One of MCR’s primary goals is to address issues of widespread importance to the entire county. On Wednesday, March 6, MCR’s Special Issues Department held a two hour forum to discuss the details pertaining to the main challenges our county faces.
County Councilmembers Will Jawando and Hans Riemer joined the students present at the forum. Both explained their experience with politics and journeys in becoming Councilmembers. Jawando shared an emotional experience of having a friend die to gun violence while a student in Montgomery County, which he said impacted his choice in getting involved in politics. This galvanized him to introduce a bill to innovate the process of investigating police brutality. Riemer unveiled plans to open a new high school in Silver Spring, which would connect students to internship opportunities.
Proceeding the discussion with the Councilmembers, the students split up into six issues for roundtable discussions, lasting about 8 minutes each. The topics included the opportunity gap, school safety, environmental affairs, linkages to learning, mental health, and ESOL/special needs.
Students shared personal experiences in their own schools regarding the issues. Many noted flaws in the current protocol, and proposed alternatives that would lessen or diminish the current problems. The discussions were led by Special Issues Deputies on the MCR Executive Board, each of whom is a primary advocate for a specific issue.
“Participants really appreciated the ability to have a relaxed and comfortable platform to speak out and ask questions about issues that matter to them,” said Mental Health Advocacy Deputy Jaiden Vikram. “Discussing these matters is the first step towards a solution.”
To conclude the event, each student shared something new they learned during the forums. This gave students the opportunity to debrief the different discussions and summarize the important talking points.
To learn more about MCR and get involved, come out to the next monthly Executive Board meeting on Wednesday, April 3, from 6-8 pm at the Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville, Maryland.