ROCKVILLE, Md., September 27, 2011—Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin has been named one of “Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Washingtonian Magazine, joining an impressive region-wide list that includes Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and some of the area’s top government and business leaders.
The October edition of Washingtonian said, “So many women are in powerful positions in Washington today that selecting the top 100 is more challenging than ever. We could have filled the list with women in high places in the federal government and on Capitol Hill alone.”
The magazine said Council President Ervin, in leading the Council since December, “has steered the body through rough budget waters, including taking on public-employee unions.”
When Council President Ervin took the gavel in December, she promised residents that the Council would get back to basics, focus on disciplined governing, and implement long-term structural changes in the interest of the community. Under Ervin’s leadership, the Council accomplished all of these goals.
“The passage of the fiscal year 2012 budget was a watershed moment for the Council,” said Councilmember Ervin. “This year the Council did more than balance the budget for a single year. We worked together to create a blueprint for solving the County’s long-term structural challenges.
“The Washington region is blessed with women from all walks of life who are instrumental in shaping this area and the nation. I am honored to be among a group of such accomplished women and appreciate the recognition from the Washingtonian.
“My family, like so many, struggled to put food on the table, but they raised their children with the values of hard work and determination. The values they instilled in me are the principles that I embody.”
Council President Ervin did not take a traditional path to public service. She grew up in a military family and lived on several military bases throughout the world, but eventually made Montgomery County her home. Ervin got her start in grass roots activism as a union organizer. She fought to protect the rights of working people and to ensure that they received appropriate benefits.
As the first African American woman to serve on the Council, Ervin was first elected in 2006 and won re-election handily in 2010. In addition to serving as Council President, Ervin chairs the Council’s Education Committee, which reviews more than half of Montgomery County’s operating budget. She also serves on the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which conducts budget reviews and program oversight for many County departments and offices.
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