This is who I am - Graciela Rivera-Oven

The words Family, Community and Respect have been my guiding principles as a life-long resident of Montgomery county and with your help and support they will be the guiding progressive democratic principles of my work as your At-Large Councilmember.

Family

I learned the meaning of Family from my single-mother, Graciela, who came here as an immigrant from Bolivia. She showed me how hard-work and love can overcome most obstacles.

As a mother and wife , My husband Mark and I,  have instilled that sense of Family into our three children who we are very proud of: Our daughter Amalia is on her way to pre-med, my oldest son Marko is a volunteer first-responder and my youngest son Christian is a rising high school junior and a handful.

I understand first-hand the challenges multi-generational families face to remain strong and achieve all Montgomery county offers. I have seen these challenges play out in the lives of countless families in our county too. I have devoted almost thirty years as an unpaid community activist and volunteer to be a voice for Montgomery county families.

In 1990, as a twenty year-old student, I fought for the rights of two brothers injured and killed by a speeding police vehicle through no fault of their own. My advocacy spearheaded changes in state law to compensate people hurt by government vehicles. Three decades later, I continue to fight, including getting legal and medical assistance to victims of the deadly Flower Branch Apartment explosion.  I did not need titles or positions to do this. I just needed the desire and will to do the right thing. I will be a tireless champion for families as your progressive democratic At-Large Councilmember.

Community

I feel exceptionally blessed to have grown up in Montgomery County and there is no place that better exemplifies the real meaning of Community.

We represent the very best of America in terms of achievement and diversity. I learned this through my membership in state, county and city committees dealing with juvenile justice, civil rights, child welfare and diversity.

My participation in the League of Women Voters, the United Way, the PTA, Interfaith Works and the Montgomery County Board of Elections helped me to really understand the strengths and challenges facing our county. These challenges include gaps in educational achievement and income, growing our revenue base in an equitable manner and upgrading an overburdened transportation infrastructure so it will work for all residents.

These challenges demand thoughtful analysis before real solutions can be put forward. However, there are clear principles I firmly believe in to achieve those solutions: Equity, financial responsibility and results that will benefit all our community, not just some. Along those lines, I support universal pre-k education as a fundamental right that will give children throughout our community the best chance at educational success. I also support free tuition for Montgomery College for our high school graduates because an educated population ensures a vital economy and a strong democracy for our Community. I support more steps to ensure school safety including additional resources for mental health programs for youth and families. Making our communities stronger is my promise to you as a progressive democratic At-Large Councilmember.

Respect

Respect is a value that we need to preserve in Montgomery county now more than ever. Over the past thirty years, as a student, a parent and advocate, I have met Montgomery county residents who trace their roots to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Fellow residents who worship in churches, mosques, synagogues, halls and temples or not at all.  Neighbors with accents as colorful as rainbows and who feel free to choose who to love and to express it with pride. All of us deserve a voice in our county. That is Respect.

Respect means creating conditions so my daughter, is paid the same as my sons, for equal work. Respect means the needs of Montgomery county residents will be valued no matter their tax bracket, creed, color, age or gender-identity. Whether they are economically disadvantaged or whether they are upper middle class. Ultimately, Respect means that even in disagreement, we will work together to find solutions to challenges and to continue to excel as a county. Respect is my promise to each and every one of you as a progressive democratic Councilmember.

This is who I am - Graciela Rivera-Oven

The words Family, Community and Respect have been my guiding principles as a life-long resident of Montgomery county and with your help and support they will be the guiding progressive democratic principles of my work as your At-Large Councilmember.

Family

I learned the meaning of Family from my single-mother, Graciela, who came here as an immigrant from Bolivia. She showed me how hard-work and love can overcome most obstacles.

As a mother and wife , My husband Mark and I,  have instilled that sense of Family into our three children who we are very proud of: Our daughter Amalia is on her way to pre-med, my oldest son Marko is a volunteer first-responder and my youngest son Christian is a rising high school junior and a handful.

I understand first-hand the challenges multi-generational families face to remain strong and achieve all Montgomery county offers. I have seen these challenges play out in the lives of countless families in our county too. I have devoted almost thirty years as an unpaid community activist and volunteer to be a voice for Montgomery county families.

In 1990, as a twenty year-old student, I fought for the rights of two brothers injured and killed by a speeding police vehicle through no fault of their own. My advocacy spearheaded changes in state law to compensate people hurt by government vehicles. Three decades later, I continue to fight, including getting legal and medical assistance to victims of the deadly Flower Branch Apartment explosion.  I did not need titles or positions to do this. I just needed the desire and will to do the right thing. I will be a tireless champion for families as your progressive democratic At-Large Councilmember.

Community

I feel exceptionally blessed to have grown up in Montgomery County and there is no place that better exemplifies the real meaning of Community.

We represent the very best of America in terms of achievement and diversity. I learned this through my membership in state, county and city committees dealing with juvenile justice, civil rights, child welfare and diversity.

My participation in the League of Women Voters, the United Way, the PTA, Interfaith Works and the Montgomery County Board of Elections helped me to really understand the strengths and challenges facing our county. These challenges include gaps in educational achievement and income, growing our revenue base in an equitable manner and upgrading an overburdened transportation infrastructure so it will work for all residents.

These challenges demand thoughtful analysis before real solutions can be put forward. However, there are clear principles I firmly believe in to achieve those solutions: Equity, financial responsibility and results that will benefit all our community, not just some. Along those lines, I support universal pre-k education as a fundamental right that will give children throughout our community the best chance at educational success. I also support free tuition for Montgomery College for our high school graduates because an educated population ensures a vital economy and a strong democracy for our Community. I support more steps to ensure school safety including additional resources for mental health programs for youth and families. Making our communities stronger is my promise to you as a progressive democratic At-Large Councilmember.

Respect

Respect is a value that we need to preserve in Montgomery county now more than ever. Over the past thirty years, as a student, a parent and advocate, I have met Montgomery county residents who trace their roots to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Fellow residents who worship in churches, mosques, synagogues, halls and temples or not at all.  Neighbors with accents as colorful as rainbows and who feel free to choose who to love and to express it with pride. All of us deserve a voice in our county. That is Respect.

Respect means creating conditions so my daughter, is paid the same as my sons, for equal work. Respect means the needs of Montgomery county residents will be valued no matter their tax bracket, creed, color, age or gender-identity. Whether they are economically disadvantaged or whether they are upper middle class. Ultimately, Respect means that even in disagreement, we will work together to find solutions to challenges and to continue to excel as a county. Respect is my promise to each and every one of you as a progressive democratic Councilmember.