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Press Releases - County Council

Council appoints members to the Commission on Redistricting to establish boundaries of Council districts

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Rockville, Md., Jan. 26, 2021—Today, the Council approved appointments for 11 members of the County’s Commission on Redistricting. In the 2020 general election, the Montgomery County Charter was amended by the voters to require the County to be divided into seven Council districts for the purpose of electing seven district and four at-large members of the Council.

“After an extensive interview process and great consideration, the Council today appointed 11 members to the Commission on Redistricting,” Council President Tom Hucker said. “This comes following the passage of Question C, which will expand the Council into seven districts with four at-large members, increasing the Council body to 11 members. This decision by voters reflects our growing population in Montgomery County and the need for increased representation.”

The Charter requires that the Council appoint a Commission on Redistricting composed of 11 registered voters who reside in the County. The Commission must include at least one, but no more than four, members of each political party, which polled at least 15 percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for the Council in the last preceding regular election. As a result of the 2018 General Election, there are two parties recognized by the State of Maryland: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. At least one member of the Commission must reside in each Council district. The commission shall, at its first meeting, select one of its members to serve as its chair. No person who holds any elected office shall be eligible for appointment to the Commission.

The Commission is required to present a plan of Council districts by November 15, 2021, together with a report explaining the plan to the Council. However, the Council will work with the Commission to expedite the completion of its work to allow for early notice of the new districts for potential candidates.

Within 30 days after receiving the plan, the Council will hold a public hearing on the report plan. If within 90 days after presentation of the Commission’s plan no other law reestablishing the boundaries of the Council districts has been enacted, then the plan, as submitted, becomes law.

The Council selected the following community members to serve on the Commission on Redistricting: Imad Aldean Ahmad, Laura Ard, Mariana Cordier, Keshia Desir, Arthur Edmunds, Valerie Ervin, Bruce Goldensohn, Jason Makstein, Nilmini Rubin, Samuel Statland and David Stein.

The Council selected Arthur Edmunds to serve as interim chair and Mariana Cordier to serve as interim vice chair of the commission until the group votes to select a permanent chair and vice chair.

Below is information about the members of the commission selected by the Council.

Imad Aldean Ahmad is president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute and president and chief scientist of Imad-ad-Dean, Inc. Dr. Ahmad is a member of the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies, the Association of Muslim Chaplains, the History of Science Society, International Astronomical Union and the American Astronomical Society. Dr. Ahmad received an A.B. in astronomy from Harvard University and a Ph.D in astrophysics from the University of Arizona. Dr. Ahmad is a registered Libertarian and resides in Bethesda in District 1.

Laura Ard is retired and is active in the Lobby Corps Committee with the League of Woman Voters. Ms. Ard also worked 20 years for the World Bank as a lead financial sector specialist. Ms. Ard received a B.A. in Business from Baylor University. Ms. Ard is a registered Independent and resides in Bethesda in District 1.

Mariana Cordier is an attorney and founding member of Cordier Law Office, LLC., in Rockville and has over 19 years of experience litigating civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. She is a member of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. Ms. Cordier also served on the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs from 2004 to 2012 and in the Montgomery County Latin American Advisory Group from 2008 to 2013. Ms. Cordier received a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from American University. Ms. Cordier is registered Unaffiliated and resides in Potomac in District 3.

Keshia Desir is the census and mass incarceration project manager for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, Common Cause and is a member of its Redistricting and Representation Team. Ms. Desir received a B.A. in Psychology from Florida Gulf Coast University and a M.A. in Political Science from American University. She is unaffiliated with a political party and resides in Wheaton in District 4.

Arthur Edmunds was in the Global Business Services group of the IBM Corporation in Bethesda where his clients included the Internal Revenue Service, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other federal agencies. He is the outgoing chair of the Montgomery County Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board (UCAB) and a member of the Maryland County Democratic Central Committee. Mr. Edmunds received his B.S. from Benedict College and an MBA from Atlanta University. He is registered as a Democrat and resides in Laytonsville in District 2.

Valerie Ervin is a special assistant at Prince George's County Public Schools. She is a former Montgomery County Councilmember who served for seven years. She was chair of the Education Committee and served as president of the Council in 2011, which is the last time a Commission on Redistricting met. Ms. Ervin received a Master of Public Administration in public policy and administration from the University of Baltimore and a B.A. in Labor Studies from the National Labor College. Ms. Ervin is a registered Democrat and resides in Silver Spring in District 5.

Bruce Goldensohn is a member of the Montgomery County Board of Appeals and serves as commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Mr. Goldensohn served as a member of the planning commission, a councilmember and mayor for the City of Gaithersburg. He received a B.A. in Government and Politics from Queens College. Mr. Goldensohn is a registered Republican and resides in Gaithersburg in District 3.

Jason Makstein is a software engineer for Leidos focusing on air traffic control software for the Federal Aviation Administration. Mr. Makstein received a B.S. in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. Makstein is a registered Independent and resides in North Potomac in District 2.

Nilmini Rubin is the co-founder and managing director of Fix the System, a D.C.-based coalition of organizations advocating for election integrity, campaign finance reform and voting rights. Previously, Rubin was the executive vice president at Tetra Tech in Arlington, Va. leading the business unit providing consulting services for energy project design, finance and implementation services for global clients. Rubin received a B.A. in Economics and Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business. Rubin is a registered Republican and resides in Chevy Chase in District 1.

Samuel Statland was the president and co-founder of Silver Spring-based Statland & Katz, Ltd., a financial services company specializing in advising nonprofit and healthcare organizations. He is a member of the Montgomery County Public Election Finance Committee and a board member of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Statland received his B.A. in Political Science from American University. He is a registered Democrat and resides in Kensington in District 1.

David Stein is a math teacher in the Math, Science and Computer Science Program at Montgomery Blair High School. He is the head Montgomery County Education Association building representative at Blair High School and the elected faculty representative for the Instructional Leadership Team. Mr. Stein received his Masters of Education from the University of Maryland and his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He is a registered Democrat and resides in Silver Spring in District 5. 

The Council staff report and appointment resolution can be found here.

 

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Release ID: 21-026
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931