Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My award as MCDCC Volunteer of the Year - ACA and Safe Silver Spring Implications

On Saturday, May 10, the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee presented me with the Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award at their annual Spring Ball.  This post contains the acceptance statement I submitted, the video statement, and photos from the event.  Councilmember Marc Elrich made very moving remarks when he introduced my award.  I was given this award for my work on the ACA and Safe Silver Spring among others and for over 30 years of contributions to the community.  I am deeply moved and humbled by this award.  It means that good deeds are appreciated.  In accepting the award, I said that the ACA is a big deal, there is much more to be done, and that I expect everyone to help.

Video of acceptance statement

My written detailed acceptance statement

1    1. Name and Award

Tony Hausner, Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award

   2.  When and how did you embrace being a Democrat?

I became a Democrat in the early 1960s. as I totally supported the Kennedy/Johnson Great Society programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Headstart.  I felt it critical that our country provide programs to help low income and disadvantaged populations.

I became fully engaged in Democratic politics in the 1980s after we moved to Silver Spring.  First, in 1982, I worked with six Silver Spring schools and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to battle a segregation decision made by the Montgomery County Board of Education.  We filed a successful civil rights case against the School Board and then subsequently elected a new school board. The Blair Magnet was one product of that battle as well as the restoration of numerous boundary changes.

In the late 1980s, I was involved in two complimentary battles.  The first was over development of downtown Silver Spring.  As part of the Silver Spring Takoma Traffic Coalition and the Arts Deco Society, we opposed the plan to build lots of office buildings, an enclosed shopping mall and the destruction of the Silver Theater.  We wanted more residential development and street facing stores. Fortunately that vision prevailed.  As the leader of the Route 29 Coalition, we successfully opposed creating a super highway out of Colesville Road, US29, as we felt an underpass at Four Corners would have been a nightmare.  It would have divided neighborhoods and resulted in more traffic congestion.  Those projects got me fully involved in the 1990  elections in which the voters elected a new County Executive and County Council.

   3.  Why do you think you were chosen for this award?

I believe I was chosen primarily for my work on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   Much of my career was devoted to health policy.  I spent 26 years working for the U. S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Policy from which I retired in 2006. 

In 2008, I joined Organizing for Action (OFA), President Obama’s grassroots organization, and in 2010 I organized phonebanks for them as we lobbied constituents across the country to support the ACA.   This past year, I have served as OFA Deputy state lead for ACA and organized many enrollment events.  I recruited volunteers and worked with a number of elected officials to support these enrollment plans.  As part of this effort, I worked with many of the connector organizations in the Capital Region that served as enrollment centers.  In the process, I discovered a website that provides the best ACA consumer comparison info.  I shared this information with leading experts and had the site endorsed by the Commonwealth Fund and other leading experts.  My only regret is that more folks did not make use of it.  Another highlight was identifying a fraudulent site masking as the State's site.  I also conducted a number of training sessions for OFA volunteers especially with the Prince George's team.  More info can be seen at helped create Safe Silver Spring six years ago.  We are focused on criminal justice issues but are also concerned with a broad array of related social issues, such as affordable housing and jobs for minority teenagers.   We have successfully advocated for increases in county police officers, school police, and the truancy court program among others.  Last year, we played a significant role in the successful passage of gun safety legislation by the Maryland Assembly.  I helped organize and spoke at a large rally, organized letter writing campaigns, and lobbying efforts among other activities. More information at

I have been an active board member of the Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club which has sponsored many candidate forums and related events.  As part of this Club,  I twice organized Metro to the polls for the Central Committee and organized several ACA phonebanks. 

   4. What does this award mean to you?

I am greatly humbled by this award which indicates that my commitment to the Democratic Party and to the social values that it stands for is appreciated.  That we want all persons to benefit fully from our society especially low income and disadvantaged.

    5. What is the one thing all Democrats could learn from you?

That hard work on behalf of social causes to help low income and disadvantaged populations will lead to progress and will be valued. 


1) With the award sitting next to Jill Ortman-Fouse
2) and 3) With Councilmember Marc Elrich who introduced me
4) My family: Dan Stromberg, Stephen Ronci, Deena Hausner, Toba hausner, Ariele Hausner Stromberg, myself

Ed Kimmel’s entire flickr album from the ball




  1. Congratulations Tony - a well deserved honor indeed. Thanks for all of your hard work.


    Introductory Statement by Councilmember Marc Elrich
    Upon the MCDCC Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award
    To Tony Hausner