The People's Voice, LLC (TPV) is a state civic and political organization. We have chapters in Howard County and Montgomery County. Our Board disseminates information to our members and civic leaders, and to HOA's regarding County Agency and County Board activities. We take positions on local and State legislation. We sponsor The Ethics Ballot - a non-partisan endorsement of candidates for public office.
Basis of Evaluation
Public Information: The TPV Board analyzes public information, including candidates' campaign finance reports, voting records, and/or publicized positions to assess the candidate's prioritization of community interests over special interests. We place emphasis on issues that affect quality of life for all residents. We evaluate a candidate's qualifications by reviewing their education, experience, volunteer activity, an understanding of the varied issues pertaining to the office sought, and the ability to collaborate productively.
Questionnaires: The TPV Board invites candidates to complete and submit detailed questionnaires that help us evaluate their stand on issues and as well as their campaign viability. We evaluate the responses, rank candidates, and make our choices. We will not endorse a candidate who does not return our questionnaire, or requests for interview. We make questionnaires for all candidates, endorsed or not, available on this site.
Community Service: The consistent, long-term civic work of the TPV Board members puts us in contact with many elected officials and candidates. The TPV Board places an emphasis on demonstrated excellence in community service.
The TPV Board values the ability for candidates to collaborate effectively and diplomatically. We place a high value on the ability to work productively with all constituents and members of all parties and reasonable diversities of thought, and respect for all. We may not always agree with every position our endorsed candidates have taken, but we place a high value on historic civic work, and the ability to weigh community interests and prioritize them over special interests, whether that be evidenced by public positions taken via doing our Questionnaire, or voting histories, where available, with special attention to having kept promises or not. In addition, the TPV Board focuses on the following "election race specific" criteria.
Valuing input from the community is desired. Putting varied interests at the table to represent diverse needs is important. Honest communication of policies, procedures and plans with constituents is necessary. The ability to compromise effectively to obtain productive collaboration is crucial. The ability to point to long-term community activism and objectivity in land use decisions is critical.
Candidates who display an understanding of the impacts of growth on transportation, congestion, school capacities, affordable housing, the environment, public safety, aging population needs, and overall quality of life, are preferred. Those who have a background or experience, in the fields of budgeting, engineering, legislative civic work, education, and zoning are preferred. Those who have taken a position in these areas of the Council's work are given strong positive emphasis. A lack of the appearance of conflicts of interest with developers is preferred given the degree of land use decisions this position entails. If one does not have a voting record, then strong positions publicized on these issues are needed. Responsiveness and accessibility are important.
A track record of working for constituents and/or a platform that focuses on community input is important. Candidates need to show a sound knowledge of a breadth of constituent concerns and outreach to obtain understanding of the effects of proposed legislation. The ability to collaborate effectively, not only for their party’s goals, but also in a nonpartisan manner, to obtain progress for statewide needs affecting multiple interests is desired. Collaborative skill is something we have to see in order to feel comfortable that our legislators will be productive.
Board of Education
Candidates are reviewed regarding their understanding of the HCPSS budget, policies, programs, and procedures. A candidate’s historic involvement in these areas, advocating in the public eye on these issues, for students, parents and teachers, in an effective manner, is highly desired. Candidates who have expressed an understanding of the supervisory role of the Board of Education over the school system, especially as it relates to overseeing the Superintendent, the budget and student outcomes, is preferred. The ability to effectively collaborate with other Board members, the public and government officials is extremely important.