Ike Leggett speaks to Young Democrats

May 20, 2005, midnight | By Caitlin Garlow | 15 years, 8 months ago

Politician discusses activism and his campaign for County Executive

Former Montgomery County Council member Ike Leggett spoke to about 20 Young Democrats today, May 17, at 3:00 p.m. in room 134 about his upcoming campaign for County Executive and the importance of youth political activism.

Leggett, a Professor of Law at Howard University with 16 years of experience on the County Council and extensive involvement in numerous other committees and local boards, will run against County Council Member (at large) Steve Silverman in the upcoming primary election.

In his speech, Leggett first reflected on his political activism as a youth in the civil rights movement. "I grew up in poverty stricken Louisiana [during] the height of segregation," Leggett said. "The motivation for my involvement [in the issue] was that I saw something wrong in this country and I wanted to change it."

Leggett described his trips abroad to China in the early 1980s as compared to a recent trip in 2001, and applied them to the importance of developing good work ethic in high school. From 1980 to 2001 in China, "I saw a huge transformation," he said. "This is the competition. The competition is not the kid down the street…the competition for you is global."

Leggett then focused on how he would better accomplish his goals, similar to those of other local Democratic candidates, because of his experience, which include including his position as president of the Montgomery County Council for three years, Chair of the Montgomery County Human Relations Commission, Chair of the Education Committee, Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee and, most recently, Chair of the Democratic Party.

He then addressed the country budget, and said that he would take a moderate stance by only backing a seven percent increase in the budget as opposed to a nine percent increase. Leggett also mentioned that although he has not taken a position on the intercounty connector (ICC) or the proposed Purple Line, due to his ownership of property along the site of the proposed ICC. He will make his position known in the upcoming campaign. "Logically all decisions have been made [regarding] the ICC," he said, and "twenty-two percent of the highway trust fun dollars will go to the ICC for the next 15 years."

As a candidate for the Democratic ticket for the County Executive in the upcoming primary, Leggett encouraged students to embark on a quest for knowledge, strive for appropriate moral and ethical grounding, and work hard if they choose to enter public service. "I simply want you to get involved," he said.

If Leggett is elected as Montgomery County Executive next year, he will be the first African American to hold the highest position in Montgomery County, according to his website.

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Caitlin Garlow. Caitlin is a second-semester senior at last. Her favorite things include making fun of her homeless sister and hunting down her clothes in other people's closets. More »

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