New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block

A new organization opened its doors today: the Citizens League of Montgomery County.

CLMC is designed to use new technology and New Media to help Montgomery County residents influence governmental policy and activities. The founding Board is a diverse group of citizen activists (I am a Board member) from across Montgomery County.

The CLMC is a reaction to some existing organizations which have become either too inflexible in their positions or too dominated by a small group of individuals. The CLMC is intended to provide a wider platform for citizen involvement.

The CLMC’s Principles are:

Our Principles

We believe in civic leadership and active citizenship. All Montgomery County residents have both the right and the responsibility to be active citizens and govern for the common good. This role of active citizen is integrated into all other individual roles; it cannot be delegated to experts or elected officials. Active citizenship is the shared identity that allows people with diverse interests to work together on important public problems, building the common ground necessary to achieve the common good.

We believe in engaging all citizens of Montgomery County. All Montgomery County residents can develop innovative and effective policy solutions and ideas, and facilitate governing for the common good. This capacity must be developed and encouraged.

We believe in democracy and good governance. Democracy requires that citizens have the interest in governing for the common good; the facts needed to make informed decisions; and the practical skills and “common ground” to analyze, debate, and solve public problems in light of shared democratic ideals and the long-term interest of Montgomery County. The Citizens League of Montgomery County will foster an open and transparent process, where citizens with a wide range of expertise can invest their time and energy. This is the best means to develop effective public policy solutions and to build civic capacity.

We believe in good politics and political competence. Effective politics makes it possible to implement good public policy and to organize to achieve the common good, despite our very real differences. When governed by democratic ideals, the skills of politics give citizenship relevance, dignity and worth. The Citizens League of Montgomery County will support the development of political leadership and the skills of non-partisan political competence.

We believe that these ideals must be passed from one generation to the next. Montgomery County’s public policy successes and our quality of life were made possible by individuals working within and across all types of institutions. These institutions and systems of policy-making are our civic legacy in Montgomery County, and they must be re-made and re-imagined by each generation in order to maintain and sustain our quality of life and our ability to solve public problems.

The CLMC will likely evolve from these humble beginnings. For more information, please see the CLMC website: Or you can contact Dan Hoffman, Founding Chair, at

Barnaby Zall

Barnaby Zall


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