Podcasts & Blog

Elevate Podcasts & Blog Posts

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

Elevate Blog: June 27, 2019

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


Mark your calendars for Monday, July 1 at 6:00 PM at Clarksville Commons when we will have Delegate Eric Ebersole on the show!

And, a very special guest will be joining us – come meet Howard County’s own Saketh Sundar – one of the eight Scripps National Spelling Bee champions this year!

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Episode 61: With Senator Guy Guzzone

This week, State Senator Guy Guzzone joins Candace and Tom to discuss the Kirwan Commission, Democratic leadership in Annapolis, and public discourse. More than that, Senator Guzzone shares guiding principles that he uses to make decisions and govern his actions as a legislator. If you thought you knew Guy Guzzone, you’re probably wrong (or at least incomplete).

Thank you to the Common Kitchen for hosting!

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Episode 60: With Delegate Terri Hill

This week, Candace and Tom sit down with State Delegate Terri Hill.  They talk about how her background as a physician informs her work as a legislator, particularly with regard to youth sports (and maybe even birds).  For this week’s 3 things, the Elevate Team honors Juneteeth, celebrates Howard County Pride, and highlights the 5,000 unit deficit in affordable housing.

Thank you for our good friends at The Common Kitchen for their continued support as hosts for the show!

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Episode 59: With Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr.

Special guest host Ainy Haider-Shah joins Tom again for this interview with Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., also known as “Johnny O”. They discuss Baltimore County’s budget woes, transparency through technology, and the importance of being accessible to the public (down to what you let people call you).

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Elevate Blog: June 4, 2019

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


Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 19th at 6:00 PM when we will have Delegate Terri Hill on the show! And, we’re very excited to welcome Senator Guy Guzzone on Monday, June 24th at 6:00 PM – both at Clarksville Commons.


Episode 59: With Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski

June 4: Pod 🎤 Is 🎤 Up! This week, Tom and guest host Ainy Haider-Shah interview Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. They discuss Baltimore County’s budget crunch, transparency in technology, and which name the County Executive prefers. You will want to check in on this interview with one of Maryland’s rising stars!

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Episode 58: With Delegate Courtney Watson

This week Tom sits down with special guest host Ainy Haider-Shah (of Episode 37 fame) to interview Delegate Courtney Watson.  They discuss Howard County, the vote for Speaker of the House, and how Howard County politics have changed since her father, Ed Cochran, was County Executive.

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Elevate Blog: May 20, 2019

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


Our next episode will be recorded with Lawyers On The Rocks! We will miss our elevators, but stay tuned to listen once it airs. We’re recording on a Friday, so we’ll be expecting some #TellTheTruthFriday from Jeremy!

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 4th at 6:00 PM when we will be having Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on the show! We’re also very excited to be hosting this show at State Fare in Catonsville, Maryland!

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Episode 57: With Delegate Jessica Feldmark

This week, Candace and Tom sit down with State Delegate Jessica Feldmark.  They talk about the lasting influence of Speaker Mike Busch, her front-page unemployment legislation, populism, and affordable housing.  You’ll also want to tune in for this week’s 3 things, when the Elevate Team takes on the Alabama abortion ban, education budget politics, and WJZ’s Mary Bubala.

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