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Opinion Marc Elrich: Unions know and trust me. That’s an asset for a county executive candidate.

Early voters in Silver Spring on Thursday. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The Oct. 28 editorial “Mr. Elrich’s one-sided approach” was right to characterize my support for labor as resolute. I am proud of standing with working people and proud to have championed minimum-wage increases twice. Raising the minimum wage lifts families out of poverty. Unions also worked with the Montgomery County Council to pass the sick and safe leave bill. I also stand by our bill that gives raises to people who pick up our trash to address the realities of increasing costs for them and their families.

Far from saddling taxpayers with higher bills, I will streamline county government. Unions and their members, our county’s workforce, know and trust me. That is why we announced our plan to restructure county government together. Our county is facing difficult financial times; without thoughtful changes, employees will face across-the-board cuts.

Despite what an earlier editorial said, I supported the Silver Spring revitalization plan that was implemented but I opposed the mega-mall that then-County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) ultimately killed. I did not oppose the Fillmore; I opposed the no-bid process that included an $11 million public subsidy and ignored a competitor (and Montgomery County resident) who said he’d build it on his dime. Previous county executives have involved union members and leaders in the selection of department heads. I do not vote against residential construction; I’ve supported every effort to increase the share of affordable housing and, more than anyone, I’ve worked to preserve existing affordable housing.

Marc Elrich, Takoma Park

The writer is the Democratic nominee for Montgomery County executive.