Maryland Forward Party

Maryland Forward Attends Meet & Greet At Woodmore

29 March, 2024


On March 24, Tonya Sweat, former PG County Executive Candidate and current Maryland Forward Party Board Member, hosted us at the Country Club At Woodmore. We had the opportunity to pitch to nearly 100 PG County constituents, many of whom supported her campaign run, why they should consider giving Forward a chance.

Attending the event were other board members, Brandon Barrett, Pete Oliver-Krueger, and Shiv Gupta, the latter two presenting to the crowd. 

"It's not an argument; it's a statistical fact that a majority of Americans do not want these choices for the upcoming presidential election. So then we have to ask, is our democracy working? We fundamentally realize that something is broken. The Forward Party is a group of concerned citizens who think there's a different way in which our democracy can be activated. There are a lot of individuals in this country who identify as independent because they are disgusted," said Shiv Gupta.

While Pete and Shiv were presenting, Brandon listened to members of the community as they expressed their frustrations with local government, and collected signatures for our party petition.

“Their concerns are a reminder of the disconnect and mistrust people have with their representatives and the current system of government. Several attendees were happy to sign our petition as they are eager for change and willing to embrace our fresh approach. Their voice is our voice.” - Brandon Barrett

During the Q&A session, Tonya addressed a question from a member of the crowd regarding how Forward can achieve unity and cohesion without a specific platform to rally behind. She explained that the board comprises individuals from different areas along the political spectrum, including liberal, conservative, libertarian, and progressive leanings. Despite these political differences, everyone on the board collaborates effectively because we rally around shared values and principles, such as actively engaging with those holding differing views to reach consensus, engaging in grace and tolerance, upholding dignity in our conduct, and advocating for voting reform, which in turn would reform politics as a whole. Addressing the crowd, Tonya compared the diverse political makeup of the board to a pot of stew:

“I grew up in the South. When we say democracy, I grew up being taught that the United States of America was a great American melting pot. That was described to me as a stew. And when you’re from the south, you know what a stew is. Your stew has onions, carrots, peas, tomatoes, none of them look alike. But when you put them all in a pot, you season it a little bit, you give it a little heat and it simmers, and when you take a sip or bite…it’s the best thing you could ever taste. Why? Because you put a bunch of flavors together, and it works! 

What has happened to our great American melting pot? It’s the two party system; it’s not working. We work through their chaos - we do the forming, the storming, and the norming to become a cohesive group with solutions that work for everybody.”

Stay tuned to watch highlighted moments from the Meet & Greet on our YouTube page.

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