Hiruy Hadgu is a community activist focused on improving laws that affect land-use and zoning. As a founding member of the Progressive Democrats of Howard County, he works to bring attention to how such laws affect public infrastructure such as schools, roads, public transit, the environment, and the county's budget. The equitable allocation of resources relies on wealthy developer corporations paying their fair share.
Jake graduated Magna Cum Laude from Salisbury University in May 2020 majoring in Political Science and minoring in Economics. During his time in college, Jake became involved in progressive politics, organized around issues such as Medicare for All, Fight for $15, paid sick leave, and getting corporate money out of politics. He is a former Vice Chair of the Wicomico County Democratic Central Committee, where he was the youngest elected Central Committee member in the state. He recently served as President of the Columbia Democratic Club and co-President of the Salisbury University College Democrats.
The Primary Election is over and results are in the process of getting certified. This was a contentious election and a lot is at stake. In this episode, Jake and Hiruy discuss the election results with a focus on District 9A for the General Assembly, Districts 1 and 4 for the County Council and the Democratic Central Committee.
The Democratic Central Committee elections will be held on July 19. Jake and Hiruy interviewed Karin Emery, candidate for Democratic Central Committee on the HoCo4Us slate. A lifelong Democrat, Karin is committed to voter education and getting money out of politics. She grew up in Howard County, having moved to Columbia at the age of 5 and graduating from Oakland Mills High School in 1983. She grew up with the inclusionary ideals espoused and practiced by Jim Rouse when building Columbia as well as a fundamental belief in fairness and human rights. She believes in strong environmental stewardship, public education, and a living wage. From a young age she has always been involved in the community, from volunteering as a recreational soccer coach for SAC for many years to fostering for animal rescue. Her first political experience was volunteering for Barbara Mikulsi’s successful Senate run in 1986. More recently she knocked on doors for Dan Medinger’s campaign for state Delegate in 2018 and then became secretary of the Ellicott City and Western Howard County Democratic Club where she served for 2 terms. She supported Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Presidential Primary. In 2021 she became a founding member of the newest democratic club, Progressive Democrats of Howard County and is the current secretary. Through the club she works to educate voters on issues affecting their daily lives such as land use and its impacts on the environment and our public schools and is working towards publicly financed campaigns where elected officials are more accountable to their voters. She is also an active member with Our Revolution Howard County.
Check out the Progressive Democrats of Howard County’s recent Panel Discussion on “The Deafening Silence on Systemic Racism in HoCo”, moderated by Community Activist and PDHC Treasurer Hiruy Hadgu. In the past couple weeks/months, we’ve seen the local political establishment do what they’ve been doing for years: feign concern over racial injustices while doing nothing to actually address them, all for the cynical end of getting themselves elected on a cloaked corporate agenda, which actually would and does do great harm to black and brown communities. Given this context, the Progressive Democrats of Howard County decided to give spotlight to a discussion on some of Howard County’s most pressing racial issues that continue to go unaddressed by so-called community leaders and elected officials. Topics we discussed included Affordable Housing and Public Transportation, Racial Inequities in Education Opportunities and Outcomes and Redistricting, and the Neglect of the Latino Community in Howard County. Panelists were affordable housing advocate Taneeka Richardson, community activist Dr. Rick Kohn, and local Latina leader Liset Rajaratnam. To become a dues-paying member of the Progressive Democrats of Howard County, subscribe to our email list, follow us on social media, etc., check out our LinkTree for all of that and more here: linktr.ee/hocoprogressives