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Germantown Needs an Elected Political Voice




As we celebrate Independence Day this coming long weekend, let’s think about how important having a strong voice in government and political affairs can be, as the original declaration against “Taxation without Representation” celebrates 241 glorious years.

For 20 years or so Germantown has been growing. What started as dairy farms is now an urban center of roughly 90,000 residents. In a short time, Germantown has grown into one of the most diversely populated areas in the United States. Some might call it a city, but that would be wrong. It is not a city. It isn’t even a town, or a borough, or a village. What is Germantown?

That is a hell of a question.

Technically, Germantown is known as a Census-Designated Place. Doesn’t that sound homey and welcoming? “I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Census-Designated Place I grew up in,” said no one ever.

According to the most recent census data which is from 2010, the population of Germantown was 86,395. However, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2015 there were 31,359 households in Germantown, with an average of 2.86 members of each household. Some quick math puts the estimated 2015 population, based on households multiplied by household members, at 89,400 people.

That makes it the largest population center in Montgomery County. The population of Germantown is larger than the population of nine of Maryland’s 23 counties. Germantown needs a political voice. Germantown needs leadership. Germantown needs to get its act together. Germantown needs to incorporate.

Germantown needs to take some pride in its growth, and it needs to stand up and start throwing its weight around.

As most residents know, if Germantown incorporated it would be the third largest city in Maryland. But did you know that it would be largest city in the State of Delaware (Wilmington, Del. - pop. 70,851), and the State of Vermont (Burlington, Vt. - pop. 42,417), and the State of Maine (Portland, Maine - pop. 66,666), and the State of West Virginia (Charleston, W. Va. - pop. 50,404).

Here are some selected national cities which have a population similar to or smaller than Germantown; Boca Raton, Fla. – population 89,407; Racine, Wisc. - population 78,860; Kalamazoo, Mich. – population 74,262; Duluth, Minn. – population 86,110; Reading, Pa. – population 87,879; Youngstown, Ohio – population 66,982; and Bowling Green, Ky. – population 58,067.

Do you know what all of the cities mentioned in the previous two paragraphs have in common? A leader —a mayor, an alderman, or