CASA in Action Endorses Initial Group of Candidates for General Assembly and Local Council Seats

CASA in Action, the region’s largest immigrant rights electoral organization has endorsed its first set of candidates for the General Assembly and local council seats.  The first set of endorsements by an organization with 96,000+ lifetime members, rewards existing pro-immigrant leaders and lifts up exciting new leaders.

“Far too often we are grasping at crumbs when we fight to protect our members from abusive police, unscrupulous employers, crooked landlords, and worse,” said Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action.  “In 2018 we are going to fight hard for the people who recognize that working families are the backbone of our community and merit justice.”

This decision also provided CASA in Action Board members an opportunity to lift up new candidates who have already done significant work in their communities in the fight for justice. Julie Palakovich Carr, running for Delegate in District 17, led the successful battle in Rockville to outlaw collaboration between local government and ICE.

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Endorsed by the Maryland Sierra Club


This morning the Maryland Sierra Club announced 40 new endorsements for state office and Maryland General Assembly. The endorsements are a mix of incumbents and newcomers.

"This is a critical time for Marylanders to elect leaders who will make environment and public health top priorities. We need elected officials who understand the threat that climate change poses to Maryland.  We need leaders who believe that all Marylanders have the right to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities." said Josh Tulkin, Director of the Maryland Sierra Club.

"We do the hard work of identifying the best environmental candidates, and we are proud of these endorsements," said Betsy Johnson, Political Chair for the Maryland Chapter of The Sierra Club.

For District 17 Delegate, the Maryland Sierra Club endorsed Delegate Kumar Barve, Delegate Jim Gilchrist, and Julie Palakovich Carr.

Endorsements from Delegates Barve and Gilchrist

Exciting news in my campaign for the state house: Delegates Kumar Barve and Jim Gilchrist have asked me to join the District 17 Team. I'm honored to have their endorsements!

Statement from Delegates Barve and Gilchrist:

As you may know, Delegate Andrew Platt recently announced his decision not to run for reelection. Delegate Jim Gilchrist and I are saddened to hear this, but we wish our colleague and good friend the best of luck in his future endeavors and look forward to his future successes.

The three of us had intended to form a slate as three candidates with similar political and philosophical views, but differing backgrounds. Delegate Platt’s departure has created an opportunity for us to expand the diversity of our team while supporting a deserving and experienced progressive Democrat.

We are excited to announce our intention to support for the House of Delegates Rockville City Councilmember Julie Palakovich Carr. Julie has been a progressive leader during her two terms in office and has a notable track record on issues such as the environment, diversity, and public health.

Julie’s election to the House will bring the benefits of a person with a background in science, progressive policy experience and that of an elected municipal official, to the District 17 Democratic Team. We find these qualifications to be extremely compelling. Jim and I look forward to working with Julie toward victory this year, and especially in serving together as colleagues.

News coverage from Bethesda Magazine

Rockville City Councilmember Julie Palakovich Carr Announces Candidacy for Maryland State Delegate

Today, Rockville City Councilmember Julie Palakovich Carr announced her candidacy for state delegate in District 17, which includes Gaithersburg and Rockville.  Palakovich Carr will run in the Democratic primary on June 26, 2018.

“Now more than ever, we need progressive leadership in Annapolis,” said Palakovich Carr.  “I’m going to fight for the values that people of Rockville and Gaithersburg hold dear: fairness, respect for diversity, and an open and honest government that helps people.”

“From safeguarding our children’s health from fracking and secondhand smoke to protecting law-abiding immigrants from deportation, I have a proven track record of working on behalf of the people in our communities to implement real progressive solutions.

Palakovich Carr was first elected to the Rockville City Council in 2013 and is currently serving her second term.  She is the author of the Fostering Community Trust Act, an ordinance enacted last week, which keeps local police focused on fighting crime rather than using city resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

Palakovich Carr also led successful initiatives to ensure smoke-free air in outdoor dining areas in Rockville, to protect local water quality, to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and to honor and celebrate the community’s diversity.

In 2016, Councilmember Palakovich Carr was recognized as a Leading Woman by the Annapolis Daily Record for her community involvement and professional accomplishments.

A scientist by training, Palakovich Carr has a Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston University.  She and her husband, Eric, have a son.

Prior to being elected to the City Council, Palakovich Carr served two terms on the city’s Environment Commission, chaired an advisory group on infrastructure and redevelopment, was vice chair of the City Services and Budget Working Group, and chaired the Watersheds Committee.

Rockville Directs Its Police Officers to Steer Clear of Immigration Enforcement

The Rockville City Council approved an ordinance restricting police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities or asking residents about citizenship status.

The “Fostering Community Trust” ordinance codifies existing Rockville police force practices that are designed to keep local law enforcement at arms length from deportation and other federal actions that spawn fear in immigrant communities.

The ordinance was sponsored by Julie Palakovich Carr.

Rockville Bans Smoking in Outdoor Restaurants

Legislation to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas in Rockville was passed the City Council.  The bill was sponsored by Julie Palakovich Carr.

Rockville became the second city in Maryland to pass such legislation and is the first jurisdiction in the DC-metropolitan area to ban smoking in outdoor seating areas at restaurants.

"I think this is an important step for public health in Rockville," said Palakovich Carr.

Mayor and Council Host Town Hall on Diversity

Councilmember Julie Palakovich Carr called for a town hall meeting on diversity.  The public event is intended to be a forum to discuss ways for the city to be even more welcoming of its diverse population.

“This is our community; these are our neighbors and coworkers and children’s classmates,” she said of the city’s diverse population. “It’s in our best interest if we can all be working together and hearing each other out respectfully and trying to make Rockville an even better place to live and work.”

City Council Passes Resolution on Diversity

Councilmember Julie Palakovich Carr authored a resolution celebrating Rockville's diversity.  The resolution was adopted at the November 14, 2016 Mayor and Council meeting.

An excerpt of the resolution follows:

Whereas, all Americans—regardless of gender, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and disability—deserve equal protection under the law;

Now, therefore the Mayor and Council of Rockville hereby recognize and celebrate our city’s vibrant diversity and call upon elected officials at all levels of government to recognize that our nation is stronger because of this diversity and call upon them to strive for policies and laws that promote equality and inclusion.

Julie Recognized as Leading Woman in Maryland

The Annapolis Daily Record recognized Julie Palakovich Carr as one of its 2016 Leading Women.

“The Daily Record’s 2016 Leading Women are truly inspirational. Their professional accomplishments, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change exemplifies why they are being singled out for this statewide award,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record. “They excel to high levels professionally and personally, and The Daily Record congratulates them on this award.”