Commissioner Craig Rice, Montgomery County MD and Season 2 preview
A discussion about Good Government and the Good Government show with host David Martin and Montgomery County, Maryland County Commissioner Craig Rice. This includes a preview of season 2
Good Government Show Season Two Preview Transcription (S2E0)
David Martin: This is the good government show.
Craig Rice: By highlighting the fact that government is working together with individuals to make these things happen. I think is incredibly important because not only does it make sure that folks have information about what’s going on in their community, but how they can play a role in making an impact as well.
David: Welcome to the Good Government Show. This is the first episode of season two of The Good Government Show. And this is sort of a preview for the season. We have a lineup of some really great stories for you, and I’m looking forward to sharing them both with my co-host Carol D’auria and with you. Our listeners did a lot of stuff this season.
I went to West Virginia and I went to a county where teachers are leading or a vitalization of the entire area. I saw a lavender farm is changing a county away from coal dependency. I talked to folks in Colorado who now read an e-bike to work compliments of Pueblo County and over in Summit County, Colorado. I talked to parents who can now stay there thanks to a new pre-K program.
And we look at how libraries are changing, how they serve their communities. And these are just some of the ten great stories that are coming up in season two. And one of those stories is about how Mike County, Maryland, is teaching technology to older adults. And as I was doing some interviews for that story, I met Craig Rice.
He’s a county commissioner in Montgomery. And we had a really great discussion about the role of government and a little bit about our show, too. He’s a listener, and I thought this discussion really got to the heart of what we were trying to accomplish here on the good government show. So if you would, take a listen to our conversation, I’ll be back.
You’ve listened to some podcasts for the good government show. If you would just tell people what you think of the show and tell people what you think of the some of the stories you’ve heard.
Craig: Well, I think that overall, when we look at good government and we look at what what the show represents, it really is taking a very people person view of a lot of the issues that affect our community and making sure that folks understand what’s behind it, why government is making the decisions that they’re making, hopefully in the best interests of individuals and what we expect to see that happens as a result.
So many people think that government is only about just self-interest.
David: One of the things that we wanted to do was we wanted to show that government really you know, the joke is time for the government here to help you. The scariest words in the English language. We wanted to show that that’s actually true. I’d like you to put in your own words. You know what you think about that and do you think that we’ve accomplished that?
Craig: So I think that, again, what the show really tries to do is make sure that folks understand that government is about the people and for the people and can be used as an instrument to ensure that your issues are addressed. The key is, is that interaction and I think that many times you’ve highlighted that in many of your shows in hearing from elected officials talk about the fact of how legislation was passed and it was the result of individual actions, individuals fighting for something that they believed in or something that they needed to have happened in their community about individuals who are representatives, who are seeing something that is a scourge in their community and seeing how we can work together to address it. Working with nonprofit communities who’ve been doing this work on the ground for so long and helping them and supporting their efforts to address whether it’s access to health care, whether it’s access to meals for those that are food insecure. So many programs that we have out there that so many people don’t know about.
And I think that, again, by highlighting the fact that government is working together with individuals to make these things happen, I think is incredibly important because not only does it make sure that folks have information about what’s going on in their community, but how they can play a role in making an impact as well.
David: Were there any episodes or shows or stories that that you said, oh, wow, that’s something, you know, I didn’t know or that’s incredible. Or better yet, that’s something I would like to look at in my in my neighborhood.
Craig: I can’t say it’s more reaffirming because because I know that you did one that was dealing with food insecurity. That’s one that came up in. So it was reaffirming about the reasons why we’re doing the work and what it is that we need to do. The fortunate thing about our county is, is that we’re very aggressive when it comes to some of those kinds of public policy issues.
And so from that standpoint, we consider ourselves to be a leader. But it also is important to hear that other folks are thinking about this the same sort of way and even tweaking it a bit. Right. And so when we’re looking at saying, well, I never thought about that particular angle of how we can go about it, it’s not necessarily about convincing us to do it.
It’s about how we can just look at it from a different angle and say, Hey, this is also a different way in which we can engage the public in trying to make these kinds of things happen.
David: One of our goals in the show is to try to spread a best practices idea so that other people can can hear what other people are doing and go, Oh, that’s cool. Do you think we’ve accomplished that?
Craig: Absolutely. I think so, because at the end of the day, again, you highlighting out the different things that folks are doing. And again, when it came to sort of security and investing in your local area, food banks, investing in making sure that those nonprofits are stood up during COVID, all those kinds of things are just incredibly important and they make a tremendous difference.
And for those who didn’t know how to get this this ball rolling in being able to utilize ARPA funds and being able to do these kinds of things, that’s the reason why your show and others like it who continue to highlight what’s going on. It’s one of the things that we at NACO try and pride ourselves on is sharing this information with other jurisdictions about what’s going on across the country, because that is the way we get good government, not only in our own jurisdictions, but across the nation.
David: What would you like to see? What direction would you like? Would you is there any direction you’d like to see this show go? Is there anything that that we’re missing?
Craig: No, I think it’s just, again, highlighting for individuals to make sure that they understand really about trust in government and how it can make a difference. To me, whenever I tell a story about why it is I do the work, I always talk about one of the first experiences I had with legislation that basically was dead upon arrival.
So I really wanted to make sure that for me, when it comes to other individuals and what it is that they see about government and why it is important and how it works, I always give people the example of when I had a young girl come into my office and demand that there was action and she was concerned about bullying that was happening in her school and wanted to see that change.
As a result of her advocacy, we ended up passing one of the strongest bullying bills in the nation, and that just highlights about what needs to happen when it comes to government working for the people. That interaction was one of my first and in the legislative process and understanding that a bill that was basically dead on arrival could actually be pushed through.
If you believe in it and you fight for what you know your constituents really need and want. And so it really is something for me that, again, those are the types of stories that we continue to share that your show continues to share, that really give people hope, not just as people who are hoping that they can trust in their government, but also the hope of individuals who are elected officials who think sometimes that, look, I’m fighting an uphill battle and I’m never going to get stuff done.
The reality is, is that if you continue to fight and you continue to believe in what your constituents are doing and how you need to help them, you can be successful.
David: That’s what’s so inspiring about this conversation is Craig Rice. He is in government to make a difference and that’s what good government is all about. So join us this season as we meet Craig and many, many others just like him. Listening to our stories this season, you’ll come to agree that when someone says, I’m from the government and I’m here to help you, they really mean it.
So thanks for listening. I’m David Martin. This is the good government show. See you in season two.
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Good Government Show is produced by Valley Park Productions. Jim Ludlow, David Martin and David Snyder are the executive producers. Jason Stershic is our producer and editor. Some transcriptions were done by Kofi Ajeasi Ampah. Our hosts are me, David Martin and Carol D’auria. Join us again for the Good Government Show. Wherever you listen to podcasts.