This is the 4th 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 Rep. Steny Hoyer's departing Chief of Staff Terry Lierman, Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, and Prince George's County Council Vice Chair Eric Olson.
- Valerie Ervin nominates Maryland's servicemembers: "The Marylander's of the year are the returning military women and men who have served our country in conflicts around the world. More than 22,000 Marylander's have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and many thousands more will be returning home. As they return home let us pledge our continued support. Many will need assistance when they come home. Some will reunite with their families and friends. Others will need time to heal from injuries that were inflicted during their service, and still others will be looking for work. Welcome home soldiers. Thank you for your service."
- Eric Olson nominates Maryland's teachers: "Maryland schools have been ranked first in the nation for three years running. Our teachers deserve much of the credit. They work hard to lift our students, they dig into their own pockets to help their students, and often do not receive the credit they are due. They are the unsung heros who keep our state strong."
- Terry Lierman nominates Rep. Steny Hoyer: "This year, my good friend Steny Hoyer marked his 30th year serving the people of Maryland in Congress tirelessly, selflessly and with a great vision of good will and bridge building to all people and parties. Having worked closely with elected officials throughout the nation during my entire career - whether involved in politics and 'people' programs, from medical research to education to consumer programs, and now watching from inside Steny Hoyer's office as Chief of Staff - I have never known another with his consistent passion, ethics or drive to do good and serve his constituents and the people of this country as he does and has. I've watched his enthusiasm and passion to motivate not only those in the midst of their careers, like myself, but more importantly those at their beginning, who with his guidance have dedicated themselves to public service. It has been the honor of my life to work under this extraordinary Marylander's leadership, and it is with great personal privilege that I am able to nominate Steny Hoyer for the 'Marylander of the year' award.
Valerie Ervin is the outgoing President of the Montgomery County Council and is in her second term representing District 5 on the body. She previously served on the Board of Education and was named one of Washingtonian Magazine's "Most Powerful Women" this year. Her nomination of Maryland's servicemembers reminds us that this year we finally witnessed the end of America's eight and a half years of war in Iraq -- has it really been that long?
Eric Olson represents District 3 on the Prince George's County Council. He also serves as the body's Vice Chair and previously served on the College Park City Council. His highlighting of the work of Maryland teachers seems logical, given the punching-bag role school system employees often undergo during tense budget discussions. Hopefully a better budget forecast will emerge in the future to take some pressure off of the system. But most observers don't think next year is going to be so rosy....
Terry Lierman is the departing Chief of Staff to Rep. Hoyer and previously served as Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. In 2000, he was also the Democratic nominee to take on GOP Rep. Connie Morella in the 8th Congressional District. In nominating his former boss, Mr. Lierman noted that Rep. Steny Hoyer celebrated his 30th year as a member of Congress in 2011. That fact suddenly puts the length of the 8.5 year Iraq War into some perspective.