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On the 2021 Greenbelt City Council Election

posted in: Greenbelt News

It was a big night last night for Greenbelt’s candidates, supporters and voters as we awaited results of the City Council election. With early votes and mail-ins to count, the results were 2-3 hours later than usual – but Greenbelt Access TV’s station manager/videographer Phoebe McFarb stayed until the very end – post-midnight – at the Greenbelt Firehouse, where the action was.

Here’s Phoebe recording remarks by Greenbelt’s next mayor, Emmett Jordon. Photo by Ashanti Martinez.

(I was there, too, until my bed started calling to me at about 10. By that point it was already a late night in my post-covid world.)

The screen shots below are of two of the most exciting moments in Phoebe’s report –  the scramble to see the election results as they first appeared on screen; and winners Rick Gordon and Kristen Weaver reaching for a congratulatory hug.

It was nice to see that Kristen’s parents had managed to travel from Colorado to Greenbelt for her big night, which turned out to be even bigger than expected. (I’m guessing from her obvious surprise at winning the second-highest number of votes, which means she’ll soon be anointed Mayor Pro Tem!


By the way, this terrific video was something Phoebe pulled together starting at 1 a.m. at the earlier, and published on Facebook at 8 the next morning. That’s some fast editing!

2021 and 2019 Results

In 2019 the winners were, from most to least votes: Byrd, Jordan, Davis, Roberts, Pope, Mach and Putens. So the Council appointed Byrd as mayor and Jordan mayor pro tem – per custom I believe, not law.

This year both Putens and Mach stepped down, so we had two open seats. That made this year’s election was more exciting than most, as new candidates normally don’t have a chance. Under Greenbelt’s system, it’s virtually impossible to defeat an incumbent, as explained in “How At-Large Voting Causes Low Voter Turn-out and Less Representative Government.” But there’s some good news on that front – people are talking about the problem and suggesting solutions, like moving to a mix of at-large seats and ward seats, one for each major area of Greenbelt. .

The 2021 winners, in order of votes, are Jordan, Weaver, Davis, Pope, Gordon, Byrd and Roberts, the two new faces on the Council being Kristen Weaver and Ric Gordon.

And the referendum about establishing a commission to study reparations passed easily, with 63% voting in favor. We’ll probably see news coverage about the referendum in various media, local and beyond. It’s of national interest.

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

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