Commonwealth announces our full support and solidarity with Maryland Sierra Club in denouncing the racist and classist remarks made by Katherine Gugulis. We reiterate the call to remove Ms. Gugulis from her appointed position on the Montgomery County Charter Review Commission. Ms. Gugulis has displayed a track record of public bigotry and ignorance that does not reflect the values of Montgomery County.
On Sunday, June 16, 2019, the Washington Post published a letter to the editor in which Kathy Gugulis declared Montgomery County’s proposed policy on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be, “a slap in the face to those people who have worked hard to build a comfortable home and neighborhood.” She stated the policy will turn Montgomery County “into a slum” because the County will be accommodating “others flee[ing] crime-ridden and poverty-stricken areas.”
Ms. Gugulis is not new to making ignorant, racist, and classist public statements. In May of last year, when Montgomery County Council set aside less than $400,000 to assist immigrants facing deportation by the Trump administration, she told WJLA, “I think it’s a shameful thing that [the Council] did today…They shouldn’t be using taxpayer money for people who are here illegally, and some of them committing crimes.”
Just a month ago, the Washington Post published another of Gugulis’s letters, this time criticizing Rep. David Trone’s Gun Violence Prevention Forum. Ms. Gugulis asserted the solution to gun violence was not law and regulation, but rather to, “take away kids’ social media accounts, violent TV, movies and video games, put God back in schools and do something to curb sex and drugs in schools.”
These comments are clearly ignorant, racist, and classist. Yet in May, Kathy Gugulis was recommended by County Executive Elrich, and approved by the Montgomery County Council, to serve on the County Charter Review Commission.
We echo the sentiment of Josh Tulkin, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter Director, that the actions and rhetoric of Ms. Gugulis should disqualify her from any leadership post in the county.
We urge County Executive Marc Elrich, Council Council President Nancy Navarro, and the County Council to reconsider her appointment to the Montgomery County Charter Review Commission. We urge residents and activists of goodwill and intent to contact their elected representatives to express that racism and classism of the sort displayed by Katherine Gugulis is unacceptable in Montgomery County