My name is Seth Grimes. I’m a former, two-term member of the Takoma Park City Council and a long-time community advocate, and I’m running for Mayor of Takoma Park. I am asking for your vote in the November 2022 Takoma Park city election.
Mayor is an important office, charged with improving the quality of life for all city residents. I will deliver the competent, experienced, visionary leadership our city needs, now more than ever. My promise to you is equity, action, openness, and accountability.
Key Priorities for Takoma Park
Community: Let’s ensure housing and food security for all with action to preserve affordability and support our neighbors who are most in need.
Housing, Rec & Public Spaces: We have opportunities to create new multi-unit housing and amenities in the coming years, in particular by building apartments when we replace the outmoded New Hampshire Ave Rec Center (a priority for me!) and smart repurposing of former Washington Adventist Hospital campus. These and other housing, recreation, and public-space possibilities are great opportunities to invest in parts of the city that haven’t received the attention they should.
Climate Action: It’s time to accelerate our climate response in order to meet the city’s Climate Emergency commitment, an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2027 and a 100% reduction by 2035, and to advance tree canopy, stormwater management, biodiversity, and zero-waste goals.
Open, Effective, Inclusive City Government: Let’s focus on fundamentals — safe streets, support for kids and seniors and neighbors facing financial challenges, and a livable community, with excellent service delivery — with careful attention to taxes and spending.
An Old-New Approach to City Government
Open communications are key to community engagement. I was the first council member to post regular updates, 172 in my two council terms (at onetakoma.com), and I was the first to hold regular, twice-monthly open office hours. (I also created the Takoma Park Facebook group — join us! — and have grown it to over 3,500 members.)
Communications are a two-way street, yet many city residents feel the City Council doesn’t engage. I will revive open discussions of critical issues and create dialogue so that we’re talking with and not at one another.
Let’s harness the enthusiasm, expertise, connections, and competence of community members in the creation of city policies and plans. Takoma Park residents — neighborhood leaders, housing experts, nonprofit workers, and environmentalists — are our best guides when it comes to local needs!
I will reforge a collaborative relationship with the city’s unions and advance progressive policies such as paid family leave for all city employees. (I organized advocacy that won a city living wage policy back in 2007!)
I will rework the budget process to elicit public input and center resident and local-business needs early in the formulation of each year’s city budget, with data-informed decisions and careful attention to tax increases. In my four years on the council, FY12-FY16, we held the total property tax increase to 2.5%, half the inflation rate!
The next council will feature a mix of experienced and new council representatives, working with a city manager still relatively new to Takoma Park. We have a perfect opportunity to revive the spirit of collaborative innovation that has been a Takoma Park tradition.
In my previous council terms, we initiated the Library renovation and plans to rebuild the New Hampshire Avenue Rec Center; passed the Safe Grow ban on cosmetic lawncare pesticide use; enacted 16-year-old voting and voting rights for ex-felons and boosted voter turnout, especially among renters; hired an environmental sustainability manager, created a city food-waste composting program, and passed Maryland’s first ban polystyrene food service ware.
Progressive innovation and community are core Takoma Park values. How would you like to see city government respond and evolve in the coming years?
Please get in touch to share your thoughts and concerns, at email@example.com or 301-873-8225. Thanks!