Campaign: Greenbelt City Council
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Family: Married, 10-year-old son
Education: I graduated second in my class from Albert Einstein High School, received a B.M. in violin performance with a minor in math from James Madison University. I received a scholarship for my M.M. in violin from the University of Notre Dame.
Professional experience: All of my training is in classical violin music performance and teaching. Before becoming a stay-at-home mother and political activist, I was performing on the side while teaching students of all ages.
Community experience: Volunteered with groups such as the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, 1Sky, 350.org, and the Prince George’s chapter of the Sierra Club, where currently serving as secretary for the executive committee. Have helped organize events, lobbying and petition drives. Have leadership training with Progressive Majority and Wellstone Action, and also attended many conferences hosted by progressive and environmental groups such. Have been actively involved with the Greenbelt Climate Action Network, helping to organize the a panel for city candidates on issues concerning the environment and justice during the last election. Active member of the Greenbelt Elementary School PTA, chair/co-chair of the Labor Day book sale for the last three years, and volunteer throughout the year in the school library. Volunteering for the Greenbelt Farmer’s market, started a project called Treadle Tree, to make reusable bags from old T-shirts to help community reduce use of plastic bags.
Key issues: Interested in many progressive and environmental issues, but for Greenbelt focusing on sustainability and the environment while supporting the needs of young families.
Campaign website: Facebook, Susan Stewart for Greenbelt City Council
Campaign email: SusanStewart4CityCouncil@gmail.com
Campaign phone number: None
What are your top three priorities if elected?
1. Ensure our community gardens have the same level of respect as our forest preserve. They are important historical property in this community, and a source of recreation and joy for many of its residents. Yet, they have been neglected by the city for many years. Instead it should be a leading example of community gardens in the area. The city must recognize it has an obligation to its proper upkeep. This must be done in harmony with efforts of committed stewardship of the forest and preservation of the nearby historical cemetery site.
2. Start the development of a Zero ... [exceeds word limit].
Why did you decide to run for office?
Last election, I helped to organize a panel for City Council candidates, where our local progressive and environmental organizations could ask them questions concerning their issues. This year, instead of waiting to hear from the candidates what I wanted them to say, I thought I could just say them myself. I was strongly motivated by some recent decisions by council that I considered to be in error, as well as a poor attitude from members of council towards my neighbors who were simply trying to present an important issue that many of my neighbors wanted to be raised. It is ... [exceeds word limit].
How would you rate the council’s performance over the last term: excellent, good, fair or poor? Why?
Fair. They do some things quite well and some things very poorly. Sometimes they care deeply about the issues I and my neighbors care about, but they can seem passive-aggressive about addressing them. I feel the way council interacts between members and towards my neighbors in meetings and work sessions is turning a lot of people off and hampering communication with the community.