Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Marylander of the Year Nominations from CASA de Maryland, Patch.com and Delegate Eric Luedtke

UPDATE: Kim Propeack of CASA nominates the DOJ's Tom Perez below. Her shout-out to Perez notes his investigation of controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio below. You can read more about Sheriff Joe in the latest Tea Party newsletter. He's launching an independent investigation into Obama's birth certificate! 

This is the 2nd installation of our inaugural Marylander of the Year project. In the spirit of TIME Magazine's annual "Person of the Year" article, we are asking various Marylanders for their thoughts on who has been most influential or impactful in the amazing Free State/Old Line State. Contact Maryland Juice to share your own thoughts (either anonymously or publicly). Below, we print three more nominations. They come from Maryland legislator Eric Luedkte, Casa de Maryland's political director Kim Propeack and Doug Tallman, Patch.com's regional editor for Maryland & Virginia:

  • Eric Luedtke nominates Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker: "Despite a wave of scandals in Prince George's County, he has begun to lead the county in a new direction. He has refused to become distracted by those scandals, and has had a laser-like focus on economic development in a county that needs it. Also, Vinnie Demarco, for masterminding the campaign that passed an alcohol tax increase during a tough economy, thereby helping to provide thousands of Marylanders in need with services." 

  • Kim Propeack nominates DOJ Civil Rights Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez: "Yesterday, he announced the results of a groundbreaking investigation of madman sheriff Joe Arpaio. Now, we just need to bring this Takoma Park resident home to our nearby Frederick County where Arpaio mini-me Sheriff Jenkins’ practices have resulted in 50% of the County’s Latino population in two years fleeing in disgust. It is a privilege to have the nation’s top civil rights cop call Maryland his home!"

  • Doug Tallman nominates Gary Williams & Bryan Voltaggio: "Mr. Ali, Mr. Ficker and Ms. Corcoran all offered great nominees. I know Tom Perez is a hard-working public servant and citizen advocates are changing the political landscape. Neil Parrott's cyber-advocacy will have implications well beyond his efforts to repeal the DREAM Act; he's provided a road map for the state's many independents to get on Maryland ballots."  Editor's Note: In another edition of Marylander of the Year, Saqib Ali, Robin Ficker and Ann Corcoran nominated 1) Tom Perez, 2) "The Citizen Activist," and 3) Neil Parrott, respectively.

    "But there are two others I feel compelled to nominate: Gary Williams and Bryan Voltaggio. Gary Williams took over a troubled University of Maryland basketball program eventually leading the team to the national championship. You don't need to be a Terp fan to appreciate his accomplishments. Bryan Voltaggio's epicurean success has trained a spotlight on Frederick, transforming it from a best-kept secret to an outright tourist destination for area foodies. Volt is at the forefront, but Isabella's, Acacia and Nido's (to name just three) are also top shelf restaurants. BTW, if you're impressed by gourmet burgers, try Frederick's Freez-King — you'll never waste a dime at Shake Shack again.

Editor's Notes:

Eric Luedtke is a freshman Democratic lawmaker. He represents District 14 in the Maryland House of Delegates, which contains parts of Northeastern Montgomery County. Mr. Luedtke formerly wrote for the Free State Politics blog and works as a teacher in MoCo. His choice of Rushern Baker is timely, given recent news that Prince George's County Executive may score a major coup in poaching the FBI headquarters from D.C. Mr. Luedtke's second pick, Vinnie Demarco, is President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative. Johns Hopkins magazine wrote a lengthy article about him, calling him a "Grassroots Guru."

Kim Propeack is political director for the immigrant advocacy organization CASA de Maryland. CASA has engaged in high-profiile policy advocacy in recent years, making the organization the central focus of Tea Party activism in Maryland. Along with former Delegate Saqib Ali, Ms. Propeack chose former Montgomery Councilmember Tom Perez. In his new role at the DOJ, he appears to be catching the eye of activists who are pushing back against xenophobia and nativism.

Maryland Juice @ Volt
Doug Tallman is the Regional Editor for Patch.com. He covers Virginia and Maryland for the Patch news and blogging platform.  His recognition of Gary Williams caps off the coach's retirement from UMD's basketball team this year. His second nomination for Bryan Voltaggio is equally timely. A few years ago, Voltaggio was a finalist on the Top Chef television series, and his restaurant Volt, has definitely helped bring some cool factor to Frederick. Voltaggio's rise also marks a renewed interest in Frederick politically -- the region shows no signs of easing up as a political battleground in Maryland. Also, Mr. Tallman is right about foodie tourists heading to Frederick. Check out this incriminating photo of Maryland Juice at Volt (see photo to right).

P.S. All nominations are submitted by these folks in their individual capacities. Nominations are not intended to represent the views or endorsement of any organizations.  

Stay tuned for more Marylander of the Year nominations!

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