Ben Wikner, Director of Montgomery Village Non-Profit ‘The Equity Center’, Announces He is Running for District 7 Council Seat

Ben Wikner has announced his candidacy for Montgomery County’s new Didtrict 7 seat.

The full press release can be seen below:

Montgomery Village, MD: March 15, 2022 — Ben Wikner, a long-time Montgomery Village resident and Director of The Equity Center, a local non-profit, will run for Montgomery County Council’s new Upcounty District 7 seat.

Wikner said that he is running for County Council because he believes “local Montgomery County government needs to be more effective. I’d like to see the county take bold steps to expand quality, affordable housing and increase economic opportunities through job creation and support for entrepreneurs. I believe the residents of the county can and should expect better from our local government.”

“I love Montgomery County. I believe it is one of the best places to live, work, and raise a family in all of America. It is a place of tremendous opportunity with its cultural diversity and record of prosperity. But there is a significant disconnect in accessing that opportunity for so many in the county.”

Through Wikner’s work at The Equity Center, he has seen first-hand how county programs and resources are often not accessible to ordinary residents. “The maze of bureaucracy is preventing hard-working, low-income Montgomery County residents from accessing county, state and federal resources.” In speaking with countless people in the county, his observation is that most ordinary residents feel disconnected and have lost confidence in the county government. “I know we can and we must do better,” said Ben.

 Throughout the pandemic, the Equity Center — a community resource and empowerment non-profit located in Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg — has helped to meet the needs and the challenges that so many Upcounty residents face, by:

  • Feeding hundreds of households every week with fresh produce and rescued food that would otherwise have been wasted and thrown in the landfill.

  • Creating in-person learning centers for low-income families whose children had no safe options when schools first went virtual in 2020.

  • Launching and organizing one of the first vaccine clinics in the county for front-line and essential workers when Covid-19 vaccines were scarce.

  • Providing free quality tax preparation for low-income families to ensure local families get all of their tax credits.

In addition to leading the Equity Center, Ben has served as the pastor of Cross Community Church for the past seven years. The County Council recognized Ben and Cross Community on April 27, 2021, for their “remarkable assistance to 5,000+ Montgomery County households to ensure access to resources and equity….”

“I have learned a great deal in serving those who are struggling, especially through this pandemic. I believe that in order to lead, you have to serve. I am prepared to help lead Montgomery County into an even brighter future.

Wikner has outlined seven priorities he intends to focus on as the District 7 Councilmember:

1)    Economic Opportunity for All

2)    Access to Quality Affordable Housing

3)    Education Accountability and Excellence

4)    Agile, Responsive Government that Serves the People

5)    Transportation Connected to Equity and Environment

6)    Community-Engaged Safety and Policing

7)    Better Representation for Upcounty residents

Ben has been married to his college sweetheart, Erin, for 27 years, and together they have seven children, all of whom are in or have graduated from Montgomery County schools.

For more information about Ben Wikner and his campaign, go to www.Benwikner.com. To contact the campaign, email [email protected].

To stay up to date on the campaign, follow Ben on Facebook Instagram and Twitter.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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