On April 21, David Edimo, a rising junior at Richard Montgomery High School, was elected as the 2015-2016 President of the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association (MCR), the countywide student government for high schools.
As President, Edimo will have a variety of duties, such as organizing a diverse MCR Executive Board, holding General Assemblies with up to 200 attendees, advocating in Annapolis, meeting up with top officials in MCPS, and representing Montgomery County to the statewide student government, MASC.
As the current MCR Chief of Staff, Edimo has already gained experience working with the student bodies of a variety of schools.
For this upcoming year, Edimo says he wants to focus his legislative attention not only on SMOB voting rights – which would have been expanded through a bill that was almost passed in the 2015 Maryland Legislative Session – but also on other issues directly affecting students.
“A clear top priority for us will be to finish the job we started with SMOB voting rights. We also need to protect school construction funding,” Edimo noted. “But it’s also important that we focus on non-budgetary ideas because of our harsh fiscal climate. An issue that’s dear to me is mental health, so I think it’s important that we look at ways we can improve policies regarding staff training when it comes to recognizing these issues… The key to accomplishing these goals is advocating with partners like MCCPTA, MCEA, and school-based organizations to show that there’s a broad base of support for our ideas. We’re also considering hosting a Legislative Briefing before the start of Maryland’s 2016 Legislative Session.”
Edimo stressed the importance of receiving feedback and ideas about legislative and domestic affairs from the MCR General Assembly, the group of delegates from Montgomery County high schools. In the past, students have criticized the lack of participation from General Assembly delegates.
“I’m going to give the power to set the agenda to the delegates. I’ve heard from so many people who say that we go up on the stage and we say the same things over and over again, and that too often those things aren’t what they want to discuss. So at the end of each General Assembly we’ll allow people to submit topics for the next General Assembly and we’ll choose one or two for the following month.”
“I also plan on increasing communication with SGA leaders and increasing outreach to non-SGA organizations,” Edimo continued. “We’ll be scheduling school visits soon with a focus on less involved schools. I’ll be asking SGA liaisons and presidents for their views on MCR’s stances to make sure that they feel just as invested in our success as we do.”
For the past few years, the MCR officers and Executive Board have developed new ideas and programs, such as hosting a countywide suicide and depression awareness video contest. Edimo hopes to continue implementing these innovative ideas.
“In order to increase our standing with the community, I’m planning on pursuing a grant program for school clubs. There are many clubs with great ideas or plans and they simply lack the funds to pursue them. If MCR can help the student community with our budget surplus, I see no reason not to. These grants would likely have some requirements attached to them, but we’ll flesh out the details once my term starts. We also want to make a countywide TED talk a reality. We discussed the idea this year, and after seeing the very successful RICHTalks at RM, I think it’s a great idea that can bring people together to discuss a variety of issues.”
As the school year comes to a close, Edimo’s term as Chief of Staff is ending but his new journey as MCR President is just beginning.
“I’m very excited for the upcoming year and I encourage everyone to find a way to participate in MCR. Students can apply to the executive board at www.mcrsga.com/apply or sign up to attend our general assemblies starting in October.”
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Omisa Jinsi of Churchill High School
Image from MCR-SGA