Age: 39

Political party or slate, if any: Team Rockville

Current occupation and employer (if retired, list your last job): Emergency department pediatrician, Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring

Previous work experience (up to two previous jobs before current or last one): Emergency department pediatrician, Carroll Hospital; general pediatrician, United States Navy, Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as other unsuccessful campaigns for office): None. This is my first run for public office.

Campaign contact information (website, email, Facebook, Twitter, other):

1. Why are you the most qualified to hold this position?

As a member of the most populous age demographic in Rockville, having a child that will attend Montgomery County Public Schools, being a military veteran and being an active user of our city’s parks/trails, I will bring a unique and future-focused perspective to the City Council.

Moreover, my professional and civic history of providing pro bono health care and advocating for marginalized individuals who are not able to advocate for themselves will ensure that historically underrepresented views are heard and addressed by the council.

2. What are the top two issues in this campaign? What specific ideas do you have to address them?

Improving the educational experience for our children from early childhood through college/career training: I will advocate tirelessly and work collaboratively with the County Council and school board to ensure children have learning environments that are conducive to them realizing their full academic potential. We will also explore ways that the city can increase the number and quality of early childhood educational programs (home- or center-based) to allow parents the flexibility to return to work, if so desired. These programs can be located in areas that make it convenient for people to get to them to and from their places of employment (Rockville Town Square, near transit hubs, etc.).

Increasing housing affordability: I will work to close the loophole that allows developers to pay a fee in lieu of creating the moderately priced development units dictated by law. I also want to explore housing initiatives that have potential to benefit city/county employees (fire/rescue, police, teachers, civil servants, etc.) – individuals who make our city run – so that they can afford to live closer to their places of employment.

3. What has been your biggest accomplishment in office? If you have not held office, what is your biggest accomplishment that has prepared you to hold office?

People who hold public office should view themselves as public servants. Throughout my career, I have served segments of our population that are in great need and reside in the inner city, rural towns, Native American reservations, developing countries and military bases.

My most significant professional contribution thus far has been serving in the United States Navy as a pediatrician focused on improving the mental and physical health of military children. Serving others is the underlying principle guiding my professional and civic life and is the reason I am running to serve as a Rockville City councilmember.

4. Have the current mayor and/or council taken any actions with which you disagreed? If so, what is the most significant one and what would you have done instead? 

I support most any development that helps us reduce our carbon footprint. The Twinbrook Quarter is an example of transit-oriented development — placing housing and retail close to mass transit. While the number of parking spaces was reduced, the Mayor and Council did not vote to have protected bike lanes.

Another shortcoming was the lack of protected pedestrian crossings spanning major thoroughfares (e.g. Md. 355).

Finally, the County Council and school board’s input should have been solicited to help us gauge the likelihood of school expansion given the potential increase in students that will attend the already overcrowded schools.

5. What went wrong with RedGate Golf Course? How should the property be used next?

RedGate’s failure is a result of suboptimal management, a lack of county funding and the changing nature of people’s preferences about where to play. Some city facilities operate at cost and/or generate a profit (e.g., the Swim Center). Others require investment and don’t generate a profit, but promote the public good (e.g., playgrounds).

While I support RedGate being used as a public good (public park, arts venue, etc.) and possibly a place for affordable senior or veteran housing, the local community must be involved in the decision-making process from the start.

6. How would you describe the city’s progress in revitalizing Rockville Town Center? Would you do anything else or instead?

Some of the Urban Land Institute report recommendations are feasible. I agree that more efforts should be made to help people outside of the borders of Rockville Town Center realize it is there. Implementing traffic-calming measures to improve walkability and providing shuttle or reduced/free bus fare access to Town Center from Montgomery College are great ideas.

In addition to medical/dental offices, the proximity of Town Center to public transit lends itself to having a high-quality childcare facility nearby that could help working families — particularly those who commute to work via Metro.