Meet the Candidate: Lisa Henderson for Gaithersburg City Council
GAITHERSBURG, MD – Voters in Gaithersburg will have the opportunity to elect a new mayor and two city councilors in the November 2 election this year.
Patch contacted all of the candidates and asked them to share with readers why they think they are the best choice on the ballot. Lisa Henderson, candidate for city council, completed the survey.
Early voting for the Gaithersburg election will take place at the Bohrer Park Activity Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ordinary vote will also take place on November 2 at the activity center.
Position sought (mayor, municipal council, school board, etc.)
I have 5 siblings, 9 nieces and nephews, 3 grandnieces and nephews, and a community of people around me that I have learned to call family
Does anyone in your family work in politics or in government?
I work in local government and two of my sisters are MCPS educators. My mom is a retired school bus driver and union leader and one brother is a retired law enforcement officer
BS in Computer and Information Science from the University of Maryland University College and an MA in Technical Management from Johns Hopkins University
I work for the Montgomery County Government as the Computer Program Director for the Integrated Justice and Information System Program, where I provide automation to the county’s public safety and criminal justice agencies. I worked for the county for 16 years
Previous or current office elected or appointed
Why are you looking for an elective position?
As a native of Montgomery County and a resident of Gaithersburg for 25 years, I have witnessed the city’s growth and challenges. I personally know a once thriving Olde Towne and bustling Lakeforest mall. I know the government and I know the data and I want to lead from a pragmatic and data-driven approach. I’ve used data to serve people throughout my career, and I’m ready to use it to improve the lives of people in Gaithersburg. I want to be a voice on council to champion visions of revitalization and economic growth as we continue to build on the strengths of our beautifully diverse and urban city.
The most pressing issue facing our (council, district, etc.) is _______, and that’s what I intend to do about it.
Accessible / Affordable Housing – Gaithersburg achieves an estimated housing cost burden of 35%, where landlords and renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs, which is higher than the national average of 32%. Projections show continued population growth in Gaithersburg and the city has reached its limit of undeveloped land to develop for new affordable housing. As a council member, I would review the city’s current zoning laws and support strategic changes for residential and commercial areas to meet the land use needs of a growing urban community.
What are the critical differences between you and other candidates for this position?
As a native, I have witnessed both the growth and the struggles of the city. I personally know as a child and as an adult a thriving Olde Towne neighborhood and vibrant Lakeforest shopping center and will work to bring these businesses and communities into the innovative and urban fold of Gaithersburg. Additionally, I work and understand local government, the complexity of government tax structures, and the financial challenges of meeting public needs and economic growth.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or leader failed the community (or district or constituency)
I am not a challenger to any current job holder
How do you think the local authorities reacted to the coronavirus? What if something would you have done differently?
As the IT lead for the implementation of the Montgomery County COVID-19 testing solution and vaccine registration site, I had an overview of the work and decisions related to COVID-19 that took place across the county. No one with any experience in driving residents safely during a pandemic, so I take my hat off to the performance of local authorities. It wasn’t all done perfectly, and some things weren’t done right, but the safety of residents has always been the primary focus, including when Gaithersburg was identified as a COVID-19 hotspot and targeted interventions were carried out. been applied.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Job Skills Training – As Gaithersburg strives to become a national center for biotechnology and bioscience, it is important to me that these companies use the talent of Gaithersburg residents to develop their workforce. This gives city council the opportunity to develop and / or support public-private partnerships, city-private sector collaboration, educate Gaithersburg residents, include high school and college graduates and those who are looking for a career change, to become a valuable talent resource for these companies, which I salute for choosing Gaithersburg as their business house
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as proof that you can handle this job?
I am an IT professional and a self-proclaimed data addict. Government has always been a big data collector, but hasn’t always had the tools or the technology to use that data effectively and meaningfully. I understand these capabilities. For example, a big topic of conversation in the city is about green spaces and parks and the challenges of where to build more or remove space to make way for schools or businesses. As cities become smarter, sensors are used to detect human traffic in parks or other green spaces to determine usage, empirically validating future needs. I understand these cutting-edge technologies and how to partner with other public or private sectors to move our city forward in this way.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Make your own race.
What would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I come from a family of civil servants and civil servants, union representatives, pastors, teachers and law enforcement, to name a few. As far as I can remember, my siblings and I have been encouraged to serve others. I always took a behind-the-scenes approach until 2018, when I worked on the front of a local campaign as the African-American campaign liaison and watched the candidate work tirelessly simply because ‘he wanted to make the community better for everyone. and the seat he was seeking would give him the opportunity to do so. I am running for Gaithersburg City Council because it will place me in a position of great capacity to serve and work together, in a transparent manner, with the citizens of Gaithersburg to build on the strengths of our city. Gaithersburg has been my home for many years. I want to continue to make it a place of innovation and community