Duchy Trachtenberg for County Council, District 1

Who am I?

The Honorable Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large) served on the Montgomery County Council from 2006 to 2010. She was Chair of the Fiscal Policy Committee, responsible for county economic and fiscal policy. Councilmember Trachtenberg also served on the Health and Human Services Committee.

As the Fiscal Chair, Councilmember Trachtenberg’s primary mission was the stewardship of the County’s fiscal health. She guided the annual budget process of funding over $4 billion to ensure the protection of the County’s long-term stability while funding essential priorities and protecting the vulnerable.

Upon joining the County Council, Councilmember Trachtenberg became the leading force in creating the Family Justice Center to bring coordinated and effective government services to domestic violence victims. The Family Justice Center is a one-stop-shop approach to responding to domestic violence. The center opened in the summer of 2009 and in its first five years has served over 6000 individual families from 100 countries.

As a public health professional, Councilmember Trachtenberg had a special interest in mental health and addiction treatment services and public health policy. Her landmark regulation prohibiting the use of artificial trans fats in Montgomery County restaurants was the first such action in the United States adopted on a county level. She also passed a health board regulation requiring adequate disclosure at crisis pregnancy centers, again the first such action on a county level.

Ms. Trachtenberg has been an effective grassroots activist for over twenty-five years on women’s equality, mental health concerns and public health issues. Her dynamic leadership style reflects her genuine commitment to full equality for all women and she sat for several terms on the Board of Directors of NOW as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and for six years as a Progressive Maryland board member.

Ms. Trachtenberg holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and is a past Governing Councilor and Chair of the Alternative Medicine Section within the American Public Health Association (APHA).

The Honorable Duchy Trachtenberg has received numerous honors and distinctions including the Spirit Award for Humanitarian Advocate from the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF), the “Heroes” Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), the “Ally for Equality” Award from Equality Maryland and recognitions from Maryland NARAL and APHA. She was named as a 2010 Women’s Health Hero by Our Bodies Ourselves. Ms. Trachtenberg has also completed the 2009 Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.

Ms. Trachtenberg currently sits on the boards of the National Research Center for Women and Families, Cornerstone Montgomery and the Montgomery County Family Justice Center Foundation.

She lives with her husband, Dr. Alan Trachtenberg, a public health physician and Research Director for the Indian Health Service, in North Bethesda, Maryland. Ms. Trachtenberg’s son, Walter, who is recovering from schizophrenia lives in Maryland. Her daughter, Scarlett is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and a graduate student currently at The Harris School, the University of Chicago.

Why am I running?

It will be a distinct honor to serve a community that has been my home for almost 25 years. It’s where my family and I have thrived. District 1 is a community where I’ve worked as an activist, a professional and as a Councilmember, At-Large.

Over the years, the people I have met in District 1 believe deeply in Montgomery County’s promise but they also understand real leadership is urgently needed in Rockville. They want a progressive fighter – a leader who will protect our quality of life but also help plan for our future. People, not politics, should come first.

Our top priorities must be growing the local economy and creating jobs, supporting our teachers and students, sustaining our environment, honoring our seniors and veterans, and reaching out to the most vulnerable.

In my career, I have fought against the political establishment, entrenched special interests, and I’ve beaten breast cancer to do what needed to be done for others in my life and for the people in my community. People are frustrated over the political paralysis that exists on every level of government. They want a "can-do" person who will do the right thing and stand up for them. My public service record speaks to those values of hard work, integrity and compassion.

I will win the nomination because District 1 voters know I’m a fighter and the truth is that the future of Montgomery County rests in the hands of hard-working women and men.

My record of accomplishment for seniors, veterans, domestic violence victims, children and the mentally ill underscores my unwavering commitment to progressive values. Our campaign is about empowering Montgomery County residents and creating a local economy that sustains all families.

My Goals

1) To create a local economy that helps everyone, especially those working families in whose hands our future is held. Our campaign is about bringing all people together for this shared goal and vision. It's about developing long-term plans for county workers so that their job security and future advancement are not a potential consideration but a requirement as we move forward. It's about creating a long-term economic plan so small businesses have the best opportunity in which to thrive and grow. It's about re-developing and developing communities so competing interests are weighed and at the end of the day, we grow in a responsible manner. Everyone must have access to affordable housing and reliable public transportation and the protection of our environment must never be an afterthought. Our campaign has already begun to bring people from different worlds together and this will continue as we move forward. (My opponent led the effort to remove indexing from the county minimum wage bill that passed.)

2) To legislate effects bargaining rights to our county law enforcement officers. These essential worker rights were ended by the current Council and Executive. (My opponent as Council Vice-President was a leading force in making that happen.)

3) To create a private public partnership for children's services, as I successfully did for families touched by domestic violence. For too many years, children who have special needs around mental health and disabilities have been ignored. While I will work to fund school-based services once again, it is imperative that we have at least two youth centers created to address the mounting, unmet needs of children and their families. These resource centers can provide the assessment and referral services that are critical to these families. These centers can also offer a refuge to youth who are looking for counseling support, trades training, peer activities or just a safe environment. With all the national and local coverage of one violent tragedy after another that involve youth - often youth walking in the shadows with families that know of no options for care - it is imperative that we establish these important resources. I have already received a great deal of support for this initiative, in particular from the business sector who know they can make a difference in this challenge. It is that private commitment that can be used as leverage to compete for and receive important state and federal funding for these comprehensive resource centers. This private and public collaboration model is one I have used effectively before with the Family Justice Center and it continues to become more commonplace as local governments struggle with revenue and obligation challenges.

My DFA Values

In my years of public advocacy and service in elected office, I have been willing to put people first. My decisions are always about what's right for those I represent rather what's politically expedient for me. I have a long history of leading on important progressive values such as women's rights and wage equality. Despite threats and challenges, I passed a civil rights measure extending protection in employment and housing for transgender individuals.

Our current campaign will once again be an effort fueled by progressive values and energized by progressive activists. Much work needs to be addressed as the divide between the working class and the wealthy continues to grow. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Montgomery County, Maryland District - District 1 I'm running in. My campaign is about bringing all people together in a common purpose. I am continuing to gather important support from the progressive community, the Labor community and even the business community.

What brings us together is the fundamental, progressive value that our #1 priority must be to create a local economy that sustains all families and leaves no one behind. Many people in District 1 are frustrated with their current representation and have stopped believing we can change our politics and improve our county. Our campaign is about proving that we can!

My Campaign is People Powered!

1) An aggressive field operation going precinct to precinct has been implemented. It has already been assembled by outreach to the progressive community in the county. Our campaign manager has 30+ years of experience in Labor and progressive issue campaigns. This grassroots focus will be complemented by a strategic social media plan and a superb direct mail effort. As we continue in the campaign, we expect to draw more volunteers from many natural constituencies including the women's community, the LGBT community, the environmental community, the public health community and the Labor community.

2) Several public forums will be hosted by our campaign. At each of these forums, a specific progressive theme will be discussed with the audience and both the candidate (me) and an invited speaker will participate as well. Our first scheduled forum will address how the Labor movement must remain the core of the progressive movement. This is critical as the working class continues to decline and the rate of poverty increases. At our forum we will also discuss how institutional power is now concentrated and how this will require building new progressive institutions.

Voice support


  • Charles Bradley
  • Paul Bardack
  • Louis Lombardo
  • Stephanie Grogan
  • Cheryl Kravitz
  • Eric Hensal, MD
  • Jennifer Knoll
  • Eric Sterling
  • Richard Hoye
  • Lin Berg
...and 17 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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