence within MCPS, and extends a hand to MCC.
  • Foster community through a sustained, focused effort to preserve and develop public and private “third places,” or places where all are encouraged to gather and interact.
  • Preserve and grow our green spaces and tree canopy for our connectedness and well-being.

What I’m Reading:

Butler, Stuart M, and Carmen Diaz. “‘Third Places’ as Community Builders.” Brookings, Brookings, 22 Aug. 2017, www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2016/09/14/third-places-as-community-builders/.

Jacobs, Tom, and Tom Jacobs. “Living Near Trees, Not Just Green Space, Improves Wellbeing.” CityLab, 31 July 2019, www.citylab.com/environment/2019/07/urban-tree-canopy-green-space-wellbeing-research/595060/.

Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place: cafés, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community. Da Capo Press, 2005.

Recommendations for Building a New Model for Community-Centered Development, Partnership for Working Families, www.forworkingfamilies.org/resource-toolkit/recommendations-building-new-model-community-centered-development.

Gonzales, Ron. “The New York Times > College > College Specials > Mayors On Education | San José: 10 Ways A Mayor Can Help Improve Public Education”. Archive.Nytimes.Com, 2019, https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/ref/college/collegespecial3/coll_opinion_gonz.html?8bl.