About George Leventhal
George Leventhal is serving his fourth term as an at-large Democratic member of the Montgomery County Council. He is also currently serving as the Council's President. He chairs the council's Health and Human Services Committee, which is responsible for programs affecting the sick, the poor, the elderly, the homeless, the disabled, the mentally ill, and abused and abandoned children, as well as libraries and the arts and humanities. He also serves on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development committee which oversees zoning and master plans among other topics.
Councilmember Leventhal has championed access to health care for the uninsured, housing for the homeless, green buildings, mass transit and clean energy during his time in office. Prior to his election to the County Council, he served as Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and as Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD). He has lived in Montgomery County most of his life and owns a home in Takoma Park with his wife Soraia P. Leventhal and their two sons, Daniel, a graduate of Montgomery County Public Schools, and Chico who is currently a student at Montgomery Blair High School.
George Leventhal has lived in Montgomery County most of his life and is serving his fourth term as an at-large member of the Montgomery County Council. He is also currently serving as the the Council President. He was first elected to the Council in 2002, served as Council President previously in 2006, and was re-elected to second, third and fourth terms in 2006, 2010, and 2014, respectively.
As chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, Councilmember Leventhal supports and oversees programs for Montgomery County's neediest residents: the elderly, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, and abused and abandoned children. He has developed a variety of comprehensive programs to address the concerns of this population, including:
- Montgomery Cares, a signature initiative of Councilmember Leventhal, provides access to primary health care for uninsured County residents through a network of "safety net" clinics.
- The Housing First initiative seeks to reduce homelessness by aggressively matching the homeless with permanent stable housing instead of temporary shelter, including supportive services to help clients address the issues which contributed to their homelessness.
- The Domestic Workers Employment Contracts Act requires employers of certain domestic workers to negotiate and sign a written contract that specifies the terms and conditions of employment.
Councilmember Leventhal also serves on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) committee. As a member of the PHED committee, he is tasked with overseeing Master Plans, zoning changes, economic development, housing policy, and parks and recreation, among other topics.
Councilmember Leventhal believes passionately in caring for our environment and living sustainably. During his time as a member of the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee (2002-2010), he created and championed many County programs that foster those goals:
- The Clean Energy Rewards Program provides rebates to residents and businesses choosing to buy clean energy. As a direct result, Montgomery County avoided 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
- The County's Green Buildings legislation protects and improves the environment by requiring privately-constructed buildings over 10,000 square feet to be LEED certified, and county-constructed buildings to achieve a LEED-silver or equivalent rating.
- Bethesda Green is a public-private partnership that provides a living model of sustainability, promoting energy-efficiency, public recycling, public transportation and cycling and a community-wide environmental ethic.
- The Biodiesel Task Force is exploring how waste vegetable oil from county restaurants can be refined into biodiesel, a biodegradable, nontoxic fuel that emits less pollution than petroleum diesel.
The Purple Line – an east-west transit link which will connect both legs of Metro's Red Line, the Green Line and the Orange line, three MARC train lines and AMTRAK – is Councilmember Leventhal's top transportation priority. As a founder and ex-officio board member of Purple Line Now!, he tirelessly promoted the Purple Line light rail alternative and works diligently with community groups, the County Executive, and County Council colleagues as well as state and Prince George's County officials to ensure support for the Purple Line throughout the State of Maryland. In January 2009, light rail received the unanimous endorsement of the County Council and the County Executive as the preferred alternative for the Purple Line.
Councilmember Leventhal is active in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), and currently serves as the Chair of COG's Human Services and Public Safety Policy Committee. He also served on the Greater Washington 2050 Committee, a regional initiative to improve the quality of life for Washington area residents.
Councilmember Leventhal has received a number of awards for his efforts and leadership during his time in office. Among his most recent awards are:
- Dr. Henry & Page Laughlin Distinguished Public Official Award for extraordinary leadership and advocacy on initiatives to enhance access to medical care for all residents | Montgomery County Medical Society
- Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award for dedication to the region’s nonprofit community | Center for Nonprofit Advancement
- Spirit Award for Humanitarian Leader of the Year | National Center for Children and Families
- Public Partner of the Year Award | Mobile Medical Care, Inc.
- Elected Public Official of the Year Award | CHI Centers Inc.
- Climate Champion Award | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
- In Recognition of Leadership and Dedication to the Well-being of Seniors | GROWS (Grass Roots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors)
From 1995 to 2002, Leventhal was employed as Senior Federal Relations Officer for the Association of American Universities (AAU). Prior to working at the AAU, Leventhal served as legislative director and legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, and as a research assistant on the tax staff of the Senate Finance Committee under its then-chairman Lloyd Bentsen of Texas. From 1996 to 2001, Leventhal served as chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. He played a leading role in many other political and community activities in the Takoma Park-Silver Spring area and throughout Montgomery County.
George Leventhal received a Master's degree in public administration from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, he completed The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance; a voluntary certificate program administered by the University of Maryland to help local officials meet the challenges of their roles. He lives in Takoma Park with his wife, Soraia P. Leventhal, and their two sons, Daniel, a graduate of Montgomery County Public Schools, and Chico who is currently a student at Montgomery Blair High School. He is a member of Shirat HaNefesh synagogue.