Year: 2019

It’s the end of the year, and well, 2019 was … something!

It’s the end of the year, and well, 2019 was … something!

As with all years, there were ups and downs, highlights and lowlights, and a bunch of in between.

We hosted 30 podcasts, wrote 13 blog posts, grew our team, created numerous new partners and friends, set up shop at Clarksville Commons for much of the year, hosted a show at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and then found a permanent home in the Merriweather District, garnered new Sponsors, and based on our stats this year, gained many new Elevators! Read More

Episode 78 – 2019 Year in Review: With Candace Dodson Reed & Tom Coale

Year In Review IS UP! 2019 was … something! As with all years, there were ups and downs, highlights and lowlights, and a bunch of in between. In this episode, Candace and Tom discuss redistricting, County Council dynamics, changing leadership in Annapolis, and why Baltimore City’s farm team is ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. Read More

Episode 77: With Kweisi Mfume

Don’t miss this interview with former congressman Kweisi Mfume as he discusses his campaign to return to the U.S. Congress. Mr. Mfume represented Maryland’s Seventh District from 1987 to 1996. We discuss how the Democratic Party has changed since that time as well as how the needs of the Seventh District may have stayed the same. If you want to make an informed choice in this February’s primary, this is a good place to start!

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Episode 76: With Columbia Artist in Residence Ram Devineni

Whether you’re into comic books or not, Priya and the Lost Girls should have your attention. From the Library of Congress: “Priya is a rape survivor who becomes a superhero who combats gender based sexual violence (GBV). This Indian comic utilizes augmented reality events and exhibits to engage both Indian and international readers. This comic was honored by UN Women as a Gender Equality Champion.” Read More

Episode 75: With Delegate Eric Luedtke

If you want to be able to talk Maryland politics over the next six months, you’re going to need to know something about the Kirwan Commission and the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future”. We invited Delegate Eric Luedtke on the show to explain some of the lesser known elements of the bill and how the state may pay for such an ambitious plan.

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Episode 74: Equity in Education

This was an ambitious show, Elevators. On the eve of Howard County’s historic vote on school redistricting, we pulled in experts from across the region to discuss what we talk about when we talk about equity in education:

Dana Goldstein, New York Times Magazine
Michelle Burris, The Century Foundation
Alisa Drake, Wilde Lake High School Student

We hope this show sets the debate for the years ahead.

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Episode 73: With Howard Hughes Regional President Greg Fitchitt

This week, Candace and Tom sat down with Howard Hughes Regional President for Columbia Greg Fitchitt, who was kind enough to sub in after an unforeseen scheduling mishap with our original guest, Dr. Richard Warren.

This is a podcast for future-scapers.

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Episode 72: With Lawrence Lanahan

“I wasn’t interested in ‘beat the odds’ stories. I wanted to write about the odds.” – Lawrence Lanahan

This podcast will make you think about where you live, how you live, and the manner in which other people live differently. In his book The Lines Between Us, Lawrence Lanahan examines the legal boundaries that separate us from one another through the lives of those he profiles. This story includes Columbia, but, as Lawrence describes, not as the happy landing spot that some may imagine. Don’t miss this one.

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Episode 71: With District 2 Howard County Council Member Opel Jones

This week, Candace and Tom sit down with District 2 County Council-member Opel Jones to discuss the boundary adjustment process, advertising school districts in real estate sales, the school surcharge tax, and working with stakeholders to design a “solution” instead of just passing legislation.

Thank you to our host, The Common Kitchen in Clarksville, MD

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Episode 70: With Busboys and Poets Founder Andy Shallal

“Food is bait.” – Andy Shallal

This week, Candace and Tom welcome Andy Shallal, the founder of Busboys and Poets, to Howard County. Busboys and Poets is described as “a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted – a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul – a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide.”

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Episode 69: With History-Makers C. Vernon Gray & Frank Turner

Pod is up! Howard County’s original history-makers C. Vernon Gray and Frank Turner join us on the podcast to discuss their experience as the first African-Americans representing Howard County on the County Council and in the House of Delegates. You’ll hear about their governing philosophy, Howard County’s evolving electorate, and advice for prospective candidates!

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Episode 68: With Former Education Secretary Dr. John B. King, Jr.

Howard County is in the midst of historic redistricting that will not only balance capacity, but also look to incorporate socio-economic balance amongst our schools. How will we respond? In 2016, Dr. John B. King, Jr. was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 10th United States Secretary of Education.

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Elevate Blog: Are You a Howard County Changemaker?

by Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Elevate Maryland


If you have one you can win up to $25k in prize money to bring it to life. The Horizon Foundation and United Way of Central Maryland want to hear YOUR innovative ideas to make Howard County better by September 16!

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Elevate Blog: On Racial Equity in 2019

By Mickey Gomez, Elevate Maryland

Growing up, what I learned about American history was – to put it kindly – sporadic. It depended on the teacher, on the grade, on the book, but inevitably we’d start the year doing a minute-by-minute reenactment of the Revolutionary War and end up sprinting through everything from 1940 onward.

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Episode 67: With Sheila Dixon

As goes Baltimore City, so goes the state of Maryland.  Sheila Dixon was the last mayor who experienced a decrease in violence during her term.  Tune into this episode of Elevate Maryland to hear her discuss how she took on city crime, what it means to “know city government”, and how to take a holistic approach to regional challenges.  You’ll even hear her identify the qualities she would like to see in the next mayor of Baltimore!

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Episode 66: With Just Up the Pike’s Dan Reed

This week, Candace and Tom interview Just Up the Pike’s Dan Reed about his advocacy for inclusive housing in Montgomery County.  They not only address affordable housing, but also the “missing middle” that normally is left out of discussions about housing.  This week’s three things include: 1) Howard County school redistricting, 2) the School Surcharge tax, and 3) Howard County for All!

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Episode 65: With Claire Bolden McGill & Jel McGill

In this special UK Edition of the podcast, Tom sits down with ex-expats Claire & Jel McGill, who lived in Howard County from 2013 to 2016.  During that time, Claire made a mark with her “UK Housewife in the USA” blog and charming personality.  We chat about their reflections on Howard County and the United States since they’ve moved back, Brexit, and the parallels we can find in US politics. Read More

Elevate Blog: August 6, 2019

A regular update on what we’re up to and what we’re thinking about


Big Announcement! Mark your calendars for September 10th, when we will be having former Secretary of Education John King, Jr. on the show! John King, Jr. is currently the president and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps, from preschool through college. King served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education. Read More

Episode 64: With HoCo Housing Commission CEO Peter Engel

Howard County, Maryland has an affordable housing deficit of 5,500 units.  According to our guest Howard County Housing Commission Executive Director Peter Engel, those men, women, and families are already living in Howard County and are either in substandard living conditions or over-exposed in their rent.  Mr. Engel has spent his career working to create housing solutions and his experience shines through in this episode.  Read More

Episode 63: With State Senator Dr. Clarence Lam

Jul 16, 2019

This week, Candace and Tom interview State Senator Dr. Clarence Lam about his legendary campaign work ethic, the Kirwan Commission, and his Op-Ed criticizing Governor Larry Hogan about his appointments to the University of Maryland Medical System Board. This week’s three things include: 1) Washington Post story on Glenelg High School hate speech/vandalism, 2) the Immigration Crisis, and … Read More

Episode 62: With Delegate Eric Ebersole and Saketh Sundar

Join Candace and Tom for this episode with Delegate Eric Ebersole. They discuss education funding, “community schools”, and the intersection of gambling and our local schools. You’ll also want to stick around for our special guest – Howard County’s National Spelling Bee Champion Saketh Sundar. Read More