The founders of WeAreMoCo are from different parts of the county, but we have one thing very much in common: We feel that every resident in the county deserves a seat at the table. Residents should be included in the county decision-making processes when their families, homes and property values will be affected.
Many of the current county officials seem to lack the belief that the residents can add anything to the discussions. We, the founders of WeAreMoCo, have shared the experience of being blind-sided by county decisions that will profoundly affect us. Some of us have spent years working within the guidelines given to us by the county, only to find that the decisions had been made long before we heard anything about them. Some have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to be heard. And that is just plain wrong. We need to change the way Montgomery County views the role of its citizens.
We understand that the residents and the county officials won’t always agree on everything, but we need more than the token community meetings to hear their plans for our neighborhoods. It is imperative that we be given more than the proscribed three minutes to speak at hearings. It would be gratifying to be a real part of the process and to know that our input is being taken seriously.
WeAreMoCo.org is an online communication network to “Stay informed. Get connected. Take action. Get results.” Since we formed WeAreMoCo we have heard from residents as well as civic and neighborhood groups from across the county who have had similar experiences. Collectively, we feel that it is of utmost importance to protect and enhance the well-being of our neighborhoods for the current and future residents. Our voices must be heard.
We are not an umbrella organization: We are a virtual community promoting communication that will empower us to become a productive influence in the county decision-making process.
A few bewildered citizens are voices crying in the wilderness. An entire county of residents who are informed and know how to be an effective part of the system is a force to be reckoned with. Join the discussions at www.wearemoco.org and on Facebook. We are all MoCo.
Donna Baron, North Potomac
Jean Cavanaugh, Silver Spring
Gail Dalferes, Kensington
Maria Fusco, Potomac
Judy Higgins, Kensington View
Lydia Sullivan, Kensington